Frequently Asked Questions
You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers! Check out our FAQ section about joining the NextGen team.
We use our Slack workspace as our virtual field office to try to recreate the feeling of community when you volunteer in person. To be a part of the fun and stay up to date with our events and actions, join here.
You can check out this Slack video tutorial to get a feel of how we use Slack. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us in the #help channel!
If your school or organization approves us as a volunteer option, we’d love to have you and your friends do your volunteer hours with us! Please let someone on our team know when you need volunteer hours, and we can get you set up.
Yes! We put a lot of value on diversity, inclusivity, and accessibility, and that also applies to our volunteer team. As long as you care about empowering and mobilizing the #youthvote, we’d love to have you!
Many people assume that young people don’t pick up the phone or won’t want to talk on the phone. However, plenty of young people 18-35 are comfortable on the phone and are appreciative to have someone answer their questions in real time — whether about voting or how to advocate for the issues they care about. Our scripts are catered to young voters and designed to help you have efficient and to-the-point phone calls, where we can connect young people with the resources they need to be engaged in our democracy.
Our dialer system will only connect you to people who pick up the phone — anyone who doesn’t pick up will get filtered out! This makes it so you can focus on having conversations with the folks you reach and you won’t have to waste any time with voicemail boxes.
You’ll make all of your calls using a web platform called ThruTalk. ThruTalk operates like a website and you do not need to download any software in order to use it. ThruTalk is designed specifically for making a lot of calls quickly and uses a campaign number to make the calls. Your personal phone number and information will never be shown to the voters when making calls. You’ll need to access ThruTalk and the script on a computer or tablet, but you do have the option to connect your phone’s audio to ThruTalk– this will allow you to hold your phone up to your ear or use your headphones to talk on the phone however you usually do.
We recommend that first-time callers attend a training before making calls. The trainings are 30-45 minute live sessions via Zoom where you will learn how to use ThruTalk and Slack. It will also include a review of the current script. You can find upcoming times here: http://nxtgn.us/calltraining
Calling gets easier once you are in a rhythm, so we also recommend staying logged in on the dialer for at least 30-minute chunks of time.
The last tip is to have fun and not worry about having the perfect phone call! It takes time for the script to feel natural, and you may wish to change some of the words around, which is perfectly okay. If a call didn’t go as well as you had hoped, don’t be too hard on yourself, and there’s always the next one.
Calling is a great way to maximize your impact as a text banking volunteer! It’s the closest you can get to engaging a voter in a face-to-face conversation from afar. You get to have real-time conversations with voters and wrap up the conversation in one fell swoop, rather than waiting for replies. It feels so rewarding when you are able to actually hear someone’s voice when you’re helping them! We hope you’ll join us and the best way to start is with a training!
To start calling, first sign up for a shift here: http://nxtgn.us/callteam Then, before your shift, be sure to read through the training guide or review the training videos. You should also click through the script preview and join our Slack workspace. Then you’re ready to log in to the dialer and make calls! You can find the link to log in to the phonebank on Slack or in your email confirmation after signing up for a shift.
You never need to answer a question you don’t know the answer to. We have a team of volunteers and staff on-call to answer any questions you have while making calls. You can ask your questions in our Slack workspace in the #calling channel.
If you reach someone who would like to be connected to staff directly, you can give them this email address to send their question to: firstname.lastname@example.org
First you’ll want to attend a training or watch our training videos. You’ll then sign up to join our virtual field office (Slack) and head to the #texting-onboarding channel. From there, you’ll take a quiz and a volunteer leader will guide you through next steps.
It does! Texting is both efficient and effective. It allows us to cast a wide net for outreach. We’ve been able to help voters register, find their polling place, and more. The great thing about texting is that even if folks don’t respond, they’re able to see important information and reminders.
Even when receiving “opt outs” or requests to stop, you are making a difference! This allows us to refine our lists for the future.
We focus on voter registration and “get out the vote” efforts along with inviting folks to join our in person events, along with advocacy work focusing on efforts such as student loan debt forgiveness, permanent protections for immigrants, and other types of legislation.
Voters will not be able to see your contact information. The most a voter will see is your first name. You won’t be using your personal phone number either! ThruText (our texting platform) provides us with phone numbers to use.
Response rates vary and depend on factors such as type of outreach, state we are texting, and the size of a given campaign. You should expect a handful of responses for each batch (300 texts) you send.
Yes! Slack is how we communicate with one another while texting and it’s how you’ll get the link to send texts!
We have wonderful volunteer leaders in our #text-questions who will help you with any questions you may have while texting.
We have a dedicated Slack channel called #text-questions where you can post your questions. We have a team of volunteer leaders and staff who are available to assist you.