How Mobile Canvassing Upgraded Campaigns in 2016

November 21, 2016 | NGP VAN

This year campaigns and organizations ditched paper and clipboards for smartphones and tablets like never before. Thousands of progressive organizers and volunteers used MiniVAN this year to contact tens of millions of voters. That’s more than a 200% increase over 2012. More campaigns are understanding the value of going paperless: improving the canvassing experience and saving organizers critical time by cutting down on data entry.

New Innovations for MiniVAN This Cycle:

In June, we unveiled a major new upgrade for all MiniVAN users: automated script branching. In a nutshell, the new feature allows for canvassers to conditionally select the next question on a script based on the response they receive from the person answering the door. Organizers can now personalize a script to the individual in a given household by following a conversation with a supporter with a series of volunteer asks, or follow up with an undecided voter with a script meant to persuade.

Find My Next Door is another new feature that helps guide canvassers through their turf. MiniVAN now calculates the next three closest uncanvassed houses to a user’s current location – helping them plan their route through a given turf packet more efficiently. The list of closest doors will update as canvassers move through a neighborhood.

MiniVAN Manager, launched earlier this cycle, is a groundbreaking new tool that allows campaigns to track their canvassers in real time. MiniVAN Manager includes a dashboard to monitor canvasser location, progress through turf, and efficiency of volunteers or paid canvassers as they are out knocking doors. 

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MiniVAN on the Campaign Trail:

Let’s face it, some of this year’s election results were rough – but there were some really incredible wins that we can all be proud of!

In Nevada, Immigrant Voters Win PAC turned out enough Latino and immigrant voters to elect the first Latina U.S. Senator and win two competitive Congressional elections. The PAC’s sophisticated field program relied on hundreds of canvassers to knock on thousands of doors – and they used MiniVAN Manager to track their program in real time. 

“A data-driven, high tech field program was the central focus of our work in turning out the Latino vote in Nevada,” says Chris Torres, Campaign Manager of Immigrant Voters Win PAC. “MiniVAN Manager helped us track our canvassers and measure data in real time, which improved our efficiency and allowed us to reach more voters.”

In other places, like Georgia, Tennessee and Minnesota, nonprofit civic engagement programs and down-ballot state legislative campaigns used MiniVAN to Get-Out-The-Vote:

And in Arizona, the Bazta Arpaio campaign combined grassroots activism with a serious campaign field program to beat notorious anti-immigrant Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The group’s staff and volunteers were powered by MiniVAN.