Revolution Online, June 24, 2012
Tips and Details for Phone Banking to Raise $50,000 for the Next Leg of the BAsics Bus Tour
This accompanies the BusTour-ScriptFlowChart.doc
The phone script shouldn't be read word for word—it is an orientation for the phone banking. Familiarize yourself with this so you can have a good back-and-forth without reading the script word for word. It may also be good to reread, and keep handy, the first editorial in Revolution newspaper on the BA Everywhere mass fundraising campaign (found at the top of revcom.us/BAfundcampaign and in Revolution #249, November 6, 2011).
Five tips for phone banking:
- Assign a team captain.
- The team captain will need to prepare what is needed for the phone banking get-together, present an orientation, and consolidate phone/contact lists or make sure that they are prepared in advance of the get-together. (On average you will talk to one person for every seven numbers you call, so try to have about 70 numbers for each member of the phone banking team.) Make enough copies of the script and the forms to fill out as you talk to people. Also, make sure you have a working phone for each person making calls, and a charger in case the batteries run out.
- Set a goal for money you will raise for the phone banking session.
- Practice together before you start calling. Speak clearly and slowly enough to be understood.
- After about 30-45 minutes into the actual phone banking, it would be good to stop and check in with each other to see how it's going. Continue to sum up along the way, and at the end.
- Make a plan for following up on the calls that need it, as well as following up in getting the donations.
THE TOUR IS POSTING REGULAR UPDATES AT basicsbustour.tumblr.com
Brief description of what happened during the previous leg of the tour:
This next leg will be building on—and taking further—the most recent experience with the bus tour which began in Atlanta, Georgia, and made its way to Sanford, Florida. Sanford is the site of the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a vigilante, and it is the place where tens of thousands came to protest this modern American legal lynching.
This tour has reached out to, and captured the imagination of, thousands—connecting people with the voice and work of Bob Avakian, the revolutionary leader who has developed a new synthesis of communism. And all throughout the tour, the volunteers worked to involve people in the campaign to spread BA's voice and work even further as part of building the movement for revolution. Hundreds of people all across the country came together to make this tour happen—contributing and raising funds, sending support statements, following and spreading the blog posts from the tour, helping to house and feed the volunteers in the places where the tour went. Hundreds were part of sending a message to the people of Sanford through signed banners with quote 1:13 from Avakian's BAsics:
"No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that."
What to tell people about how they should donate:
The Bob Avakian Institute is a nonprofit institute organized for educational purposes. Its mission is to preserve, project, and promote the works and vision of Bob Avakian with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience. In furtherance of its mission, The Bob Avakian Institute financially supports projects aimed at Spreading BA Everywhere.
At this time, donations can only be solicited and accepted from residents of the following states: California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming. All donations from these states are greatly appreciated. Residents of these same states can donate online at thebobavakianinstitute.org.
Checks or money orders may be made out and mailed to:
The Bob Avakian Institute
(or The BA Institute—either name is acceptable)
1016 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60607
Please be aware that The Bob Avakian Institute is not tax exempt and donations made to it are not tax deductible.
Disclosure statements can be found at The Bob Avakian Institute website at thebobavakianinstitute.org.
• • •
If you would like to make a check or donate online to the BA Everywhere campaign but live in a state other than California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming, contributions can be made payable to RCP Publications online at revcom.us/BAfundcampaign or sent to RCP Publications, PO Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654 (indicate "BA Everywhere"). Contributions or gifts to RCP Publications are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
OR you can arrange to have someone pick up your cash donation, or you can drop it off at Revolution Books store.
At the end of the call:
If someone declines to donate, we should find out why. You might be able to explore other things they might be able to do, like following and spreading word of the tour online or via tweets, and being part of building support in other ways.
If they say they do not have money right now, let them know they can give as little as $10 and that will make a big difference. They can also make in-kind contributions of air miles or credits. If people are in the areas where this bus tour is going, they could provide (or help put us in touch with others who could help provide) a place for volunteers to stay, parking space for the RVs, or food for the volunteers.
If someone agrees to donate, thank them (and send them the "I gave to the BAsics Bus Tour" card later). Ask if they have friends who might also be interested, or if there are other ways they can help.
If they don’t want commit to donating right then but want to think about it, ask them when you can call them back.
In all this, the more concrete you are in the conversation, the more real your plan and their commitment becomes. Also make sure you share the plan to raise the money: nights that we are phone banking, any Kick-Off events or other events related to the bus tour, where they can follow the bus tour (at basicsbustour.tumblr.com). Do they have any ideas of their own on how they can contribute or participate? You should have available a schedule of the local plans, with a list of ways people can contribute and where to connect. You may also want to email them the plans as a follow-up off the call.
[Depending on how much time they have in the call, you may also want to learn what they're thinking about the big events in the world overall...]
A good goal for the phone calls is to end the conversation with a plan, and make sure we follow up with people around the results.
If people want to know the exact route of the tour, let them know it's still being determined but that it's hitting New York City, and also going to a few other nearby cities. They should make sure to check basicsbustour.tumblr.com and sign up for Revolution newspaper e-sub for updates.
If someone wants to learn more, we recommend making use of the short film Next Stop... Revolution. They can find this on YouTube by searching the title. This conveys powerfully what can be opened up by projecting BA's revolutionary vision and works into society. Also, they can check out the reports and photos from the previous leg of the bus tour at basicsbustour.tumblr.com. If they're not familiar with BA, we recommend sending them links to clips from the Revolution talk—perhaps the "Emmett Till, Jim Crow... Black People Lived Under a Death Sentence" and one of the "Imagine a New Society" clips. These can be found at youtube.com/revolutiontalk.
Quotes about the tour that you can feel free to draw on (just a few samples here—for more, go to revcom.us/a/268/BAsics-bus-tour-what-people-are-saying-en.html):
"I wanna put in my strong endorsement of this freedom bus... Courageous brothers and sisters going down to the gut-bucket South. The old Jim Crow senior, still the Jim Crow junior, of course. Whole lot of lynching used be going on in the past, still police brutality taking place, unemployment and underemployment taking place. Dilapidated housing in place, disgraceful school system's in place... Revolutionary Communist Party bearing witness in a serious kind of way. And I just want to let folk know... I'm behind what they're doing... keeping track of the injustice here in the state. Keep track of the freedom bus—the Avakian bus!"
"First thing, I am only not part of this BAsics Bus Tour because my health issues will not allow it. Otherwise, I would have my seat reserved on the bus. I hate that I am going to miss this, because when I think about it, it reminds me about the beginning of the Black Panther Party: the enthusiasm and determination of being a significant part of a great movement to change things in this country. Participating in and being a significant part of change is addictive—once you have experienced it, you'll do anything to get that feeling again—because it is not an irrelevant act. It is being part of a conscious movement to make change—and when you do that it develops you as a human being and a true fighter for the rights of all people. I won't be there physically but my revolutionary spirit travels with the tour.
"All Power to the People!
"And, Fuck the Police!"
Former Black Panther
"Face-to-face conversation with people in their own communities offers a pathway to radicalization like no other. I salute the RCP efforts to organize the South, where the labor movement and others failed."
Andrew Ross, NYU professor
"As prospects for working people shrink, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the capitalist-imperialist system cannot deliver decent jobs with dignity and security to those left unemployed, underemployed, and, most critically, the misemployed, who are paid to destroy wealth and the environment. The more poorly and cruelly the system functions, the more support grows for alternatives, especially humane, rational systems.
"The ruling class has long had a campaign to convince us that although human society has gone through many stages, capitalism is the final stage—this is the end of the line. There is no alternative ('TINA')... Considering contemporary horrors of malnutrition, war, and environmental despoilment, it is obvious that a far better world is possible. I can't tell you what the best of all possible worlds is, but I see potential for enormous improvement.
"Occupy gained attention. This tour is part of the next step—provoking discussion about that better world—and how to get there. There is much on the table. Let the discussion begin!"
Roger Dittmann, Ph.D., Scientists without Borders
The bus tour, and the BA Everywhere campaign as a whole, needs all kinds of volunteers! All kinds of assistance is needed from wherever people are at and with whatever time they can contribute: help with press work and Internet promotions (both urgently needed now for the upcoming tour), video editing (for short videos from the tour while it's on the road), graphic design, and more. If people are interested, take note of this (what they’re specifically interested in, what skills they have, etc.) and let them know someone will get back to them, or they can write directly to email@example.com.
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