What matters to people in your community? How do they feel about an issue or a recent event?
Conduct a survey and ask them! It's hard when you're tight on resources.
- How can surveys be conducted quickly?
- How can more responses be collected affordably from a larger set of respondents?
- How can you do this when people are spread out over a large area?
- How can surveys be done when people are busy or don't want to talk to strangers?
Chatbots are software programs that serve as your virtual assistant. They greet respondents, ask them questions as text messages and save their responses. See how a small nonprofit uses chatbots to survey young people in the community to understand how they feel about voting and uses the insights collected to improve their programs.
Democracy Centers are local resources in underserved communities where more than half of eligible voters no longer choose to vote. They supports ongoing, year-round, civic engagement to achieve meaningful progress on issues of importance in underserved communities of color where the ill effects of historic systemic racism are deeply entrenched and oppressive. Anthony Hall conducted an SMS based survey in Florence, SC for under $100 to understand how young people in the community felt about voting.
Chatbots make it easier to conduct surveys
A survey was designed to understand how your people in the community felt about voting, what it meant for them personally and how voter turnout could be improved. The survey consisted of five questions with links for respondents to learn more about the Democracy Center and upcoming events. The survey was shared on social media, flyers and local stands. People are encouraged to text the keyword 'Youth' or scan the QR Code to complete the survey.
Respondents get an automated welcome and privacy message, and then asked five questions by text. Their responses and phone number are automatically saved in a database. A survey can completed survey cost about ten cents. A text bot conducted the surveys without any human involvement. Volunteers reviewed the responses collected and could follow up with the phone numbers that had been collected. Organizers can have multiple surveys with each having its own keyword. Surveys can be set up in 3 hours and each can have up to ten questions. Learn more here.
What are Democracy Centers?
Democracy Centers are located in BIPOC communities where more than 55% of eligible voters no longer choose to vote.
A Democracy Center is a local resource that supports ongoing, year-round, civic engagement to achieve meaningful progress on issues of importance in underserved communities of color where the ill effects of historic systemic racism are deeply entrenched and oppressive. These communities are often rural and identifiable by certain common characteristics, such as high levels of race-based concentrated poverty, lower social mobility, higher rates of environmental pollution and restrictive voter suppression laws. The phrase, “My vote doesn’t matter” reflects frustration with the lack of improvement in community pain points regardless of who is elected.
How Democracy Centers Work
People want to know what they can do to create the change they want to see in their community and they want to do it themselves. They need expertise, training, technology and tools that will empower them. Democracy Centers are organized in partnership with well-established community-based organizations and will educate and promote opportunities to take action in support of issues important to the community, such as voting rights, energy democracy and resiliency, jobs and community wealth and power building. This change can’t come from outside; it can only happen from within.
Through a program of the CFCG, Democracy Centers leverage the on-the-ground expertise, presence and trusted relationships of community-based organizations with a successful track record of civil rights protection and advocacy, civic engagement, community building and development, election protection, voter registration, and other activities that support the basic tenets of our democracy in underserved communities.
TakeAway: Conduct surveys with text bots to better understand people's concerns and how they feel about an issue.
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Learn more about chatbots
- Convert outrage into votes and volunteers with chatbots
- Automated voice assistants help seniors and the disabled get to vote
- Service helps mothers released from jail using text bots to first survey their needs
- Community organizing with diaper banks
- Infobots help the needy find food banks and clinics while building contact lists at the same time
- Understand how voters feel about local issues and identify potential supporters with textbot surveys
- Active Shooter protection tips from Black Voters Matter chatbot