Community Outreach & Advocacy

Grassroots Unwired (GRU) is a best in class mobile platform that enables progressive political and non-profit organizations to gain supporters and donors through face to face contact. GRU’s software enables organizations to deliver reliable and consistent results within a focused set of standard business concepts. A key feature we brought to our community and advocacy clients in 2018 is on the fly language translation.

Face-to-Face Fundraising (“F2F”)

focus_canvasserFace-to-face Fundraising and political canvassing are attempts to achieve awareness around a particular issue and/or candidate and to share their messages in a personal and direct manner. Some organizations have used F2F fundraising to raise millions of dollars while others have used it to for small donor giving or member retainment.

A largely successful F2F fundraising project that Grassroots Unwired has facilitated was for The Fund for the Public Interest:
The Fund for the Public Interest employs thousands of canvassers each year for two reasons: fundraising (upgrading current sustainers or building new relationships) and gauging public opinion on the social action issues important to their network of organizations.

The Fund for the Public Interest hired Grassroots Unwired to convert their fundraising from paper to tablet because the tablet offers a high amount of data security and the high level of customization allows them to tailor their messages to each particular group of people.

The Fund for the Public Interest has significant success in its fundraising for the following reasons:

  1. The digital platform enables credit cards to be run on the spot (less possibility of declined cards).
  2. Data shows that people feel more secure having their cards swiped as opposed to writing their credit card information down on paper.
  3. Canvassers are more comfortable with the newer technology and thus more effective.
  4. Grassroots Unwired gives clients the ability to accept recurring donations with the PCI compliance inherent in the technology.

Instead of the “one and done” nature of most F2F fundraising, GRU’s clients have the ability to turn one time donors into monthly and annual donors on the spot, vastly increasing their memberships and funding.

Door-to-Door (“D2D”)

You’re sitting at home when someone with a clipboard knocks on the door and asks to speak with you or another member of your family. This is the traditional way of canvassing that GRU has taken to the next level. We have gotten rid of the clipboard. Now, when a canvasser arrives at a home, they will use the marketing information uploaded onto the tablet to start a productive, tailored conversation while recording answers, encouraging donations (with the ability to swipe a credit card on the spot), and confirming a person’s information. Thanks to the integration between Grassroots Unwired and Twilio, email addresses and cell phone numbers will be verified as they are entered into the database, ensuring the most updated and accurate constituent information. 

Street Fundraising

We have all experienced people on street corners in major metropolitan areas trying to catch our attention, asking us to listen to their pitches as we walk by. Historically, it was clipboard-wielding college kids who were working hard to get names added to a donor or advocacy list. Then, at the end of the day, they would bring their clipboards to their headquarters where they would enter the new information into a database on computers, which typically took hours. Often, there were inaccuracies because of typing mistakes or illegible handwriting. But now, with GRU’s innovative technology, college kids are armed with tablets, which effectively eliminate the barriers to building a solid donor or advocacy list. People can enter their information onto the tablets, their email addresses will be instantly verified, and their information will be sent to a safe and comprehensive database.

Voter Registration

Up until recently, Voter Registration required an army of people to stand in front of crowded supermarkets, attend busy festivals, or clamor on busy street corners to get voters registered. This involved a clipboard, a pen, and typically, a person with a loud voice. Some states still require a loud voice to register voters, but many are beginning to turning to online systems and digital signatures. As a result, Grassroots Unwired has developed a proprietary system where an organization can send us a copy of their state’s Voter Registration form, and we create an interactive mobile version of the same form. Now all people have to do is plug their data into the form on the tablet and, with one click, submit it to their state so they can vote.


Membership Organizations (Labor)

Armed with a native app that works with or without internet connectivity, Grassroots Unwired can take your membership cards, gather your information, and ensure that names and home addresses are accurate. Canvassers can swipe a credit card to charge a membership fee and export all data to a CSV file, which can be used in other systems. The app enables you to pre-load current membership data onto the platform so you are prepared to ask specific questions to new or existing members. At the end of the transaction, an email or text of the membership data will be sent to the member. Read More.

Winning on the Ground

At Grassroots Unwired, we believe that building a mobile platform that can adapt to the changing landscape of grassroots outreach will empower progressive campaigns and causes at every level. We call it “mixing the old with the new to create the best.” Field teams can upload walk lists from any source (Catalist, NGP VAN, etc.) and within seconds, they can cut turf in the browser-based application. Once they hit save, the maps will show up on hundreds of tablets.They can then use our technology to ID voters in the traditional sense (supporter, leaning toward, etc.) or to push out specific campaign survey questions about issues important to a candidate or cause. Field teams can do A/B testing in minutes as opposed to hours and and databasing results are instantaneous on the tablet whereas entering the results on a computer back at the office takes hours. Or they can choose to export data onto their own systems, which enables them to canvass from house to house without stopping.

As a result of our technology, canvassers are more engaged in the process because they don’t have to run back to the office where they’ll eat what’s left of a cold pizza while waiting for the changes to slowly come in. Volunteers are out there in the mix, doing what they love – engaging people in dynamic conversation in order to help you achieve the results you desire.