2012trainingmanual chap3

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OTHER GROW WIKI DOCUMENTS: http://wiki.cagreens.org/index.php/Grassroots_Organizing_Working_Group


The weekly cycle is the core of the systematic approach. Because it's a cycle, I could start anywhere; but I'd like to start with phonebanking, because it's the engine that keeps the cycle moving.

Phonebanking and reminder postcards

Call through the volunteers and ask people to sign up for the coming weekend's tabling shifts.

Note their response on you call sheet or directly in the Green Party of California online database.

(You may want to develop codes for wrong numbers, busy signals, etc.)

Anyone who commits to do a shift the coming weekend should be sent a reminder email that very night. The reminder email is particularly important for people who were unable to come out this coming weekend and signed up for some future date; if they've signed up really far in advance, put their contact information in a tickler file for mailing closer to the date. Their name and phone number should be listed on a sheet in a calendar notebook so that reminder calls can be made the day before people are expected.

Materials ready for next weekend

Clear off all the clipboards used during the previous weekend. You will often find completed registration forms hidden among the blanks. Load clipboards and prepare literature, pens, etc. It's best to make self-contained packets, one per ironing board, with six clipboards, literature, pens, donation can, etc. Do this early in the week, so that you are not rushing at the last minute as volunteers arrive on Saturday morning.

Reminder calls

Make reminder calls the night before the person is expected for tabling. If you are uncomfortable calling a grown human being to remind them, you may want to make the call to give them additional information, if there is some. I often call to ask whether they've succeeded in recruiting a friend to come with them, so that I can estimate how many materials I need for the following day. The concept of bringing a friend should be mentioned during debriefings and phonebanking.


Conduct an orientation on weekends to prepare volunteers for tabling. Split the orientation between two people for variety. Cover voter registration techniques and Green Party positions. Be informative and entertaining. Refreshments are a good thing to have.


Go out to high-traffic areas and ask as many people as possible to register Green. Ask them to volunteer, and ask them for a dollar.


Have volunteers come back to headquarters after tabling. Refreshments should be available. Tally up registrations, volunteers recruited, and donations collected. It's important for volunteers to see how well other volunteers have done. Often a volunteer will come back with $5--because they didn't ask people for money--and another will come back with $35. The next weekend the person who raised only $5 before will raise considerably more, because they now know it's possible. Debriefing is a good time to find out who's good at tabling and who isn't, and to recruit people to take on responsibility for other tasks in the system. It's also a good opportunity to find out what people "on the street" have been asking about the Green Party, so that literature can be modified to address their questions and concerns.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of this debriefing and socializing time; it's essential in building a base of volunteers.

County Council meetings

I recommend that county council meetings should immediately follow your debriefing. This allows people who have been volunteering to become more involved at a policy level.

Data entry

Completed registration cards should go promptly to data entry, and the information necessary for making a mailing list and phone sheets should be entered into the database.

If you are interested in learning how to do data entry directly into the Green Party of California online database, contact Marnie Glickman at marnie@cagreens.org and 415.259.7121.

If you do not have the resources to enter every card, at the very least enter those with phone numbers. However, I strongly recommend entering every card for mailing list purposes. From time to time you should check the county list, to pick up names of people who have registered with the Green Party but mailed in their registration forms. Look into purchasing the registrar's database of Green Party members in electronic form. This is usually too costly.

Delivering registration cards and picking up new ones

After registration cards have been used for data entry, they should be hand-delivered to the registrar's office. Blank registration cards can be picked up, as needed, at the same time. It's not a bad idea to have the same one or two people doing this task each week, so that they can develop a friendly relationship with folks at the registrar's office and perhaps get better service in the future. State law requires that the cards be turned in within three days of completion. While I do not find xeroxing to be environmentally sound, it may be necessary if data entry is going slowly. Check with your registrar's office to see how big a problem they believe late turn-ins to be. Since no election is coming up, they may not mind a slight delay. Currently no one is serving time in any California penal institution for late turn-in of a registration card, but every effort should be made to comply with the law.