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19 August, 2020

Save money. Do good. Crowdsource texting campaigns to low income American workers.

icon Campaign Software,Crowdsourcing,Mothers of Hope,Peer To Peer Texting,Political Campaigns,TextPerCent
Crowdsourcing lets campaigns text more people for less money by hiring remote, low-income American workers and giving back at the same time.

Campaigns save money with crowdsourced texting and help low-income American workers at the same time. A win-win solution.

What is crowdsourcing?

Crowdsourcing matches online workers with simple micro-tasks that can be done remotely. It works bests for tasks that require little training and where the volume of work may fluctuate a lot. Texting for campaigns is the perfect use case as a large may have to be contacted at short notice and hiring a large number of temporary workers isn't feasible. Campaigns often use volunteers for their texting needs, but finding volunteers at short notice for a critical campaign isn't guaranteed.

Campaigns benefit by having a large pool of crowdsourced workers available to text for them when needed. Low income workers, students and retirees can work remotely when they have time and make money through crowdsourced work. Campaigns cut their cost of sending texts to 2 cents/text with crowdsourced labor (1 cent/text) and Text Per Cent (1 cent/text).

Crowdsourcing isn't new. General Electric, Walmart and Krogers have used it for years to meet their need for workers on demand. Firms such as SamaSource, iMerit and Mechanical Turk offer marketplaces where employers can find online workers for specialized tasks. This blog describes how low income workers in Michigan are texting Louisiana residents reminders to complete their census.

Power Coalition's texting campaign reminds Louisiana residents to complete the census

The Power Coalition for Equity and Justice is a black women lead organization. It uses an integrated civic engagement strategy that amplifies the voices of those who have historically been ignored, and organizes them into a unified movement. The coalition had to respond quickly when the census deadline was cut back to Sept 30th, threatening to leave many under-represented Louisiana communities uncounted in the census. How do you contact tens of thousands of people quickly? Especially when it has to be done quickly on a small budget with little few staff?

The Power Coalition was connected to texters trained by Mothers of Hope in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Mothers of Hope is a non-profit that empowers and strengthens women, families, and communities to rise above the effects of substance use disorders, poverty, violence and systemic inequities. This win-win solution coordinated by DemLabs enabled the Power Coalition to quickly send out census reminders while helping low income workers in Kalamazoo at the same time.

Crowdsourced workers tackle large jobs remotely. This cuts the cost and time needed to complete the task to be done.

Manipulating the census which determines political representation and federal funding

"These last-minute changes to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the U.S. threaten the accuracy of population numbers used to determine the distribution of political representation and federal funding for the next decade. With roughly 4 out of 10 households nationwide yet to be counted, and already delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the bureau now has less than two months left to try to reach people of color, immigrants, renters, rural residents and other members of historically undercounted groups who are not likely to fill out a census form on their own.

We need the extra time to be able to ensure that the hardest-to-count communities are including in the count. That is what the Constitution requires," says Vanita Gupta, a former Obama administration official who now heads The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "There is no other reason for the Trump administration to be rushing the census if they didn't have a partisan or illegitimate motive." - NPR

How crowdsourcing tackles large projects and cuts costs

Power Coalition chose TextPerCent, an affordable texting platform which costs 1 cent/text. Mothers of Hope in Kalamazoo, Michigan workers can text about 35 texts/minute with Text Per Cent which is about 2,000 texts/hour which lets them earn $20/hour.

Costing analysis:
People to contact = 200,000
Software cost (Text Per Cent) = 1 cent/text
Labor cost to text = 1 cent/text
Total cost to text 200,000 people
= 200,000 x 2 cent/text
= $4,000

Time to text 200,000 people with 6 workers
Texting rate/worker = 2,000 texts/hour
Time needed = 200,000 / (6 texters x 2,000 texts/hour) = 17 hours
= Approximately 3 days

Affordable Peer-to-Peer (P2P) texting

Peer-to-Peer texting is a manual process with humans (not programs) doing the texting. Good crowdsourced P2P texting systems:
- Are easy to learn and train new workers
- Can be used immediately without software installation
- Works with any list of contacts including a Voter File
- Privacy is enhanced by not displaying phone numbers being texted to workers
- Workers text from a single list of contacts at their own pace
- The campaign can create their own messages to text
- Messages can be customized to the recipient
- Detailed logs of texts sent by each worker are kept

Text Per Cent is an affordable P2P texting that costs one cent/text. Text Per Cent uses Signalwire's groundbreaking technology and can be used immediately without having to install any software. This demo shows how easy it is to select a message and send it from a laptop and how the text appears on the recipient's phone. Learn more about the Text Per Cent platform here.

Text Per Cent (www.textpercent.org) is an affordable, peer-to-peer (P2P) texting platform.
https://vimeo.com/449317873

TakeAway: Crowdsource texting to save money and support low income American workers at the same time.

Increase civic engagement. Save money. Do good. What more could you ask for?

Deepak
DemLabs

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Youth group launches multi-lingual, interactive video campaign on BigStage to get-out-the-vote

Multi-lingual video campaign to get out the vote Gen Z voices urge others to vote with new technology that merges a recorded video with interactive buttons....

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12 Sep’ 2020

Suppression on the Reservation makes it harder for Native Americans to vote

Barriers being placed to prevent Native Americans from Voting-by-mail Denying postal services to suppress Native American votes It's despicable when Americans are prevented from voting by...

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9 Sep’ 2020

Trying to connect with ethnic minority voters? Find the right influencer with this free app.

Work with influencers trusted by a community in your outreach to minority groups. Ethnic Media Services promotes cross cultural communications through their network hundreds of journalists,...

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7 Sep’ 2020

Voting early? Checkout these maps of dropbox and early voting locations in NC and Michigan.

Early voting has started! Find the nearest early voting location or dropbox in North Carolina and Michigan with these free maps. See how Map My Vote...

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5 Sep’ 2020

How to deliver POWERFUL messages on video

Use these five expert tips to make a bigger impact in your online presentations. They have nothing to do with the lighting or the quality of...

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3 Sep’ 2020

COVID-19 Death Counter app tracks what really matters

Ignore the distractions. Focus on COVID-19, which is killing a thousand Americans every day. Some politicians would talk about anything other than the Americans that die...

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2 Sep’ 2020

Don’t know where to vote early? Use these free apps to find out.

Voting is being made harder by choking the U.S. Postal Service. New apps help voters find early voting locations. The U.S. Postal Service is being crippled...

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1 Sep’ 2020

Train protesters to better ‘frame’ issues to cut through the lies and control the narrative.

"While this literal battle rages—with tear gassing militias on one side and kneeling protestors on the other—the rhetorical one does as well." - Race Class Narrative...

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31 Aug’ 2020

Expert tips on writing text messages that get attention

Peer-to-peer texting offers a personalized way to connect with voters. Texting campaigns costs much less than other forms of outreach. They get a higher read and response...

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21 Aug’ 2020

Ten tips to make anyone a ZOOM fundraising pro

Zoom is child's play with these ten tips. 1. Test the technology Navigate technical issues before they happen to improve efficiency. Technical issues come hand in...

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18 Aug’ 2020

How do they feel about absentee ballots? Conduct surveys faster for less money with chatbots.

Conducting surveys in a pandemic the smart way. Use chatbots. How do voters feel about absentee ballots vs. voting in person? How does this vary by...

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8 Aug’ 2020

Lost your unemployment benefits? Petition your senator to #SaveThe600.

Unemployment benefits cut? Petition your senator. "The Federal $600-per-week unemployment supplement expired and millions of Americans out of work due to the pandemic are wondering how...

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7 Aug’ 2020

Miss that live virtual event? It’s your lucky day, it’s still going on.

Zoom meetings can now stay live for people who missed them. Never miss a live virtual event again. With BigStage Online, events can remain live and...

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3 Aug’ 2020

Want a fair 2020 election? Become a poll worker.

America is in the midst of a nationwide poll worker shortage. "Without enough poll workers, voting locations close and lines stretch for hours. That’s why it's...

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28 Jul’ 2020

How grieving moms use protests against police killings to recruit supporters

Ishtyme Robinson lost two children to police violence. She founded Every Case Matters, a grass-roots organization devoted to stopping genocide of all black, brown and lives....

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27 Jul’ 2020

Mapping the spread of COVID-19 near Sinclair Broadcasting stations spewing Coronavirus conspiracy theories

What responsibility does Sinclair bear when it broadcasts information that hurts public health? "Baseless conspiracy theories about the novel coronavirus and Dr. Anthony Fauci, found a...

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25 Jul’ 2020

Republicans just don’t care. How to map the millions of families they’re about to make homeless during a pandemic.

Republican senators are blocking unemployment benefits for millions of Americans devastated by the Coronavirus. This will make millions of Americans homeless and cause more deaths. How...

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23 Jul’ 2020

How to create your own campaign videos for free at home

How does a candidate with little time or money get their message heard? Stephanie Moore, a candidate for State Representative of Michigan's 60th district, met this...

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20 Jul’ 2020

Fundraise Better On ZOOM

Fundraising has moved online with many campaigns choosing ZOOM for virtual fundraisers. But guiding donors from the impulse to give to actually making the donation during...

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14 Jul’ 2020

HipHop Politics On The BigStage

COVID-19 has forced campaigns to move organizing and fundraising online. Conferencing apps are great for meetings, but lacking key features for political events where the goal...

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12 Jul’ 2020

Start a chain reaction

Savvy organizers extend their reach by having supporters text their friends. VoteForce makes relational organizing fast, easy and affordable. Here's how a slate of candidates in...

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1 Jul’ 2020

David vs Goliath in Kalamazoo

Necessity is the mother of invention. A team of Kalamazoo candidates innovate to overcome their lack of resources. BackgroundThe candidates have little funding and few technical...

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25 Jun’ 2020

Don’t mess with Texas voters

Texas has an election on July 14th with early voting starting on Monday, June 29th and ending on Friday, July 10th. For more details, voters may...

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21 Jun’ 2020

Scan this to recruit volunteers

How to recruit supporters during a pandemic: Recruiting supporters at an event is hard. Lot's of people, activity and little time. How can it be done...

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20 Jun’ 2020

Four innovations to get out the vote in Virginia

Reclaim Our Vote (ROV), a grassroots group in Virginia is innovating to get-out-the-vote (GOTV) in Virginia's primary election. Its volunteers will text 32,000 voters in three...

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17 Jun’ 2020

Let The People Speak

How do you bridge the divide between how elected officials vote and what their constituents want? Let people speak directly to power. Kalamazoo Commissioner Stephanie Moore mobilized...

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15 Jun’ 2020

Use Petitions To Harness Outrage And Build Contact Lists With Free New App

Harness the outrage through targeted petitions and also build lists of supporters. Petition drives work, but the pandemic has forced organizing online which demands innovation. Existing...

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9 Jun’ 2020

Three Free Safety Apps For Protestors

Police violence and digital surveillance shouldn't be used to intimidate peaceful protestors. These free apps protect protestors exercising their First Amendment right to "assemble peaceably and...

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3 Jun’ 2020

NAACP Volunteers Use ‘Smart’ Texts To Reduce Lines At Georgia Voting Centers

Voters braving a pandemic, shouldn't have to struggle to find their closest polling location. It's easy for Georgia voters to get confused, and many end up not...

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27 May’ 2020

How To Find Ballot Drop Boxes And Early Voting Locations In Georgia

Voters in Georgia's June 9th election can return their absentee ballots at drop box without a stamp or any human contact. How do they find the...

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21 May’ 2020

Organize Workers Forced To Re-Enter COVID-19 Infected Facilities

Workers pressured back to work in dangerous conditions have a tough choice: their paycheck or their lives? How can they organize for safe working conditions and fair wages in such a...

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17 May’ 2020

COVID19 Death Sentence

Over 2 million people are imprisoned in America. Most of them are black or Hispanic and they are dying in the hundreds from the Coronavirus. Is...

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16 May’ 2020

Who’s Against Heroes?

Politicians often vote against their voters' interests. How can the public track what they're voting for and let them know when they go wrong?  In this blog you'll learn about:...

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12 May’ 2020

Musicians Power Virtual Fundraisers

Musicians and progressive campaigns are teaming to raise funds online with live streaming performances.    The Coronavirus has forced campaigns to innovate. How do you fundraise...

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6 May’ 2020

Who Lives? Who Dies?

Why do some black counties in Georgia have 20 times as many deaths as nearby white counties? What impact does voter suppression have on the healthcare provide to African...

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27 Apr’ 2020

Virus Free Voting

How can a virtual protest be organized during a pandemic? One where Congress gets to hear from real people?  A virtual protest #VirusFreeVoting is planned by Indivisible chapters...

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27 Apr’ 2020

Conduct Polls In A Pandemic? Use Chatbots.

Collecting accurate, timely information in a pandemic needs innovation. Mothers Of Hope uses chatbots to collect information from Kalamazoo residents about their Coronavirus care and census participation. The group encourages community members...

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24 Apr’ 2020

Will You Be Counted In The Census?

[caption id="attachment_2319" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Image: Lumen5[/caption] How can marginalized groups be inspired to take part in the census during a pandemic? Sharvin Lee with Michigan Voices is experimenting with difference approaches....

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22 Apr’ 2020

National Calendar Of Events Responding To The Coronavirus Pandemic

How can experts, volunteers and resources connect in a pandemic? NYC United Against Coronavirus (NYC UAC) shows how it can be done quickly and with few resources. They...

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20 Apr’ 2020

Visualizing 40,000 Deaths

Big numbers make it hard to fully grasp the size of a tragedy - such as the number of American deaths from the Coronavirus.  The facts are...

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13 Apr’ 2020

Make Sure Everyone Hears Your Message — Regardless Of Their Language.

Make sure every one get to hear your message regardless of their language. One out of five American speaks a language other than English at home. Many...

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12 Apr’ 2020

Organize Gig Workers Digitally In A Pandemic

The pandemic has devastated gig workers. No unemployment insurance. No health insurance. Unsafe working conditions. How can gig workers organize to demand their rights when they...

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10 Apr’ 2020

Pandemic-Mode Voter Suppression

"Wisconsin's holding of a primary during a pandemic is just the latest example of Republicans’ naked bid to keep power at all costs." - The Guardian The story...

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6 Apr’ 2020

Statewide Michigan Indivisible Rapid Response To GOP Demand That Jeopardizes Lawmaker’s Lives

Michigan Republicans insist legislators vote in-person in the middle of a pandemic! "The vote will come a day after it was announced that State Rep. Karen...

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5 Apr’ 2020

Teach Your Children Well — At Home With These Free Apps And Games

[caption id="attachment_2288" align="aligncenter" width="548"] Image: Inspired Teaching[/caption] Free home education apps and resources to teach their children how to cope with pandemic induced anxiety.  Resources created...

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3 Apr’ 2020

Is Coronavirus Testing Really Color Blind?

[caption id="attachment_2285" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Image: Eddie Murphy "White Like Me" on SNL[/caption] How evenly are different ethnic groups being tested for the Coronavirus? Mothers of Hope is a...

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2 Apr’ 2020

Poor People’s VA Campaign Offers Local Coronavirus Newsfeed

How does a grassroots group with little funding keep locals informed of dangers and resources during a pandemic? How can vital information be quickly collected and...

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31 Mar’ 2020

Groups Connect Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Donors With Healthcare Providers.

Healthcare workers should not have to fear for lives because they lack personal protective equipment (PPE). These groups connect donors with workers to get them the equipment they need...

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30 Mar’ 2020

Vote by Mail. Leave No Voter Behind.

Voting by mail has worked well for years, but will be especially important in this pandemic. But how do voters without a computer or internet access...

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23 Mar’ 2020

Crowdsourced Infomap Helps Idaho Communities Prepare For Coronavirus

Accurate, timely information is valuable - especially while you're preparing for a pandemic. Which stores have supplies you need? Which facilities open? Which offices are open at different times?...

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17 Mar’ 2020

Coronavirus Guide. Mobile Training Delivered By Voice And Text.

Coronavirus safety training now available freely by phone. How can safety recommendations be shared with hard-to-contact groups in the middle of a pandemic? Technology designed to...

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12 Mar’ 2020

How Many Coronavirus Tests Has Your State Conducted?

"Testing is a key tool in limiting the spread of coronavirus. You need to know who has contracted the virus so those people can be isolated, and...

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9 Mar’ 2020

Coronavirus Atlas Map US Cases, Safety Tips And Official Response.

There are facts - and 'alternative facts'.  A means to find the truth is needed when alternate facts put lives at risks.   Coronavirus Atlas is a free app created...

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29 Feb’ 2020

Group Uses Personal Video Testimonials To Encourage Use Of Vote-By-Mail Ballots.

Photo by Qim Manifester on Unsplash Make your videos more persuasive with personal testimonials. Video testimonials work but collecting them has been difficult for groups with limited time, money...

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28 Feb’ 2020

Activists Use GIFs To Demand Funding For CDC To Fight Coronavirus

  Reach more people, faster and for less money with a GIF. GIFs are just seconds long but get your message heard. They play automatically and engage viewers immediately....

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27 Feb’ 2020

Drive To Get Out The Vote.

People lose their vote when it's hard for them to get to the polls. The elderly, disabled and low income voters in rural areas suffer the most.  How can...

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5 Feb’ 2020

Build Or Buy Campaign Software?

Elections have consequences. So do budget cuts. Mobilize voters on the issues that matter to them. People care when public safety is jeopardized by CDC funding cuts that limit...

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12 Jan’ 2020

Five Free Apps For Better Canvassing

Trying to find the right campaign app when you're tight on money and not tech savvy? Checkout the DemLabs site with over 110 solutions and Solution Guides like the one...

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5 Jan’ 2020

Podcast Training Retreat For Women Changemakers

[caption id="" align="aligncenter"] Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash[/caption]   Millions listen to podcasts but not enough are hosted and produced by women. How can we fix this?...

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30 Nov’ 2019

Five Free Online Training Platforms To Training Volunteers And Organizers.

How do you train volunteers and staff the skills to be better activists and organizers? Especially when a range of skills have to be taught from...

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10 Nov’ 2019

The Beginner’s Guide To Running A Low-Budget, Geo-Targeted Political Ad Campaign.

Reach voters on their phones even if you don't have their phone numbers with geo-targeting. Tips on running a smart, frugal campaign. Background "Bhuwan Pyakurel is running...

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7 Nov’ 2019

Map The Battlefield, Before You Launch Your Campaign.

Activists fight with limited resources against well funded political incumbents. They have to pick their targets strategically. Good mapping software can be the equalizer. Which incumbents...

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6 Nov’ 2019

Online Training For Activists On How To Frame Issues To Build Support.

How do you get someone with very different beliefs to support your cause? Frame the discussion to align with their existing beliefs. Framing is an effective...

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16 Sep’ 2019

New Artificial Intelligence (AI) Powered App, Coaches You To Become A Better Public Speaker.

A very few of us are naturally, gifted public speakers. The rest of us need to practice. Technology can now coach activists, organizers and candidates to become better...

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12 Aug’ 2019

Group Mounts Social Media Video Campaign To Block Redevelopment Of African-American Community.

Make the Road Nevada is fighting in solidarity with Windsor Park residents as the City of North Las Vegas is proposing to sell 80% of the land of...

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12 Aug’ 2019

Mobilizing Citizens To Prevent Cuts To The Food Stamp Program. Technology For A Rapid Response.

The Trump administration is planning to cut the Food Stamp program. This would eliminate SNAP benefits for 3.1 million individuals and take free school meals away from the children in...

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29 May’ 2019

Recording a video to shine a light on injustice? Do it right for maximum impact with these expert tips.

[caption id="attachment_1345" align="aligncenter" width="760"] Photo of Leisha Evans taken by Jonathan Bachman for Reuters from Wikipedia[/caption] A powerful image can tell a full story without a single word. Organizers, however, often...

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10 May’ 2019

Virginia Candidates Create Issue-Specific Campaign Videos With Free, Innovative App.

"There is an 80% increase in the time spent on watching videos ... 45% of the people surveyed in North America said they expect to watch even more videos on...

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3 May’ 2019

Up your game with this library of free campaigning and organizing ‘how to’ guides.

Grassroots organizing changes constantly with new tactics and apps. How can the lessons learned on one campaign be quickly shared with other progressive groups? Blueprints for Change converts know-how from campaign organiziners into free...

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1 Apr’ 2019

Midwest Academy Online strategic campaign training for Organizers.

The Midwest Academy has trained over 25,000 grassroots activists. Heather Booth founded the Academy in 1973 to train leaders fighting for social, economic and racial justice. It has played a...

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18 Feb’ 2019

Enough of old, male and pale. Let’s train more campaign staff of color.

[caption id="attachment_1113" align="aligncenter" width="394"] Genny Castillo & Ashley Robinson - Co-founders, The BLUE Institute.[/caption] “Lack of minority staffers threatens to hobble 2020 Democrats. If you don't...

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31 Jan’ 2019

8 Highly Effective Training Resources for Organizers

[caption id="attachment_1086" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Photo by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash[/caption] "Change requires more than righteous anger. It requires a program and organizing, which is the only way to...

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16 Oct’ 2018

See something. Say something. Especially at polling centers.

"See something - Say something". We see this at airports and on public transportation. So why not do the same while we are trying to vote?...

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11 Sep’ 2018

Micro Target Your Canvassers

Uber does it. Lyft does it. Send drivers to where there's known demand - rather than going to the same old locations as many cabs do. It's...

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1 Jun’ 2018

Is your Voter ID acceptable?

11% of voting-age U.S. citizens don't have a current government-issued photo ID. That's roughly 25 million voters in 34 states who don't have an acceptable Voter...

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23 May’ 2018

It All Starts With Training

Training new campaign volunteers is hard. They're often remote, pressed for time and difficult to schedule. Online learning platforms are affordable and offer training on demand. Campaigns struggle to train volunteers as in-person training can't...

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17 May’ 2018

Knock. Knock. Who’s there?

FedEx does it. Uber does it - optimize delivery routes with better software.How can campaigns up their game so canvassers spend less time walking and more time talking with people? The...

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13 Oct’ 2017

Is Open Source the Transformative Solution for Activism?

Organizing public rallies really is rocket science. A successful launch needs careful planning and good software. Especially when highly vocal users are involved! How well does...

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5 Oct’ 2017

Resisting? Running for office? Get trained online, you will.

Darkness is in the air. The Rebel Alliance is hopelessly outmatched. The Empire terrorizes the galaxy. The rebels train to fight back. The ‘force’ is with...

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4 Oct’ 2017

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised — It’ll be Computerized

Imagine that you have millions of supporters eager to help your cause. You only have a few weeks to get organized and hardly any existing systems...

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