In March of 2020, When We All Vote partnered with Impactive for a once-in-a-lifetime voter registration event — in hours, volunteers across the nation conducted outreach to nearly half a million unregistered voters. A global pandemic changed the landscape of political organizing, but organizers from When We All Vote tapped into the growing energy of Americans who were stuck at home but eager to make a difference.
When We All Vote is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization focused on increasing voter participation by changing the culture around voting. Ahead of the 2018 midterms, When We All Vote successfully held 2,500 local voter registration events across the country, educated 200 million Americans about the significance of voting, and texted almost four million voters to register and get to the ballot box.
But 2020 was shaping up to be an exceedingly unique year. The global pandemic required people to stay at home, and When We All Vote organizers grappled with the key question: How do we adapt programs to the current environment?
Their solution was #CouchParty, a large-scale virtual grassroots organizing and voter outreach event designed to encourage Americans to register to vote. Host DJ D-Nice energized thousands of volunteers with world-class entertainment during the multi-hour event, which was dubbed a “party with a purpose.”
With such a large group of volunteers attending the virtual event from all over the nation, When We All Vote needed an infallible peer-to-peer texting tool to support hundreds of thousands of messages going out at once. Impactive met this challenge and provided the platform that drove the event’s success.
Before #CouchParty started, When We All Vote organizers ensured a seamless volunteer experience by creating pre-written scripts in Impactive’s Peer-to-Peer Texting action. They also added dynamic variables to messaging scripts (like a contact’s first name) to instantly personalize peer-to-peer messages.
When the event started, volunteers were invited to download Impactive on their phones and begin texting. Since the messages were pre-scripted, volunteers only needed to click to send. In minutes, they were sending texts linking to When We All Vote’s registration tool to a list of unregistered voters. Volunteers were also encouraged to text their own friends and family about registering to vote using Impactive’s Friends and Family Messaging, which syncs contacts to the volunteer’s phone (with their permission) and allows them to easily send scripted content.
The #CouchParty was attended by thousands of passionate volunteers and a few celebrities, including Tracee Ellis Ross and Lin-Manuel Miranda. When We All Vote’s ambitious goal for the event was to text 50,000 unregistered voters and encourage them to get registered. However, the #CouchParty volunteer team blew that goal out of the water — in fact, they reached 50,000 eligible voters in less than an hour.
The only thing left to do was aim higher, and volunteers rose to the challenge. In just three and a half hours, When We All Vote volunteers reached over 400,000 unregistered voters with Impactive. More than 60,000 participants joined the #CouchParty, and 7,500 volunteers used Impactive to text voters.
Powered by Impactive’s streamlined Peer-to-Peer Texting and the energy of Americans inspired to take action, When We All Vote’s efforts to register more voters were a huge success. #CouchParty remains an outstanding example of how organizations can host a high-impact, at-home event. Volunteers appreciate any steps to make organizing fun — creating an energizing atmosphere boosted volunteer morale and built a passionate and engaged community.
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