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Phone Banks

Volunteer Phone Banks  

Personal calls made by volunteers, who believe in the cause, are the second most effective “Precinct Organizing” methodology behind door-to-door canvassing. Nothing beats face-to-face discussions and relationship building! Volunteers are effective because they can convey an authentic sense of enthusiasm and commitment. It’s best for these volunteers to use a brief opening script and then evolve into a relaxed conversation, pausing for questions and inviting respondents to obtain more information by visiting the organization’s website. Key findings are as follows:

  • Competent callers can complete 16 calls/ hour with an up-to-date call list and chatty script
  • Make calls on weekday evenings from 5-9 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Hand-dialed phone banks have completion rates of 50%, in contrast to automated dialers with completion rates as low as 15% or less.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests a very high success rate when using Voter Records to focus who is called and inviting voters to join your patriot organization. See success example on right. Statistical analyses show that 1 vote per 38 contacts is obtained when calling to Get-Out-The-Vote. Talented volunteers or calls within last week prior to elections can increase success rate to 1 vote per 20 completed calls.
  • When calling out of state, avoid calling charges by using cell phone minutes. did this extensively in 2004 and 2006 campaigns. Sometimes a large supportive business will permit volunteers to make calls from its offices after hours. 
  • Provide printed instructions and a copy of the script (make conversational) for volunteers and alert them to how they should deal with contingencies. For example:
    • Leave message on messaging machine?
    • How deal with hostile caller
    • Speak only with the called person?
    • How important to stay on script?
    • How respond to requests for more information
    • What do if requested to call back at another time?
    • What information to record on calling sheet, such as invalid telephone calls?
  • Re-contacting people who earlier expressed an intention to vote boosts the effectiveness of a calling campaign
  • Calls are most effective during last week prior to election (Although can use volunteer calls anytime to grow your organization.)
  • DO-not call lists do not apply to live political campaigns. Some states restrict robo-calls even for political campaigns.

In contrast to volunteers calling, professional phone bank live calls produce weak effects. Some findings are as follows:

  • 1 vote per 180 calls
  • $90 per additional vote, based on $0.50/completed call ( Top of line phone bank may cost $1.50/ completed call)
  • For professional phone banks, effectiveness has little to do with the specific reasons for voting stressed in scripts
  • Only 5% calls are blocked, despite caller IDs. 90% of registered voters still have land lines.

Success Example


Ralph Kraus, leader of the Patriot Unite organization in northwest Ohio, shared the following success example with me and gave me permission to share it on the website. Using the Voter Record information, on a Sunday afternoon he called registered Republicans within his precinct. He made thirty-six calls (4.4 minutes average per call), was able to connect with fifteen voters (42% completion rate), and of these fifteen, eleven (73% success rate) were interested in joining his organization. Many indicated that they would bring others to the meeting.


He used a similar script to the one listed below. Once he got through the script, he ended up in a productive conversation. Most were aware of the Tea Party movement, but had not taken the initiative to get involved.


Ralph used the Voter Records to focus his calls to assure they would be most productive. He sorted the Excel based Voter Records by registered Republicans who voted in the last three primary elections. He then sorted these results by age group, focusing primarily on the 40 – 60 year age group, since he was primarily focusing on building his volunteer base for door-to-door “Precinct Organizing” for the fall election.

Volunteer Script


Hello, is this _______________?

My name is _____________.

I am a neighbor of yours on ____________ street and I am a leader / member of the Tea Party / Patriot group called __________. Have you hear of Tea Parties / Our Group?


I am a conservative concerned for our country and I got involved because I had to do something to try and stop the destruction of our way of life by career politicians. They are bankrupting our country, taking over private sector businesses, and increasing the government’s control over every aspect of our lives! Like many of us, I am worried for my children and grandchildren.


We meet every other __(Day of week)____ at _____(Location)____ starting at _____(Time)___ p.m. Our objective is to get citizens, like you, to join us and educate them on what they can do.


I want to invite you, your spouse, neighbors, relatives, and friends to come and hear what we are doing locally next  __(Day and Date)___ . It is very satisfying to be united with other patriots and share in this movement to take back our country. Can I count on you to come to this meeting?


If you would be so kind to give me your e-mail address, I’ll put you on our list to keep you informed.


Thank you and have a good day/ evening / weekend.

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