Support Canvassing and GOTV (Get Out The Vote) functionality in CiviCRM

2010-03-11 15:47
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Political groups and campaigns have been some of the earliest users of CiviCRM. We've had quite a few political parties using CiviCRM: Green Party of New Zealand, Green Party of Canada, Oregon State Democrats, Vermont Progressive Party and even the Pirate Party of Germany! One of the features missing from CiviCRM has been Canvassing, GOTV, PhoneList and WalkList functionality. This has been long requested and there have been various specifications on the wiki for this. Earlier this year we worked with Progressive Technology Project (PTP) on CiviEngage, a Drupal Module that brings address parsing, walklist and phonelist support into CiviCRM. You can read more about this work here: Canvass and Phonebank. At the same time Will Brownsberger, a state legislator from Massachusetts, started using CiviCRM to support his office and campaign operations. As part of his campaign he wrote a drupal/civicrm module to do voter canvassing. Will was kind enough to attend and demo his module at the CiviCRM Boston Developer Camp in February. We worked with Will and PTP to figure out how to get his work into core and extend it to be of more general use. After a couple of discussions and some long IRC meetings we came up with a specification and feature set. Some of the highlights include:
  • Introduction of Campaign Management functionality into CiviCRM. Ability to manage multiple campaigns simultaneously.
  • Ability to use a custom group per campaign(s) to record answers from a contact and use a campaign specific script.
  • Associate one or more contact groups with a Campaign.
  • Ability to roll back results from a specific volunteer.
  • Ability for a volunteer or an admin to check out a certain group of contacts and "canvass" them.
  • Specific workflow to enable efficient voter processing at a polling station
If the above is of interest to you or your organization, now is the time to help make this happen. We are seeking sponsors for this work, please consider making a donation here: Support Canvassing and GOTV in CiviCRM.
We are hoping to raise sufficient funds to release a version by the end of April. We'll blog on our work on a regular basis.
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