How To Choose The Right Volunteer Tech Partners

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What if you could use skilled tech volunteers on your campaign, without all the hard work of recruiting, training, and managing them?

While the largest campaigns will always have access to agency and technical resources, this cycle we’re seeing a growing supply of volunteer resources for advocacy organizations and down-ballot campaigns that want to level up their tech.

And unlike the presidential election engineering and analytics shops that splinter off each cycle, more organizations are taking on the year-round mission of building sustainable volunteer infrastructure, even keeping custom campaign tools in shape and free for reuse by others.

The growth of formalized volunteer-to-campaign matchmakers, like Tech for Campaigns, profiled by C&E in January, is most evident from the center to the left, where organizers and technologist work hand-in-hand to take skills from the corporate world into campaigns, advocacy, and GOTV work. Each of these emerging organizations has two sets of customers: the campaigns and the skilled volunteers looking to contribute.

Open-source tools and standards are also supporting the infrastructure for technology organizing on the left. Leaders from Ragtag, a fee-for-service matchmaker between progressive campaigns and volunteers, and the Progressive Coders Network (ProgCode), recently joined the volunteer leadership of OpenSupporter, a coder-vendor coalition that maintains an interoperability standard for progressive campaign tech. Ragtag and ProgCode also see maintaining open source tools, free and easy to use by any campaigns’ coders, as core to their mission.
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