What We Do
More on the Voter Education Program and our keys to success.
Working with other organizations in the nonprofit community allows us to reach new audiences, build relationships, and strengthen our supporter base.
Modeling takes our data to the next level and helps us magnify our grassroots power across our program work. It betters our outreach and allows us to find activists outside of our membership base.
We are the only environmental organization in Washington who provides list enhancement and strategic outreach consulting free of charge, building power for the entire environmental community.
Every year, we have a chance to take a stand – on our values, priorities, and vision for our families and communities. We have a chance to cast our vote for the environment. To bolster that effort, in Fall 2012, VEP expanded its Get Out The Vote (GOTV) program and worked to encourage voters to cast ballots in November’s general election.
For the third year in a row, WEC teamed up with El Centro de la Raza to conduct a large nonpartisan get out the vote program. Together, we called 60,000 Latino voters to ask them to mail in their ballots. To our knowledge, this is the largest phone GOTV program to Latino voters in the state. We know through past testing that by asking voters to pledge to vote, we can dramatically increase voter participation. These annual get out the vote efforts are the first bilingual voter contact program conducted by Washington’s environmental community.
Using Technology to Our Advantage
Take a minute and look at the contacts in your phone - are there some with an old home phone number that doesn’t work anymore? Want to send a thank you note but don’t have an up to date address? We see those holes in our member information all the time, as do other organizations in the environmental community. To help solve this problem, we use something called List Enhancement.
When we have blanks in our data, we compare our contacts with the voter file. Washington state provides voting records of everyone who is registered to vote. It includes things like their names, age, and whether or not they cast a ballot in the last election. This helps us complete our contact information so the next time we’re having a phone bank to ask people to support our Environmental Priorities, we have the best contact information for the people most likely to take action.
But we know that improving the WEC list is only the first step. That’s why we share our technology with the environmental community. We help dozens of environmental groups enhance their lists so they can more effectively reach their members.
What if, in addition to having someone’s name and number in your phone, you could predict if they would answer your call? Even better than that, you could predict whether or not they would accept an invite to your holiday party. We make similar predictions for voters and whether or not they’re likely to care about environmental issues. We call it modeling.
A great example of our innovative voter modeling techniques is work we've done with the Power Past Coal campaign to stop coal exports through the Northwest. We worked with experts to develop a coal model that helped us predict which Washingtonians are likely to care about coal export in their community. We reach people outside of our membership lists that are likely to be interested in our movement and more likely to be activists in the long term. We are bringing advanced modeling technology and grassroots building together.