Here’s What You Missed at our 2022 Kickoff Call
About Us: Progressive Turnout Project is the largest voter contact organization in the country, specifically dedicated to mobilizing the Democratic Party and defending democracy. Our mission: rally Democrats to vote.
Last week, Progressive Turnout Project was thrilled to host more than 1,700 of our supporters for a call about our strategy for the 2022 midterms. We want to keep you updated on how we’re innovating with new ideas and tactics to complement the research-driven, data-tested programs that we know work. Here’s what we covered:
The Year Ahead
Progressive Turnout Project has always built programs and connected with voters in the most competitive, consequential elections, and this year will be no different.
As always, we’ll be focused on voter contact — making connections with inconsistent Democratic voters — and expanding programs that rely on updating the Democratic playbook, building and testing new ways to reach voters that traditional campaigning can’t.
So what do the months ahead look like for us? Just like you, we are focused on the midterms and are tracking November 2022 elections in the U.S. House and Senate as well as statehouses across the country.
We’ll explore how best to implement field programs in battleground states key to maintaining and expanding Democratic control of the Senate.
Hundreds of Campaign Fellows
Progressive Turnout Project’s Campaign Fellows program allows us to directly support campaigns — folks running for state-level races as well as Congressional candidates — by embedding fellows
We provide funding for campaigns to expand their staff. We help them bring on an individual, trained and supported by a PTP team, who is dedicated to best-in-class field and campaign tactics.
To date, we’ve placed more than 275 Fellows on federal and state races, supporting the next generation of progressive organizers and allowing for short-staffed campaigns to fine-tune their voter contact efforts.
This year, we plan to fund up to 1,000 Fellows across federal and state legislative races.
Thousands of Community Mobilizers
Our Community Mobilizer program saw its first successful run during our pilot in 2021. During this pilot, we onboarded over 200 community mobilizers to talk with their friends, families and community members, and contacted 13,460 Virginia voters.
This is called relational organizing: training trusted messengers to motivate their network to vote. It’s an extremely effective form of voter contact — more effective than door-to-door conversations, social-pressure mail, or text messages.
Using an app, Community Mobilizers connect to the people in their network who we’ve already identified as inconsistent Democratic voters — the folks who don’t always vote, but are much more likely to if they get a nudge or two from a friend.
By following up with those contacts over the last few weeks before election day, community mobilizers ensure voters are equipped to make their voices heard.
We plan to hire up to 6,000 Community Mobilizers so we can replicate this success in key battleground states.
Millions of Postcards
Postcards to Swing States started in a volunteer’s garage in December 2019. In just two years, our volunteers across all 50 states have sent 29 million handwritten messages to voters, more than any other organization.
This year, Postcards to Swing States is working on several programs designed to mobilize voters even more effectively than in the past..
First, we’ll be focused on increasing Democratic turnout in the Pennsylvania primary election. We’re partnering with Anat Shenker-Osorio, the Principal and Founder of ASO Communications and host of a podcast called Words to Win By, on the messages for those postcards. Over the course of the program, we’ll send over half a million postcards to Democratic voters.
Our second postcards initiative will highlight what Democrats have already delivered so voters understand that progress has been made and are motivated to vote this fall. We’re going to send up to 4 million postcards to voters in states with critical Senate races where we’re defending Democratic incumbents: Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
Starting in May, we’ll write 7 million postcards to Democratic voters in states with key Senate elections, which volunteers will mail out in two rounds this fall. The first mailing will be timed to increase vote by mail participation and early voting, while the second mailing will focus on Election Day turnout.
This year will also see the debut of a new initiative: Neighborhood Letters.
We’re sending volunteers a list of Democrats in their neighborhood along with a template letter from them to their neighbors encouraging them to vote in the midterms. We’ll roll out this program in Pennsylvania ahead of their primary before expanding it to key Senate states this summer.
For more information on any of our Postcards to Swing States programs or how to volunteer, visit the Postcards website.
At least $1 million in Turnout Grants
Our Turnout Grants initiative will provide individual grants of up to $250,000, totaling at least $1 million, in early funding to grassroots organizations across the country.
The initiative is inspired by organizations like Fair Fight Action and New Georgia Project, who proved that dedicated groups with local expertise can move mountains when it comes to voter contact — especially if they have access to the funding they need to expand. Our hope is that we can provide valuable seed money that can make a big difference in organizations, giving them a boost to expand or to explore new tactics.
Our grant application is now open! We’ll be accepting applications through April, with a priority deadline of February 28.
Are you in?
We’re moving quickly to execute these plans and we’re looking forward to updating you with the details of our successful programs. But we won’t be able to tackle all of this without your support. We rely on small dollar donations to power our work, to be able to hire our expert staff, distribute grassroots grants, send out postcards and connect with friends and family in our networks.
We’d love to have you on our next call, but in the meantime, you can watch the full recording of last week’s call, which includes special messages from Anat Shenker-Osorio and US Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York’s 8th district.