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Save Our Democracy!

What is “Save Our Democracy!”?

Save Our Democracy! was founded by a team of dedicated volunteers united by a shared commitment to progressive politics, with areas of expertise including writing, design, marketing, social media, web engineering, and user experience.. We’re building an accessible movement that aims to activate 1,000 new volunteers for progressive causes before Election Day. 

If you’re interested in volunteer work, but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Our online interface streamlines the process of getting involved. We know that it’s crunch time, and late stage volunteering is critical to increasing voter turnout.

We’ve handled the logistics, and now we’re asking you to sign up with us, and share our site with your networks. Let’s make these last few weeks count.

Who's on the Save Our Democracy! team?

We are a group of dedicated volunteers brought together by our shared commitment to progressive politics. Spearheaded by our co-founders Sam and Jules, Save Our Democracy! is composed of a team of 15+ volunteers, including web engineers, graphic designers, marketing managers, user experience designers, copywriters, and research directors. Please reach out to hello@saveourdemocracy.win, or shoot us a DM on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter if you’re interested in learning more.

Why should I take the opportunity quiz?

The Save Our Democracy! team has worked hard to develop a two-minute quiz to provide recommendations for volunteer opportunities at various campaigns and organizations based on your skills and preferences. The quiz is what makes our platform unique. It simplifies the process of involvement by saving you the time and energy required to comb through search engine results. We hope you’ll give it a shot and explore your options!

How did you find all of these organizations?

To date, there have been few platforms that have consolidated high quality progressive volunteer opportunities. To fill this gap, we conducted a comprehensive search of the Internet and crowdsourced our networks to identify the best organizations. Each of our featured organizations have been researched by our team, and we tried out every volunteer experience to make sure they’ll be interesting and worthwhile to our users.

How will Save Our Democracy! use my personal information?

Save Our Democracy! is a pro-bono initiative operated by a volunteer team. Any information shared with Save Our Democracy! is for internal use only in the context of our survey and will not be reproduced or externally distributed. Provision of personal data including but not limited to name, email address, region, or age range is strictly voluntary. Any minors who visit Save Our Democracy must use the site with parental permission and supervision. Please contact us at hello@saveourdemocracy.win with any questions.

How can I share Save Our Democracy! with my friends and family?

Share our website, invite them to follow us on social media, or simply have a conversation about Save Our Democracy!’s mission and work. Better yet, invite them to take the opportunity quiz and find opportunities to volunteer together.

How can I get in touch?

We’d love to hear from you! 

The importance and psychology of volunteering

Why does increasing voter turnout matter?

In a democracy like the United States, voting produces a government that caters to the policy preferences and interests of voters. Having a government that truly represents the will of the people requires the majority of voters showing up to the polls, yet half of Americans generally abstain from voting. Engaging voters who may feel disempowered, cynical, and alienated by politics is essential to getting out those votes.  Increased turnout will help shape a government that better represents the American people.

Why are people so nervous about phone banking?

Performance anxiety and fear of judgement are just some of the concerns people associate with phone banking. On top of delivering a persuasive pitch, phone bankers are expected to field questions about candidates. It’s reasonable to feel nervous when representing a cause you care about. However, experienced phone bankers can attest to the fact that phone banking gets easier with practice. We can also tell you from experience that unpleasant encounters during calls are fairly unusual—you might get hung up on a few times, but it’s unlikely that you’ll deal with anyone malicious. You’ll stand in solidarity with the thousands of other phone bankers dialing numbers along with you across the country, so the overall experience should be rewarding and energizing.

When do I feel like enough is enough?

For many, the stakes feel incredibly high for this upcoming presidential election. Some might feel compelled to do everything in their power to ensure that Trump is ousted from office. However, it is important for volunteers to identify when they are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or stressed. Volunteer burnout is real. Recognize warning signs like exhaustion and detachment. Taking a step back can help maintain volunteer energy and wellbeing.

Looking back and looking forward

Why didn't Clinton win in 2016?

Four years ago, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote over Donald Trump by 2.1%. She became the fifth candidate in presidential history to lose an election despite winning the popular vote. However, progressive turnout in battleground states was not as hoped, and Trump swept the electoral college in places like Pennsylvania. He clinched the election by appealing to critical demographics such as rural white voters, while Clinton missed out on the support of a large, passionate base of young progressives. We cannot let this happen again.

What are people regretful about after 2016?

Here’s the refrain we’ve all heard too often over the course of Trump’s presidency: “I never thought he’d actually win.” Turnout for the 2016 election was the lowest the country had seen in over 20 years. At the time, many Americans found themselves deeply dissatisfied with both candidates, and chose not to vote as a result. Moreover, large swathes of people assumed that their individual vote wouldn’t matter; Trump could never steal the election. As Americans reflect on the increasing chaos of the last four years, it feels more important than ever to steer the country left again. Supporting progressive candidates and pushing for increased voter turnout is our best chance at ridding the country of Trump’s corruption and carving a path for a better future.

I make a point of voting in all elections. Why do I need to do more?

One of the key issues that threatens our path to restoring progressive leadership in the White House is low voter turnout. It is important that every citizen does their part to encourage all eligible voters, particular Democratic voters, to participate—elections should be a representation of the will of all of our nation’s people. Volunteering allows you to magnify your power to make a change. By engaging with unregistered and tentative voters, you’ll help others make their voices heard, and increase the number of progressive people at the polls on Election Day.

Logistics

Do I have to be based in a particular region to volunteer?

Almost all of our featured volunteer opportunities are virtual, so anyone can get involved regardless of location! In fact, if you’re in a strong blue region, there’s a strong chance you’ll end up working with organizations or campaigns based in battleground states. You can even volunteer from abroad if you adjust to the right time zone. Check out our opportunity quiz to identify opportunities that are right for you.

Can I volunteer if I’m not a US citizen or an American expat living abroad?

Yes, there are methods of involvement for non-US citizens and Americans abroad, but be aware that there are some tricky stipulations. Although people who are defined as foreign nationals are prohibited from registering to vote or making any monetary contributions to campaigns, non-compensated volunteer work is permitted. Still, it is best to exercise caution when engaging politically, so we encourage you to double check with any organizations you’re interested in working with before getting started.

I sent a volunteer interest form to an organization and haven’t heard back yet. What should I do?

Some organizations will evaluate new volunteer requests more quickly than others, so it may take a few business days before you get a response. If you’re eager to get started, try signing up with multiple organizations, including those with instant registration options.

Can I still volunteer if I’m not well-read on current events?

Absolutely! Volunteer opportunities aren’t intended to be intimidating, and our featured organizations are backed by enthusiastic folks who want to make you feel comfortable and excited about volunteering. When you’re interacting with voters, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll encounter complicated policy questions. You’ll have the training and resources necessary to get up to speed, and someone else at the organization can follow up with people who have more complex questions.

Phone banking

Why is phone banking important?

Other than in-person canvassing, phone banking has been proven as one of the most efficient ways to get out the vote. Numerous rigorous studies have shown that the best get-out-the-vote strategies involve forming personal connections with voters. Phone banking allows callers to do just that. On top of effectively engaging voters, phone banking provides campaigns with invaluable data on voter contact information which can improve campaign efforts down the line.

Why don’t more people phone bank?

Many people think that they’re too shy for phone banking. Admittedly, it can be nerve-wracking at first to cold call voters. But think of it as adding more people to your team—a team that will shape the future of the nation. You’ll get more comfortable as you continue to make calls, and most organizations provide a script for volunteers to follow so you don’t get stuck. Plus, lots of our featured organizations offer group phone banking opportunities, so you can connect with fellow volunteers to share best practices and calm your nerves.

Text banking

What is text banking? Why is text banking important?

Text banking is the millennial-preferred version of phone-banking—a primary means of grassroots campaign outreach. It’s a quick and effective way to get out essential information about candidates and elections. These days, text banking functions as an efficient way to reach a large audience, since many people are reluctant to pick up their phones. It can be a means of more extensive communication with voters who have their phone on hand, but perhaps don’t have the time to take a call. Plus, it’s a great option for volunteers who are phone shy!

Who is text banking a good option for?

Text banking is a good option for anyone—especially young voters, who can be hesitant to engage in phone conversations. It’s also a good option for those who might consider phone banking too “invasive,” yet feel comfortable engaging via text.

What devices do I need for text banking? Will my phone number be visible when I call?

All you need is a working smart phone or computer. No one you contact will see your phone number, since you’ll be using an online texting tool to protect your privacy.

Letter writing

What does writing letters to voters entail?

Letter writing is a great option for those who enjoy the written word. You'll get out the vote the old fashioned way -- by sending letters to prospective voters by mail. All you need is a pen, paper, envelope, and stamps to get started, with some templates to guide you. You'll work on your letters over time and send them out all at once on a day designated by your organization of affiliation.

Volunteer testimonials

What is the purpose of Save Our Democracy!’s volunteer testimonials?

There are so many great organizations to volunteer with, but few resources that help interested volunteers assess whether certain opportunities will be a good fit for their skills, personality, and scheduling preferences. Our user testimonials help personalize this process by providing detailed accounts of what it’s like to volunteer for our selected organizations. 

Who is able to share a volunteer testimonial?

Anyone who has volunteered for any of our selected organizations is welcome to leave a testimonial. You will receive a follow-up email seven days after taking our quiz that will invite you to leave a testimonial if you’ve had a chance to volunteer. You'll also have the option to share your social media information, if you're open to other prospective volunteers asking you about your experience.