NGP VAN is a technology provider who helps Democratic politicians manage their campaigns for office. They also provide their services to progressive organizations such as nonprofits and labor unions. One of their newest tools is MiniVAN which is a mobile canvassing app. Canvassing is one of the most important activities when running a political campaign. Studies done on canvassing have shows that just talking to a person in person can boost the odds of them going to the voting booth by 20%.
It can be pretty tedious getting a canvassing event organized, however. Hours have to be spent entering data, cutting turf, and putting together packets. MiniVan helps reduce these issues and save the organizers time. The volunteers out doing the canvassing don’t have to carry around a walk-packet anymore as they can access all the information they need on their smartphone. The app even lets the organizer give these volunteers a customized script to follow when talking to people.
The team at NGP VAN helps run a campaign in many ways. They now have four phone tools to assist in this effort. Jacob Winowich is the director of phone services for this organization and he gave a synopsis of each of these. The four tools are called RoboSurveys, Predictive Dialer, RoboCalls, and Live Call. He said that Predictive Dialer auto dials phone numbers and passes any ones that are answered over to a live human. This is three times more efficient than dialing phone numbers by hand.
The Next two tools are RoboSurveys and RoboCalls. NGP Van says that to use RoboSurveys effectively you ought to go with two or three questions. People are going to start hanging up if you use more than that. NGP VAN says that RoboCalls helps to either get breaking news out quickly or to defend against false attacks on the candidate. One example Jacob used was saying that he used RoboCalls to get out the word that former President Bill Clinton had endorsed his candidacy.
Finally, Live Call allows political campaigns to provide their call centers with lists of voters. NGP VAN says the call center does all the work and the campaign just needs to give them the phone numbers of who they should be calling. The call center is operated by NGP VAN and has high-quality staff in place. Jacob said it’s almost like just pushing a button to have voters begin to get contacted.