In 2017 Tech For Campaigns (TFC) started as an idea between three tech entrepreneurs who believed that tech workers would jump at the opportunity to apply their skills to help elect Democrats. Within three days of sharing their idea via a Google doc, Jessica Alter and her co-founders had amassed 700+ interested volunteers. The challenge they faced was scaling that initial group of interested volunteers to meet the needs of hundreds of Democratic candidates across the country.
Jessica says, “The demand for highly skilled tech talent was huge from the outset, so we had to quickly identify a way to streamline the onboarding and matching of volunteers to projects.”
TFC’s Head of Operations, Alex Lindsay, says “We take privacy and security very seriously, and part of that is ensuring that every volunteer signs a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before they are added to any internal service.
“Our initial onboarding process included sending an email with a link to the NDA, a Slack Bot integration for internal notification of signed NDAs, followed by a manual step of recording and matching volunteers to projects,” says Alex.
Increase in the number of internal and campaign projects staffed
“We’ve grown from 50 to 250 projects staffed with volunteers in one year. HelloSign is helping us on our mission of becoming the digital arm for progressive and centrist candidates.”
Jessica, Alex, and team knew they had to build an automated onboarding workflow in order to scale the number of campaign projects in a major election year. So, they went to HelloSign, as they wanted a mobile-first API solution that they could embed into their volunteer matching system in a couple of days.
“What we like about the HelloSign API is that it allows us to maintain legally binding signatures with validated data for compliance, without any manual intervention”, says Jessica.
Alex adds, “Integrating the API has proved incredibly valuable, and was critical in automating our workflow. Once we initially match a volunteer with a project in our internal system, we’re notified immediately when the NDA is signed by the volunteer. The API integration allows the volunteer to automatically move through the onboarding pipeline, which has enabled us to remove a manual step from our process.”
Another big achievement in 2018 is the massive increase in the number of internal and campaign projects that have been staffed with digital volunteers. “We’ve grown from 50 to 250 projects staffed with volunteers in one year. HelloSign is helping us on our mission of becoming the digital arm for progressive and centrist candidates,” says Jessica.
Alex adds, “When campaigns come to us looking to run digital projects that are critical to their electoral success, our own digital transformation is enabling us to become their digital partner. We can quickly identify their needs and match them with a team of three to five volunteers with deep, relevant tech expertise.”
In 2018, just their second year in operation, Jessica and the TFC team have driven a huge increase in the number of volunteers interested in working on internal and campaign projects.
Jessica, named by Fast Company as one of the Most Creative People in 2018, says “In 18 months, we’ve built a community of nearly 10,000 digital volunteers skilled in marketing, design, social media, engineering, data analytics, and more - who’ve all signed up to help make a positive impact through the TFC platform.”
Alex adds, “Leveraging the HelloSign API in the final volunteer-project match confirmation step was an essential component of enabling TFC to scale the number of volunteers working on projects by almost 5X - from 150 to 650 in one year.”
Tech for Campaigns is the largest digital, political volunteer network in the United States. They provide progressive and centrist political campaigns with access to world-class talent and technology to implement digital strategies needed to win, powered by a growing community of nearly 10,000 skilled volunteers.
10,000: Digital volunteers
300+: Internal and campaign projects completed, such as digital ads, email fundraising, get-out-the-vote texting, custom software projects, and data segmentation and analysis
133: Number of campaigns staffed with volunteers
Reducing the cycle time of getting signed NDAs enabled a significant portion of those 10,000 volunteers to get working faster by boosting TFC’s operational efficiencies.
“One of the key metrics we look at when we're evaluating operational efficiency is the total time required to staff a project. Every time we have to do something manually (like send an email), it consumes time and effort that negatively impacts this metric.
“Integrating HelloSign has played a role in reducing the total time to staff projects, increasing the number of campaigns we can match each cycle, and enabling campaigns to leverage the skills of our talented tech community.” says Alex.
The digital boost that Tech for Campaigns provides to campaigns is giving them a competitive edge, while offering tech workers opportunities to volunteer their skills in meaningful and impactful ways. In 2019, Jessica and team are looking forward to delivering even more digital projects in key states, as well as gearing up for the major 2020 election cycle.
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