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Ryan Leung

November 12, 2020

How to Create a Phonebank

Learn how phone banks can increase campaign outreach and what's needed to start your own.

Phone banks have recently picked up steam, becoming the new popular method for canvassing. To respect social distancing, staff and volunteers have gone remote but their work remains the same. Organizations responded by shifting from field operations and making use of VoIP providers to continue outreach. This article will explore what a phone bank is, using a virtual hotline service, and how to get a phone bank started.

What is a Phone Bank?

Phone banks are a list of phone numbers that are used by call centers for outreach campaigns. They are often used for canvassing, informing, and spurring local communities into action. Phone banks are also a great way to organize lists and data between your staff and volunteers.

A phone bank isn’t complete without a VoIP service provider like Telzio to supply its feature-rich software. As an organization grows and is able to take on a bigger task force, its VoIP platform must be able to scale with it.

Leveraging Telzio’s Virtual Hotline Services

A big task calls for more hands-on-deck, and Telzio's phonebanking capabilities have been invaluable in meeting the high-volume, nationwide demands of campaigns and nonprofits across the country. Utilizing Call Queues, Telzio hotlines are able to connect tens of thousands of callers dialing in during televised events, and route them to phonebank staff who are working remotely from any location. With so many callers, the ability to quickly onboard new staff became vital.

With Telzio, organizations are able to easily and instantly add users at no extra cost, enabling them to expand their capacity of phonebank staff without spending additional funding. This unique and scalable pricing model for virtual phone services has led to rapid outreach expansion.

Many nonprofits use Telzio to phone bank and the data show their success. For the 2020 general election, just one of Telzio's nonprofit customers processed over half a million calls on its voter hotline in the few months leading up to election day. They held nationwide operations with 600 volunteers supporting their efforts and Telzio’s free unlimited users meant they could easily scale to match campaign magnitude. During their TV-broadcasted telethons, they were able to handle a high volume of simultaneous calls routed to their remote staff around the country.

After each completed campaign or event they were able to make use of Telzio’s Tag Call Log Feature, an identifier placed for each caller so that campaign administrators are informed of regions or communities of interest. Due to the pandemic, many traditional field operations weren’t possible, but Telzio allows for a transition to a more digital approach. By harnessing remote working tools like the Telzio Mobile App and multi-language phone menu options for non-English speakers. What’s more, each organization was able to obtain toll-free vanity numbers from Telzio.

Related:How to Set Up a Hotline in 3 Steps

VoIP for Phone Bank Campaigns

The first step to any phone bank is a list of contact information for those that your staff will be reaching out to. Once you have gathered your lists, it’s highly recommended to create a call script to guide your staff.

Call scripts will help keep messaging consistent and is particularly useful for volunteers that have minimal training. Telzio also offers a call monitoring feature with different options as a way to train and shadow newer staff. Call monitoring allows you to listen, whisper, or barge a call. Listening means nobody else can hear you, whisper is when only your staff can hear you, and barge allows for both parties to hear you.

Monitoring and tracking are the last steps for a well-managed phone bank campaign. Telzio provides a live reports dashboard with a general overview of all queues with information such as hold time, agent status, active calls, and many more. For tracking, Telzio has Tag Call Log as a simple yet effective feature that can mark all incoming calls for analysis and keep your staff informed on types of received calls. This is a valuable tool when it comes time to measuring the effectiveness of a campaign or identifying high priority callers.

Learn more about Telzio Nonprofit Hotlines

Organizations around the world use Telzio to operate help hotlines and virtual call centers. Telzio provides toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, flexible call routing, text messaging, and much more – all through a modern, easy-to-use web interface that can be managed from anywhere.

Learn more about Telzio sponsorships, phone services, and our special non-profit discounts by emailing