Services: Digital Organizing / Distributed Organizing / Events Management / Grassroots Organizing / Message Development / Text Messaging / Volunteer Management
TBC principal Craig Grella was with the Bernie 2016 Presidential campaign from the very beginning right through to the end. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention, and the digital operations manager for the national Distributed Organizing Team.
Early on in the campaign we knew Bernie’s message would resonate with people who felt their voices were not being heard in the political process. The ranks of volunteers and supporters grew quickly, during which time we engineered a digital universe where supporters could get information they needed to organize on their own and affect change right in their own backyards. It was distributed organizing at its finest!
Our first task was to standardize how we’d respond to supporters that had similar questions. The distributed organizing team took over email responses by creating the first ever help desk used in presidential campaigns. We answered more than 3,000 emails per day on average throughout the campaign and at times more than 10,000 in a single day, with an average response time under 15 minutes. We created a digital events hub and encouraged volunteers to create their own events in support of Bernie’s platform. We created a process to recruit and train volunteers to host those meetings, and in just a few months we had thousands of events on the map. Our work continued be creating specialized teams of volunteers who would perpetuate the distributed work cycle and continue growing the ranks of supporters and volunteers. The national distributed organizing team coordinated with nearly every facet of the campaign from digital to field, legal, and every in between. Together, we grew the ranks of supporters from just a few hundred to more than a million in just a few short months.
When the dust settled the work of the distributed organizing team helped to create tens of thousands of events across the country with hundreds of thousands of supporters attending. We made tens of millions of phone calls, sent nearly just as many text messages, and held training events and rallies in every state. We answered more than 1 million supporter emails, and trained hundreds of future political operatives. While Bernie ultimately lost the Democratic primary the work we created and performed forever changed the way distributed campaigns are run. Our methods and practices have been replicated in dozens of other large campaigns at every level of office in the U.S. and abroad. Additionally, Bernie was able to develop the largest ever list of progressive activists, with millions of people taking action since 2016. Many of those groups still exist today and are fundraising, supporting candidates, and winning races.