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Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole on April 26, 2022

Democratic tech firm Grassroots Analytics brings modern recruiting practices to campaign space

WASHINGTON
, April 26, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Grassroots Analytics today announced a pilot program to promote equality and equity in the campaign staffing space. In line with their mission of providing innovative data solutions to amplify forward-thinking voices, Grassroots Analytics' new program – Campaign Talent Society – aims to improve staffing processes for Democratic campaigns across the country.

Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole
on April 12, 2022

While sitting in Happy Valley, PA, Gabby Giotto got the call that would alter her future in politics forever. When asked if she would volunteer for Hillary’s campaign, Gabby jumped at the opportunity. This led to serving as a fellow for Hillary at Penn State, and ultimately becoming the staging location director. What did she fall in love with the most?

Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole
on March 16, 2022

"I want to build the next generation of Georgia fundraisers, especially women, Black women, and people of color. Women who are running want women on their team. Women need to be a part of this movement. One day, when Jon Ossoff's baby girl decides to run for Senate, she'll have kick-ass women to help her get there. And we will have put that foundation in place."

Briale Harris – campaign finance superstar – has some of the strongest passion we've seen. What led her here?

Like so many others, Bri got into the campaign space by volunteering in 2017, specifically for Atlanta's mayoral election. She phone banked, knocked doors, and worked to get out the vote in her hometown. While this inspired her, it made her want to do a little bit more, and land a designated role on a campaign. Cue Stacey Abrams' groundbreaking run in 2018, where Bri served as a Finance Assistant, learning how to conduct proper donor research, pick the right donors to call, and more. That opportunity rolled into one after another: Sarah Riggs Amico for Senate, Zahra Karinshak for Congress, and then her big break as Amy McGrath's Deputy National Finance Director.

Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole
on February 01, 2022

Everyone has a story. Devon Murphy-Anderson’s is one of the most interesting we’ve heard in a while. Originally from Brunswick, Maine, Devon grew up on the water. With a lobsterman for a father, she was raised in a blue-collar town with a love for her country and a strong belief in the American dream.

By Diego Dew
on January 26, 2022

It's a new season, which means... new interns! We are thrilled to welcome six new faces, all from different backgrounds, regions of the country, and general walks of life.  Read on for a brief summary on each of our spring data analysts.

Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole
on January 12, 2022

Some people know they want to be involved in campaigns from the onset; others find themselves in the campaign world in a less traditional way. Andrea Cervone falls into the latter category. While seeking a career in journalism, Andrea’s partner, Ted Terry, was working as finance director for John Barrow. This led to a very part-time position in communications on Steve Oppenheimer’s campaign for Public Service Commission, and it took off from there.

What began as op-eds, newsletters, and campaign photography blossomed into a career in communications and campaign management. Andrea and Ted  helped start the Nonpartisan Candidate Training at AAAJ Atlanta (which Asian American Advocacy Fund took over in 2019). It started as a small operation, just four candidates in an office on Buford Highway learning about campaign training, with Andrea focusing on comms and Ted handling finance and other client side training aspects. Most recently, Andrea worked on Felicia Moore’s mayoral campaign.
From talking to Andrea, it seems that one of her biggest strengths is creativity – she takes seemingly unconventional ideas and turns them into lucrative outcomes.

“We wrote a persuasion script [for Felicia] and included that script across all platforms – call time, door-to-door, emails, and texts, which resulted in a higher rate of response than any other text sent. This was significantly more labor intensive on the back end because it was testing voter interest areas, but we also included this sampling in Atlanta-centric emails. All of our data was connected and messaging was consistent.”

The result? A 12 point swing in favor of Moore.

In addition to utilizing persuasion to increase an uptick in support for Moore, Andrea also had the idea for a guerrilla art campaign – “Hi, Felicia!” This marriage of her creative background and political career was a fun way to engage young voters around Atlanta.

Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole
on December 02, 2021

When Trump was elected, everything changed. Like so many others, Rio Diaz wanted to get as involved as possible. He interned with the National Democratic Training Committee, which jump-started his involvement; he would go on to intern for Kim Walz, be part of the Obama Foundation's Community Leadership Corps program, and ultimately join the DNC’s Organizing Corps.This is where his path in politics really took off.

“I was based in the Wisconsin cohort, and ended up working as a field organizer for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin in 2020. Nothing was more important than winning the 2020 election, and making sure Wisconsin played a vital part in that.”
Rio is part of GAC’s Finance Staff Match Program, which focuses on advancing careers for diverse, young talent interested in the campaign space. Rio was matched with Mandela Barnes’ campaign for Senate, where he serves as a call time associate. While the majority of what he does is prep for call time (he’s admittedly very organized and efficient), Rio also wears many hats on the Barnes campaign.

“I’m able to use my experience as a field organizer to help in other ways – like leading events, helping with the fellowship program by recruiting students from universities in Wisconsin, and helping scale donors up the ladder of engagement.”

When asked what he’s most proud of, the answer came quickly and easily. “We raised over $1.1 million in our first quarter (Q3 2021), which is the most any first-time Senate candidate has raised in Wisconsin. Mandela had no self-contributions, and still outraised the other candidates in the primary, two of which are largely self-funded. Our average contribution is less than $50, and we’re building a wide coalition of donors and supporters. What drew me to Mandela is how he focuses on leading with values, something we need to focus more on as a party [rather than how bad our opposition is].”

Rio also wanted to give a shoutout to his fellow call time associate, Adam Green, who serves more as a call time manager than associate. “Not only does he make sure Mandela’s on top of his game, pushing him day in and day out, but he also makes sure back-end coding is done right on the digital front. We’re really lucky to have him.”

Keep an eye out for big things from Rio – and Adam – as they work to make Mandela Barnes the next Senator from Wisconsin.

Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole
on November 23, 2021

Madison Scalf discovered her love of campaigns in 2018. She grew up in a VA-01, an R+8 district, which led her to want to be a change maker. Madison wanted to find a way to work toward progress, so she started locally, working first as an organizer with Vangie Williams (2018) and followed shortly as Campaign Manager for Stan Scott (2019). Her experience with Vangie really showed Madison what good campaigning could do.

"Vangie's district is a very conservative area – I noticed that some people around me didn't have motivation because it didn't seem worth it in the larger picture of Democratic political strategy”.

But Madison thought otherwise. Under her leadership, around 200 volunteers were recruited and they worked 110%. The result was receiving 8,000 more votes than expected.

By Diego Dew
on November 18, 2021

The Fall 2021 Internship class got off to a strong start while I was on vacation. Our Operations team, led by the fabulous Emily McFadyen and the serviceable Ryan Dunn, ensured that the first week of orientation went smoothly. This included a full week of STATA trainings, mentor matching, staff one-on-one’s, department overviews, and intros to the world of campaign finance. Luckily for Emily and Ryan, they didn’t have to create the orientation curriculum from scratch, as we had to do last semester. Plus, this class of four seemed more manageable than our summer class of ten. 

Sarah Elizabeth Pole
By Sarah Elizabeth Pole
on November 04, 2021

When it comes to rising star staffers, Tali DeGroot would be hard to overlook. Tali started her career at J Street, where she headed up fundraising in the Capital/South Region for the organization's 501c3, 501c4, and PAC. Following a three and a half year stint on the nonprofit/PAC side of politics, Tali moved to Laredo, Texas to serve as Finance Director for Jessica Cisneros' historic attempt to defeat Henry Cuellar. Using top call time techniques, Tali and her team helped Jessica raise more than $2 million in the 2020 cycle. When asked what she'd take with her from one campaign to the next, or even to her career outside of campaigns, Tali said, "Campaigns teach you that you have such a short amount of time to get things done. You develop a pretty strong muscle for trying new tactics and seeing what works, what sticks, and what should be tossed to the side."

This experience teed her up well to run Nina Turner's finance team in OH-11's 2021 special election, where they raised more than $6.1 million in the attempt to win Marcia Fudge's former seat. Tali helped lead an innovative switch from broadcast to in-house P2P texting. It became a more personal communication – the team was able not only to reply, but also to have it be an immediate and personal response. A/B testing showed 1.5 to 2x as much return from P2P than broadcast, and the results spoke for themselves.

What are some tips Tali would offer folks starting out on the finance side of campaigns? "You have to be creative and figure out what works for your candidate," Tali said. "For example, with Nina, we scheduled call time. With smaller, scrappier campaigns doing 60 hours of call time per week, triple and quadruple dialing help the candidate not only feel less alone, but it's more fun for everyone." She also emphasized how important it is to find the right candidate for you. "You want to believe in your candidate. Do little projects for them that get them not just through the campaign, but through the day."

Tali isn't sure exactly what she's going to do next, but she'll definitely stay in the progressive space. Keep an eye out for Tali's next moves!