How to Win a Campaign

Tools Edition #4: Fundraise Faster with Call Time (feat. Andrew Blumenfeld)

Episode Summary

Many candidates dread fundraising more than anything else they have to do on their campaign. Make fundraising simple, efficient, and successful by using Call Time, a tool that helps you keep track of your contacts, identifies who is most likely to donate, and gives you a recommended ask amount.

Episode Notes

Call time, the time spent calling potential donors to ask for their investment in your campaign, is an ongoing, arduous process. To find a way to help make it easier and more effective, Andrew Blumenfeld developed a tool called, you guessed it, Call Time. In this Tools Episode, Joe sits down with Andrew to learn how Call Time can help you fundraise faster. Call Time helps you keep track of who you’ve already called and who you haven’t, who is more or less likely to donate, and what amount you should ask for from each potential donor. Call Time also integrates with payment systems like Act Blue to make it easy for your donors to help support your campaign. Tune in to find out if Call Time is right for you.


Call Time

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Joe Fuld

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Martín Diego Garcia

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Presented by The Campaign Workshop

Episode Transcription

Joe Fuld (00:01):

Hey there it's Joe Fuld and welcome to How to Win a Campaign: Tools Edition. This time we're going to chat with Andrew Blumenfeld, one of the founders of Call Time, a great app that helps you do fundraising, Call Time. Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew Blumenfeld (00:19):

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Joe Fuld (00:20):

Hey, absolutely. So tell us what Call Time is.

Andrew Blumenfeld (00:23):

Yeah. Call Time is a web based software that Democrats up and down the ballot from presidential campaigns down to constable, school board, everything in between use to make the most of their fundraising time. So it's our, our primary goal is to help Democrats raise more money and to do so in less time, we do that by automating a ton of the process from donor research finding phone numbers, emails, giving history, you name it, all the way through to leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, to help candidates target their efforts to make sure they know that they're reaching out to the right people at the right time with the right ask.

Joe Fuld (01:00):

So tell me why you came up with Call Time.

Andrew Blumenfeld (01:03):

So I actually had been a candidate myself. I had run for the state legislature in California, which requires raising a ton of money. And I had previously been a school board member. So I had done some of that, but not nearly at this scale. And everyone in the world told me the way you raise this money is through call time. That's how that's the most efficient way to raise the dollars you need to fuel your campaign. But I was putting in just enormous numbers of hours in getting on the phone and calling through people, but it felt like I was, there was all sorts of wasted time that I was not moving through it as efficiently, as effectively as I could. There wasn't a clean way for me to capture the data. And I also felt to that point about data, that there was a tremendous amount of it, both public data on people's past giving practices and also my own private data, like what time was I successfully reaching people? What time was I not? What numbers were best, what numbers were no good. And despite all of that data, it was not easy for me to capture it. It was not easy for me to make sense of it. And I felt like Democrats were that there was a real launchpad opportunity for Democrats of, of really any background, whether you've run before, whether you fundraised before or whether you haven't to be able to tap into smart technology that meant that no matter what level of experience you were coming into this, that we could supercharge your fundraising and allow every Democrat the opportunity to run financially viable campaigns.

Joe Fuld (02:21):

So let's dig in a little bit more. Tell me how your tool makes call time, which can be arduous, more efficient. What are some ways in which it does that?

Andrew Blumenfeld (02:31):

Sure. So there's a few different elements. We usually talk about it in three big buckets. The first is automatic donor research. So a lot of the process of, of fundraising if being done well, is research, is making sure that on the front end, you know who you're talking to, that you're deciphered between people who are worth reaching out to, and people who are maybe not going to be great donors for you. And that requires research. And so we automate the collection and display of the giving history research. We connect directly to the FEC, the state ethics websites of all the States, sort of the FEC equivalents, and also a tremendous number of metropolitan areas across the country, just to allow that research to happen instantaneously, as opposed to happen over hours and days and weeks. And so all you have to do is say, Hey, these are the people who are in my network. Uh here are the people who are in my phone, here are the people who are sitting in my NGP, wherever they may already be. And our tool will say, well, here are the people on that list that have given to this person, that person, this person, that person, this amount, this time. We also are able to help find phone numbers and emails. So we work with partners to help be able to enrich your data, to find you new phone numbers and emails that you may not have, and also connect to other databases as well, like social media to help you just put together like a digital call sheet that has a profile picture in it automatically, that has occupation and employer and it automatically. So just really with the click of an import allowing you to build instantaneous donor or call sheets with all that robust information, that's the first bucket. The second bucket is analytics and insights. So then on top of that, we have a machine learning that is producing scores and ask amount. So that for all of those people, you don't have to interpret for yourself what all of that instant donor research means. You have the benefit of machine learning to help you understand who you should reach out to on that list and how much you should ask them for it. Last bucket real quick is all of the baked in outreach tools that are right there in the platform. So right from the platform, right from that digital call sheet, you have a power dialer, which includes click to dial, which includes remote call time capabilities with your team and includes voicemail drop capabilities, all, everything you need to move through your calls nice and fast. And then there's also an email tool and a text tool integration built right into it. So that with a single click, you're sending followups, you're getting those out the door in real time. And and it's all kind of accumulating in one place so that you can build your call sheets based on all of that healthy data that you're generating in real time.

Joe Fuld (04:56):

Oh, that's awesome. So tell me what size of a campaign Call Time is a good fit for.

Andrew Blumenfeld (05:03):

So we really are designed both in pricing and in struct-, and in the way the software is built to scale pretty widely. And as I mentioned at the outset, we certainly we've had presidential campaigns leverage and get high value out of the tool. Overwhelmingly we have congressional campaigns and state legislative campaigns that are doing a ton of call time, get a lot of value out of the tool. And we do have a very healthy amount of local races also that get use out of the tool. I would say it comes down to, are you raising sort of in the tens of thousands of dollars, if you're raising less than that, it probably doesn't make sense for you to be investing in a tool as robust as ours to manage that process. But once you get above, you know, north of 20, 30 grand, all of a sudden, if you really want to make that money in a way that doesn't completely consume your campaign, then having been investing in a tool that can help you do that as effectively and as efficiently as possible, probably makes a lot of sense. And again, our pricing structure is such that it will scale down with the size of the campaign. So that's kind of generally the, the, the, the, the beginning point for us is if you're kind of raising in that 30 grand or more range.

Joe Fuld (06:06):

And give us a sense of the pricing, what does it cost for a low level campaign in that 30 to $50,000 range versus someone who is in the $500,000 range?

Andrew Blumenfeld (06:19):

So our pricing is month to month, and we don't have any longterm contracts, and there's no set up fee. We believe very deeply that the software should generate a positive ROI for you. And that if it's not generating a positive ROI for you, you should not be locked into a contract that requires you to stay on it nonetheless. So at our lowest, you know, at our kind of starting package, you're raising just 30 grand, you're running for local, or even state legislative race. You keep paying $175 a month. Probably our average congressional race is paying more in the neighborhood of $500 a month. And then of course we do have those that are raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, raising sometimes millions of dollars. Those are sometimes paying north of a thousand dollars per month, but everyone, no matter whether you're paying a thousand dollars a month, you're paying $175 a month, we are very proactive and supporting our users to get the value that we think they can out of the software, but also being very frank, if it's not working, then you should have the ability to walk away from it.

Joe Fuld (07:13):

So tell me about some of the integrations that you have. Does it work with other tools? How does that combine with the rest of the campaign?

Andrew Blumenfeld (07:21):

So we've been pretty so obviously, as you can imagine, given that we're a fundraising platform, the tools that are most kind of relevant to us are payment processors, obviously prime among them ActBlue, and just any existing donors, CRMs, and just campaign CRMs, which overwhelming obviously for a lot of Democrats, NGP. And in both of those, we've taken great pains to make sure that they're, that we kind of work as nicely as we can with those softwares. Actblue's actually super simple integrates a hundred percent fully. Once you set it up, any contribution that comes through ActBlue will just be part of that digital call sheet real time. You never have to worry about accidentally calling someone who just chipped in, and also frankly, with our scoring and our asking now and technology, it's a great way to surface someone who chipped in 25 bucks, but maybe has the capacity to do like a thousand if you just give them a call. So that integration is very seamless, very easy. NGP, we've built an entire import and export tool around the contact ID that lives inside of NGP. So every con every important, every export includes an NGP contact ID, so that if you're moving call logs between the two, if you're moving contact codes, tags, you name it. It's easy enough to make sure that as you're building lists in one place or the other, you have all the data you need in both places, and you're not accidentally creating any duplicates.

Joe Fuld (08:32):

And so are there any new features for 2020 that you're excited about?

Andrew Blumenfeld (08:38):

Some of the things that have been really exciting have been actually the investments in the power dialer itself. We've just seen the amount of call time that happens. And that happens remotely as well, really take off because you can have a call time manager, who's working from home and a candidate who's either on the road or also working from home or back at the state house or in DC that call time manager can be in the same call session. As the candidate can be managing the candidate's phone remotely and advancing their phone for them logging their phone for them leaving voicemails for them, it's really remarkable. And with the recent rollout of our iOS and Android apps as well, it just makes it even more easy for campaigns to work as a team, but also that that team doesn't need to be in the same place. And we've just seen really people be able to eke out every last dollar they can, and as kind of pain-free a way as they can with the investments that we've put into that dialer and with those mobile app technologies.

Joe Fuld (09:33):

Well, Andrew tool sounds awesome. We've heard great things about it. We will definitely check it out. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us about this. Again, folks listening, if you want to see more, hear more about the campaign tools that we're talking about on the show, feel free to go to and look at the tools list. Or you can go directly to Andrew's site to check out call time and that's

Andrew Blumenfeld (10:02):

That's Thanks so much for having us.

Joe Fuld (10:06):

Thanks for listening to this episode of How to Win a Campaign: Tools Edition, to learn more about great campaign tools, check out our blog and remember to like review and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

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