To create a Virtual Event Phone Bank, you have 3 options:

  1. Change In-Person Events into Virtual Events,
  2. Create a new Virtual Event with flexible shifts, or
  3. Create a new Virtual Event with fixed shifts.

What's the difference?

Fixed shifts are similar to shifts you'd set up for In-Person Events. Volunteers choose a time in the future and are sent details on how to log into Phone Bank platforms. With flexible timing, volunteers will be able to start making calls immediately or choose any time within a broader timeframe you set. Read more here.

Note: Using our VAN integration? Before you get started, make sure your VAN Settings are updated to account for new Event Types and that you've configured these in VAN as well.

Create a new Virtual Phone Bank with fixed shifts

  • Click New shifted virtual event.
  • Under Type, choose Virtual Phone Bank.
  • If applicable, Customize VAN Settings for this event.
  • If you want to be able to control who participates, make the event Private - private events will not show up on your Mobilize feed, only folks you send the link to directly will be able to see the event. 
  • Add a Location to help people find your Event.
  • Enter a Description with details about the goals and objectives of the Event.
  • Because this type of event does not allow people to take action immediately, more logistical information may be necessary. This information can be entered in the Description, or in the Private Details, in order to prevent security issues. Private Details will only show up in volunteer confirmation messages.
  • Examples of information to include are instructions for how people will log into the Phone Bank platform, or link to a Google doc that will explain the process further.
  • Use Markdown to format the description.
  • Fill out other required fields and add shifts for volunteers to sign up.
  • Click "Submit."

Here are some good examples of Virtual events with fixed shifts:

Create a new Virtual Phone Bank with flexible shifts

  • Click New virtual action. 
  • Under Type, choose Virtual phone bank. 
  • If applicable, Customize VAN Settings for this event.
  • If you want to be able to control who participates, make the event Private - private events will not show up on your Mobilize feed, only folks you send the link to directly will be able to see the event. 
  • Add a Location to help people find your Event.
  • Enter a Description with details about the goals and objectives of the Event.
  • To prevent security issues, enter instructions on how people will log into the Phone Bank platform, or link to a Google doc that will explain the process further into Private Details; these will only show up in volunteer confirmation messages.
  • Use Markdown to format the description.
  • with details about 
  • Fill out the other required fields.
  • Set up specific Virtual action settings. Your action button could say something like, "Make calls now!" or come up with something more creative. Link to a Phone Banking platform, like Hubdialer or openVPB. The action button will be visible during the times you schedule in the next step.
  • Schedule times. Enter a single time or auto-populate the list with recurring times. The action button will show during the windows set up; if volunteers click on the event during a time outside of those windows, they'll be able to sign up to participate during a later window. Choose how often the Event should recur, the calendar days on which it should take place, and a Start time and End time.
  • If volunteers should be able to take action at any time, choose a daily recurring event over a larger period of time and set the Start time to 12:00 AM and End time to 11:59 PM.
  • Determine whether volunteers should be able to sign up for future shifts by selecting, "Don't let volunteers pick future times during these scheduled times." If selected, people will only see the action button during the time windows chosen and will not be able to sign up for future shifts. If not selected, this will allow people to only take action during the time windows selected and also sign up for future shifts.

Here are examples of Virtual Phone Banks with flexible timing:

Best Practices and Tips

  1. Train your volunteers on conferencing platforms so they can get used to joining future events. Being on screen can feel awkward the first few times so get people used to it by letting them play around on the platform.
  2. Train volunteers on how to do Virtual Phone Banks. Schedule a virtual video webinar and teach volunteers how to navigate a Phone Banking platform. Make sure to provide an agenda ahead of time; include an icebreaker to build community and get everyone comfortable, and account for Q&A time.
  3. Provide help documentation to supplement trainings. Set up shared Google docs and crowdsource how-to steps or look for existing documentation on the platform's help desk.
  4. Use engaging event graphics.* The best ones I've seen are super clean and simple, like the ones in the screencaps above.
  5. Get creative! Social distancing can be isolating. Help supporters build community and capacity by coming up with new reasons to hold Phone Banks like neighborhood checkins or coordinating mutual aid.

*Free idea: Kids home from school? Get them set up on Canva or whatever graphics software you've got and let them create a few event photos; alternatively, scan their physical artwork with your phone.

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