Free Conference Call Services That Actually Work Well

Depending on the size and budget of your campaign, having a staff HQ may not be feasible. Statewide campaigns may include volunteers from across large states, and meeting regularly will not be an option.  Wile videoconferencing is great for small groups, there is no substitute for old-fashioned conference calls for larger groups. 

Website: provides reliable rooms with good audio quality to accomodate up to 500 people at a time. They also offer paid services to host larger calls. Most campaigns will not need more than the free service offers, however.

There are a number of other features that make this service attractive.  A web dashboard allows you to monitor connections to the room in realtime, and to mute and unmute callers. An optional (and also free) recording service is available that records your call and makes it available for download and playback for 30 days.


Hire Freelance Help With Upwork

Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where you can connect and collaborate with independent professionals remotely. In a nutshell, it is an innovative platform that connects you with virtual freelancers that will do anything: clerical, meeting minutes, virtual assistance, data entry, etc.

Aside from the cost-saving benefits of hiring hourly employees, we can all appreciate the opportunity Upwork presents to reach talent from around the world. A user friendly workspace, voluntary terms, and best communication tools make this one of the best freelance connection services.

The Upwork website is an online staffing portal that connects employers to employees while being in front of their PCs. It is one of the largest market place sites in the world, which is why it is popular among virtual assistants and other freelance workers. This global marketplace aims at targeting people that are looking for remote, talented and efficient workers.

The portal contains a vast range of job categories like software development, graphics designing, web designing, data entry, article writing and many others. While volunteers are great for most tasks, it can be difficult encouraging them to tackle some of the unglamorous "grunt work" that is the backbone of any campaign.  In these cases, the cost of hiring a freelancer to quickly do the work may outweigh the pain of having it remain undone. 

Don't Get Bogged Down in E-Mail

6 hours and 28% of the average American’s day is spent trapped in emaill. Roughly 30 hours of a 168 hour week.

Party volunteers juggle many priorities. Email is a primary way to balance work, family, friends, and our Party duties. With so much to do, our email can get out of hand fast. 

We asked our team and Party leaders what tools work best for them. Here are some time saving tools they recommended: 

Website:    Price: Free

Boomerang for Gmail lets you take control of when you send and receive email messages. 

Pros: schedule emails to be sent later, look super attentive, remember correspondence you forgot, follow-up reminders for messages, archiving swiftly, people in different time zones

Remember that volunteer you were going to reply to, or that message you sent to a member about something you were going to do? And then a thing or three happened and that email disappeared into the ether? Boomerang can help you avoid these types of situations and ensure that you are properly engaging your audience.

Website:   Price: Free

If you’re like many people, you probably subscribe to a lot of email lists and newsletters that you never read. But it’s too much work to manually unsubscribe from them all so you just ignore them as best that you can. Or maybe you somehow ended up on Hillary’s mailing list and can’t get off.

How would you like to be able to see a list of all your email subscriptions and unsubscribe with one-click from every list you don’t read anymore? Well, is exactly what you are looking for. It also has a great daily digest feature, which allows you to segment your email subscriptions and then receive a daily email summarizing the entire segment. All it costs is the price of a single tweet!

Website:    Price: Free

Email signatures can be so boring and predictable, which means they will most likely get completely ignored. WiseStamp is an awesome, free Gmail plugin. It allows you to spice things up a bit with your photo, your website, important updates and graphic icons for social profiles. You can even integrate Google Analytics and use it to optimize your email signatures for engagement and clickthroughs.

Website:    Price: Free

One of the cardinal email mistakes is not following up quickly. FollowUpThen is a Gmail plugin that ensures you’ll never miss a follow up and you’ll impress prospects with your punctuality and determination. As they say in sports, it’s all about the follow through…in business, it’s all about the follow up! You can even send reminders to other people on your team to follow up.

From one of our experts:

This Gmail tool really blew me away when I was first introduced to it. It gives you seamless integration between your Gmail account and cloud-based tools like Evernote, Pocket, Trello, Salesforce, Zendesk and Mailchimp — which you can access and update without leaving your Gmail inbox. They also have nicely designed iPhone and Android apps. To integrate with cloud storage and photography websites like Instagram or Flickr use Cloudy For Gmail.



Taking Donations Online

Often overlooked, the ability to easily and conveniently take donations online is vital to any grassroots campaign.  It is key to offer as many options as possible so that people can choose what is most comfortable for them.  Even a seemingly simple request like asking them to enter a credit card number can turn some people off.

Libertarians should offer several choices beyond just credit cards. Bitcoin, Paypal, and other payment gateways that allow ease of completion are very helpful. On the McAfee campaign, when just credit cards were accepted through Stripe we received multiple failed donations due to small errors. Most were the wrong CCV number on a credit card.

We also learned that people actually DO still send checks in 2016, so don’t forget to include a mailing address at the footer of your website.

Donors and constituents should be treated like customers. Their donation is an investment. They are purchasing the hope that you will represent them well.

Making a streamlined user experience on your website is no different for you than it is an e-commerce business. If you make it difficult for a donor or don’t empower their generosity by making it one-click easy, you will lose.

Have a donation button on the top of your website AND the footer.