We know that having real conversations with people in person and over the phone is a key way that we can have an impact in the upcoming election. People can feel disillusioned with politics, but they trust their peers and neighbours. Hosting calling parties are a great way for us to be able to talk to large numbers of people, in turn growing our movement of people who will show up and act for our planet.

We’re calling people in key electorates — places that are important for us to demonstrate that climate is a vote winner. We have a goal of making 52,000 phone calls right across Australia to ensure that this is the climate election. We want to show MPs and political parties they have to improve their policies to stop climate pollution if they want to win our votes.

This guide will provide all the information you need to have a great call party, including example invitations to get your mates along, a briefing script so you can tell people all they need to know before making calls and the support process we have in place to help you make the most of your call party. Good luck and happy reading!

You can download a printable version of this guide.

Before you host a calling party

Venue and time

The first thing you need to figure out is when you’ll host your call party. We suggest that after work or on the weekend is best, but it’s really up to you. It is important that you finish making calls by 8pm on a weekday, and 5pm on a weekend, to abide with Australian Telecommunications Standards. The ACF dialler tool won’t allow you to make calls after this time.

You should pick a venue that has a space big enough for everyone to sit together for a briefing and also has space for people to spread out — it can get pretty noisy once everyone is on the phone! Meeting rooms at your library, a quiet space in the local pub or your home are all good options.

If possible, decide on the day, time and location of your next calling party too - you’ll have great people joining you at your first calling party, so this is an awesome opportunity to invite the group together again for another.

Getting people there

To make your call party a success, you need people there. This is not only so that we can get to the scale we need to in order to have an impact this election, but also so that your party is fun! We want this to be a good experience for people and to help them feel the power of the big movement we’re all part of.

The rule of halves: on average, you can expect about half of the people who RSVP to your event to actually show up. This means that if you want 5 people at your event, you need to get 10 to commit to coming.

You should start with a target number of attendees based on the capacity of your venue and the number of people you know who might be interested. Keep in mind that groups bigger than about 20 can be a bit unwieldy, though you want to get as many people as you can to create a good vibe and to make a big number of calls.

Templates

We have written some example invitations to help you recruit your mates and community! In addition to creating an event on our website, you should also think about calling people, sending emails, texting them and creating an event on social media. People often need to hear about an event multiple times before they commit to coming along and some people check their Facebook more than their emails (or vice versa), so don’t be scared to contact people a few times in different ways!

ACF support

You won’t be on your own in this process! ACF staff and a team of volunteer leaders will be here to support you.

Once you’ve registered your event, we’ll follow up to check your event details. If you have more questions, you can also schedule a time to chat with one of our support staff.

You can also get online support using Slack – an instant messaging platform that will allow you to talk to ACF staff and other volunteers in real time. You can use it on your computer through your web browser or download it as an app on your computer and phone. If you haven’t used it before, check out our user guide. You will receive an invite to Slack when you register your event on our website. Check your spam folder if you don’t see it in your inbox. We also have a Facebook group if that’s more your style.

Please be patient if you don’t get an answer to support questions immediately. We will get back to you as soon as humanly possible – we have a lean team and rely on volunteers to get to scale. At peak times we can get overwhelmed by requests! Other call party hosts may have similar queries to you - so by joining us on the webinars and posting your questions to Slack, we can respond in a way that everyone gets to see the answers!

The day before

Confirm your attendees

Text everyone who said that they will come to your event and make sure that they’re still coming! We will send you the most recent RSVP list of people who have registered via our website a day or so before your event, but make sure anyone who RSVP’d in another way hears from you too. Make sure that they know where the event is and at what time. You should also let people know what they need to bring with them.

Snacks and scripts

Make sure that everything is ready to go before your call party. Although not necessary, snacks could create a good vibe. You can also suggest everyone brings something to share! It would also be good to make water easily available – making calls is thirsty work! In addition, you will need to print:

Everyone who comes along will need a copy of:

  • The call script
  • Call instructions (this will be sent to you by email from ACF two days beforehand)
  • Campaign information (this will be sent to you by email from ACF two days beforehand)

The above four resources will be sent to you via email after the details of your call party are confirmed.

During the call party

We have set out a draft agenda to help you run a successful calling party! Like anything involving people, things don’t always go to plan so this is just an idea of what we think could happen on the evening.

After the call party

Phew! That was a huge effort, thanks so much for hosting a call party. There are just a few bits and pieces we need from you after your call party.

Let us know how you went!

Let us know who came to your call party by uploading a photo or scanned copy of your sign in sheet so that we can thank them and give them more opportunities to get involved with ACF. It will also help us tell a powerful story of all the hundreds of people making phone calls nationally.

We would also love to see the best 2 or 3 photos from the night and any other feedback about how your event went. You can email community@acf.org.au or chat to us on Slack. We’ll also be in contact with you soon after your event to ask you what went well and what we can improve next time.

Thank your volunteers

Send everyone who came along to your event a text or email saying thanks! They are doing their bit to build a powerful grassroots movement to make this election the climate election. Ideally, this will be done very soon after your event. If you’re super organised, you can have the email written before your event!

Do it again!

We have an audacious goal to have 1 million conversations before the next federal election. Of those, we expect at least 50,000 to be phone calls. We know it’s ambitious, but it’s what we need to do to end digging up and burning coal and get Australia powered by 100% renewable energy. We would love for you to have more call parties to help us get there.

Good luck!

Feel free to email questions, feedback or ideas to community@acf.org.au or call Joel Marlan-Tribe, ACF Mobilisation Coordinator, on (03) 9345 1123.

Go back to the Conversations page here.