Starting A Monthly Calling Campaign

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This training describes how chapters or groups of volunteers can set up regular monthly calls from constituents to their member(s) of Congress. If you’d like to move your member of Congress on an issue,  a steady drumbeat of daily calls can be effective. The training covers how to create and implement a campaign, and how Monthly Calling Campaign Admins manage campaign talking points and asks to keep it up to date.

TOC and Guide Section
What is this tool?

The Monthly Calling Campaign is a tool that enables members of the public (whether they are CCL volunteers or not) to sign up ( to call  their members of Congress once per month. The campaign then assigns the caller to a day and sends an email or text message with a link to a script and a phone number every month on that day. Calls to Congress are most meaningful when callers are courteous, personal, and focus on a specific bill or issue. Your phone is a potent tool for participatory democracy.

How does it work?

Any chapter or group of CCL volunteers can set up a Monthly Calling Campaign to produce a steady on-going drumbeat of phone calls to members of Congress. Both CCL volunteers as well as any local community members can sign up at The goal is to provide enough participants so that the representative or senator receives three to five calls every weekday. 

It's important  to find volunteers to be MCC Admins for district calling campaigns.  Another possibility is to recruit a volunteer to be the MCC Admin for multiple campaigns in the same state. Admins can sign up at  MCC Admins maintain calling scripts and encourage MCC callers to make their calls. 

Click the “Watch” tab above to see the training video which provides a much more thorough walk-through of the process for both callers and admins.

Admin Support

For Admins, download this helpful seven page guide created by MCC Admin Ginny Rogers that walks through the Admin Dashboard as well as how to edit the Calling Script and Talking Points. 

For additional support, MCC Admins can get information, post questions, and join the  Monthly Calling Campaign Admins Action Team on CCL Community. You are also welcome to email with any feedback or questions or to request access to your district/state data dashboard. 

Why is calling Congress important?

CCL volunteers have been told at times by members of Congress and their aides that “we don’t hear much from constituents about climate change, and nothing is more powerful in getting our attention than written letters and phone calls.” By signing up many monthly callers locally, you are making sure that Congress hears from their constituents every day about climate change. A key goal is to hear someone in your congressional office say, “we seem to be receiving a lot of calls asking my boss to enact climate legislation.”  

The following recommendations are based on the experiences and thanks to the work of CCL chapters in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, and North Carolina. However, as with all local chapter activities, we trust you to know what’s right with your member of Congress and whether a Monthly Calling Campaign would advance the relationship forward toward their support for climate policy. 

Supporting your callers

It’s normal that some people sign up and don’t call. People have many distractions to pull them away from their good intentions. A 50% call completion is a good rate, but you are welcome to do better than that! Try these tips to get the most number of people calling:

  • Send a personal message to a caller who didn't call on their calling day saying that you noticed they missed their day and you'd like to offer them any help they need to make their calls. The more connected they feel to you, the more they won’t want to let you down by failing to call.
  • Let participants know how many calls were made each month and how it related to your campaign’s goals.
  • Newer participants often need more encouragement so pay extra attention to them. Once someone has done it 3-4 months in a row they have formed a habit that keeps them going.
  • Be sure to share any encouraging news from your members of Congress, such as lobby meetings held or good positions taken or signs of decreased opposition.
  • If someone has not reported any calls for 3-4 months, call and ask if they have any suggestions for how to make it work better for them or if they would like to be removed from the campaign.  
Outreach Tactics

The hardest part of generating a sustained number of calls is often getting enough people to sign up to make the calls. Sending an email to your chapter’s roster is a great start, but what do you do after that? Below is a list of ideas you could try to get more constituents to sign up to call their member of Congress. 

  • Call CCL volunteers who live in that district and ask them to sign up to call
  • Ask the chapter members to invite their friends to sign up to call. You could make a friendly competition for who could get the most people they know to sign up.
  • Attend a local community event like a neighborhood association meeting, make an announcement about what you are doing, and pass a paper sign-up sheet or Monthly Calling Campaign Quarter-Page Flyers around.
  • Set up one-on-one meetings with people who know lots of people in the district and ask that person to help recruit 5-10 sign ups.
  • Go to a public event like a festival or a farmers market with sign-up sheets and ask people to sign up to call.

Generally, be creative. Don’t limit yourself to the CCL list - try new things, find what works and keep doing that.

Advice and tips for administrators/organizers
  • Remind your group leaders to regularly ask for new volunteers. Sending a report to group leaders on how many calls were made each month or quarter can help motivate more participation.
  • Having a partner or small committee to share the work can keep you going too!

Guidance for interacting with your member of Congress's office:

  • As you interact with your member of Congress's office, remember CCL's methodology of respect, admiration, and appreciation for all members of Congress.  
    • Be respectful and non-partisan
    • Be professional and stick to CCL’s core values
    • Stick to the facts. Avoid opinion and editorializing.
    • Don’t be accusatory
    • Stay focused on climate legislation. Don’t bring in other issues, not even as an appreciation, because it can muddy the focus of the call.
Is this similar to Project Grand Canyon or the Dialing Congress Campaign?

Project Grand Canyon launched online in June 2019 as a volunteer-developed project created by CCL leaders and volunteers inspired by earlier Minnesota groups and calling congress campaigns featured below. Thanks to volunteers’ efforts, more than 1,500 people have signed up to call their Member of Congress every month about climate change. An earlier version using Google spreadsheets was known as both Project Grand Canyon or Dialing Congress Campaign and it’s perfectly fine if your chapter keeps that approach in use - see below for a comparison of the Dialing Congress Campaign with the Monthly Calling Campaign. 

CCL adopted this promising grassroots project as the official tool for making monthly calls to Congress. This advancement comes with these changes:

Moving forward, CCL National will be encouraging new campaigns to utilize the Monthly Calling Campaign described above. However, if you are already engaged in a Dialing Congress Campaign with Google Forms, decide which tool is the best fit for your group(s). 

For instructions on how to start a Dialing Congress Campaign approach, see this PDF document. Here is a comparison of the strengths and limitations of each project:

  • Dialing Congress Campaign:
    • Action tracking must be done by manually
    • Allows you to customize your welcome message and monthly reminder system
    • Provides flexibility in setup to also choose a state-wide program
  • Monthly Calling Campaign:
    • Provides a smooth automated way for constituents in your district to sign-up (independent of signing up as a CCL volunteer) for a monthly reminder, a script, and the phone number to call. 
    • Access to Monthly Calling Campaign Admins Action Team for support 
    • Action tracking is automated
  • Both provide the following benefits:
    • Provides your chapter the chance to engage in an organized strategic local campaign 
    • Engage your chapter volunteers with an easy action with an important local goal (i.e. 20 calls a week)
    • May help you engage your grassroots outreach opportunities with tabling and presenting 
    • A mechanism for people to report their call and a way for the admin to send a follow-up reminder to people who haven’t yet reported calling that month.

If you decide to make the switch from your Dialing Congress Campaign to a Monthly Calling Campaign, feel free to email your list of existing callers as a .csv/.xls file to and the MCC Admins will upload your contacts to the Monthly Calling Campaign tool. 

Press play to start the video (38:18) ....... Note that this video mentions obsolete calling scripts
Video Outline
  • Intro & Agenda
  • Calling Tool Background
  • How to Make a Call
  • Running a Calling Campaign
  • Success Stories from the Field
  • Getting Support Ahead
  • Ham Richards

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