When I was a child, I watched a lot of Disney movies. One of my favorite movies, and don’t judge me for this, was “The Little Mermaid”. The movie stayed with me growing up, and there’s one song in particular that I always remember: “Just kiss the girl.” The song’s lesson applies to many facets of life, and oddly enough, one of them is grassroots organizing.
I used to be a timid organizer. I used to worry about planning events because I was scared that no one would come. I worried that my phone banks would be unproductive . When I planned my first few phonebanks, I was too timid to “just kiss the girl.”
The reality is, if you follow best practices, the results will astound you. Invite volunteers a few days before the event, send out e-mail reminders, and follow up with confirmation calls.
A few weeks ago, I was worried that no one would show up for my statewide day of action phone bank, but I followed my own advice and took the plunge. I made calls beforehand and was pleasantly surprised: 20 volunteers showed up, and we surpassed our challenging call goal! The phone bank was a huge success. We reached out to the President’s supporters in Nevada and helped build enthusiasm for their caucus. The event was inspiring and it taught me, just like “The Little Mermaid” did, to just go for it.
Since then, I have been rolling with that “just do it” mantra. I plan events and don’t let my insecurities hold me back. The results have been fantastic. A new neighborhood team has started organically in my own community. A group of former strangers are now working together because of their shared support for the President. Instead of worrying about, low turnout we are routinely impressed by how many volunteers attend. It is a great problem to have.
I learned my lesson: just kiss the girl. If you’re nervous, do it. If you don’t think anyone is going to show up to your event, host it anyway. There are people across the country that are just waiting for an opportunity to help re-elect President Obama. Give them the chance, and they will take it. I promise you.So, when is your next phone bank?