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Planting Justice Canvass Team: Kommunity Agreements

This is a living document and will inevitably change from time to time.

It has come to the attention of the canvass borg that in order to succeed and excel as a group, we need to have a set of community norms that we develop and agree upon as a team that we can hold each other accountable to.

 Section 1: Time Management

1. Work starts at 10 AM and goes till 5:30 PM. This includes 30 minutes lunch break (unpaid) and 30 minutes of paid break time. Hours must be reported with the numbers text at the end of each work day so that payroll can be accurately calculated.

2. If you are going to be late, notify the collective at least 15 minutes before your shift starts.

3. If you wake up in the morning and realize you are not feeling well enough to come for the work day (physically, spiritually, or emotionally) notify the canvass collective by 9 AM.

4. If you wake up in the morning and you are not feeling well enough to work (spiritually or emotionally) but need to come to work to fulfill hours and responsibilities, please come with a positive attitude and a willingness to be fully present. If you need to vent, check in time can be used for that, but you should approach the work day with a positive attitude that does not allow outside issues to interfere with your performance or interactions with other team members.

4. If you need to take time off for vacation or any other extended period of time, you should tell the Outreach Coordinator as well as the canvass team at least 2 weeks in advance.

Section 2: Decorum

1. Respecting your Peers: As a group, we need to be present, active listeners during our meetings. Allow each and every person who speaks to finish their sentence before you offer your opinion. Interrupting folk and talking over their voice is disrespectful and will not be tolerated. Furthermore, we are all adults. There is no need to shout or yell your opinion, and if you disagree with someone, be aware of your tone and express this in a professional manner, there is no need to put down or demean anyone here. If a conversation is escalating in a negative way, it is the responsibility of the individuals involved or the group members present to intervene and make sure that the conflict is either resolved or shelved until a more opportune moment to be addressed. Wednesday staff meeting is an ideal time to bring up and resolve any conflicts that have developed over the course of the business week prior.

2. Phone Use: During work time (meetings, canvass time, phone banking, etc.) one should not use their phone for personal reasons unless in case of emergency. Bluetooth, headsets, and headphones should not be worn during work time, under any circumstances.  If you are in a group meeting that is in the middle of a conversation you feel does not pertain to you, this is not an opportunity for you to hop on Instagram, Facebook, etc. When we are in a group meeting it is essential for each and every individual to be present and participate. Using phones during the workday is permitted only during break and lunch time, or to check the time for scheduling purposes. If you have to use your phone for an emergency, alert the people you are working with, put your binder away if you are actively canvassing, and move away from the workspace to avoid distracting the group. If the emergency phone call takes a substantial amount of time away from your work day (30 minutes or more) then you should document this in your hours recording so that payroll adequately reflects hours worked.

2. Street Decorum:

As a representative of Planting Justice, you must be aware that when you hold a canvassing binder in your hand, you are the face of the organization. This means that we must be on our best behavior at all times when out in the street.

Behaviors that should be refrained from while actively canvassing

A. Smoking

B. Using a cell phone/ other electronic device

C. As a courtesy (but not a requirement) consuming food or beverage that is labeled corporate (Starbucks, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, etc.) should be avoided while actively canvassing. If you do, it is respectful to remove the corporate label from your food or drink to prevent the public from associating Planting Justice with such corporate entities.

D. Drinking alcohol or doing drugs.

E. Using profane language/ cursing

3. Public Relations:

When we are communicating with our donor community (this includes potential donors) we want to communicate in a way that reflects the sincere and professional caliber of Planting Justice. Assets to public relations:

A. Positive Leaves: When a canvasser is on the street talking to a donor, or potential donor, every conversation must end on a positive note. Even if a person does not give or does not express compassion we must have a positive leave, say “Have a nice day! Check out our website. etc. Negative or snarky remarks are not acceptable. This kind of behavior gives Planting Justice (and our canvassing brothers and sisters from other groups) a bad reputation. You leaving a stop on a positive note even when they don’t sign up means that person will be so much more likely to get involved in the future, so lets keep it fun for everyone!

B. Difficult Stops: When a canvasser encounters a difficult stop do your best to not let the situation escalate. If a person is being cruel to you or personally attacking you the best thing to do is ignore them. If you really need to protect yourself by ignoring someone or dismissing them from your personal space, then do so, but keep the reputation of Planting Justice in mind.

4. Numbers:

At the end of the day, canvassing numbers need to be sent to the PJ Canvass Gmail Account. This numbers text includes each of the following metrics from individual canvassers: hours worked, Number of stops, number of donations, total sustainer amount, and total amount raised. This text should be sent at the time when canvassers finish up the work day. In the case that no canvasser has a cell phone with battery left, the numbers text should be sent by the canvasser who takes pouches home as soon as physically possible. In order to avoid numbers texts not being sent on time, canvassers should show up to work with a phone charger and make sure their device is adequately charged throughout the day. It is strongly encouraged that the crew leader for the day take pouches to the office after the end of the work day to ensure donor security and this errand will be considered paid time. If this errand can not be executed, pouches must be delivered the next business day to ensure timely accounting.

5. Canvasser Development:

This job is one of continuous evolution. No one is “perfect” and there is always room for improvement. In order to ensure that our representatives are continuously sharpening and refining their skills, canvassers need to come up with a skill set that they would like to work on as an individual throughout the course of the work week. At Wednesday meetings, when averages from the week prior are distributed, each individual needs to reflect upon their performance and be able to identify one skill they are very good at (potentially something they could offer to the group in the form of training or motivation) and one skill that they need support in developing so that they can excel and grow; this information will be recorded in the staff meeting notes by the appointed scribe. This community agreement is established so that as a collective, we can effectively support each other in the arduous task of grassroots organizing and face-to-face fundraising.

6. Training:

Every morning, before heading out to turf, some sort of training activity must take place (except for the day of our weekly canvass staff meeting). This can be a skill based training (e.g. response cycles, high ask, rapport building, etc.) or it can be a non-skills training (heart circle, meditation, an energizer, song pitch, backwards pitch, clap rap, fake pitch, etc.) The Morning Facilitator is responsible for ensuring that the training is directly reflective of the individual canvassers needs as stated in the Wednesday meeting during “Rose and a Thorn” time. The Cheerleader is responsible for making sure that training starts and ends on time (start time is 10 AM, hard stop is 11 AM). The training can be preceded or followed by a check in if the Morning Facilitator so wishes, and each individual canvasser who checks in should take no longer than 3 minutes to do so unless there is a particularly pressing issue (external or internal) that needs to be promptly addressed to ensure the day proceeds smoothly.

7. Roles:

In order to maintain a collective operating procedure, various roles within the canvass team must be shared. If a role duty is missed for two weeks in a row, the individual responsible for completing the tasks associated with that role will be placed on role review. The team will then have a group discussion about how to render the situation, and the person in question must present a plan to restore trust to the group for the next week’s role.  If a duty is missed for a third week, the group will reconvene and re-address the situation.

Cheerleader: The Cheerleader is responsible for keeping time (making sure that the group starts and ends the morning activities according to general scheduling rules) and motivating the group. This includes developing incentives for high performance as well as encouraging people to put their best foot forward when the going gets rough. Also, the Cheerleader is responsible for facilitating the process of celebrating individual canvasser highlights (major donations, a highly successful day, etc.) and cheering up/encouraging canvassers who are struggling (the big skill here is knowing what works for people in terms of receiving praise, etc.). This means that the Cheerleader is responsible for checking the numbers from the day prior so they have an idea of where each canvasser is at when the work day begins. Last but not least, this person is responsible for checking sites before the day begins and developing the crew assignments for each day at each turf site.

Morning Facilitator (Mother Father): The Morning Facilitator is responsible for starting the morning meeting promptly at 10am. They are also responsible for facilitating the morning activity during the meeting. Morning office time must include some sort of organized activity, and can include a check in, updating stay classy pages, etc.

Office Dragon: The Office dragon is a rotating role that occurs once a week. This person comes into the office for a whole day and is not held accountable for a street canvassing quota that day. The duties associated with this role will be developed by the Outreach Coordinator on a weekly basis as the administrative needs of the canvass team fluxuate. Duties associated with this role may include: databasing, organizing donor forms, developing and documenting institutional knowledge, general phone banking, or running canvass errands.

Crew Leader (Site Serpent): This individual is decided upon by the crew upon arrival to site. This person is responsible for ensuring that break schedules are respectfully adhered to, and that each canvasser is “set up for success” (placed in a spot that has an adequate flow of traffic, in good spirits, etc.) Crew leader is responsible for using break time to check in with the group vibe and re-inspire/motivate when the day is a struggle. At the end of the day, crew leader is responsible for sending a numbers text to PJ Canvass Gmail and collecting all money pouches to be delivered to the office no later than the next day. If the crew leader is not working the next day, pouches should be delivered to the office that evening or given to a canvasser who is going to be at the office the following morning so that deposits can be delivered promptly. If the individual who Crew Leader asks to deliver pouches fails to do so within the designated time frame, the onus of responsibility then belongs to that individual as long as the Crew Leader made it publicly known that the torch was passed.

8. Accountability:

These community agreements are written down so that we can recall the agreements we have collectively made when a breach in this set of standards occurs.

A. Quota Review: If a canvasser is under quota for two weeks in a four week period, they will be placed on review which means they need to maintain an average above quota for two weeks in a row. If within the first or second week (with at least 3 full days of paid canvassing time) of review the representative does not reach quota, then the canvasser is subject to dismissal based upon a group consensus (minus the interested party).

B. Role Review- If a canvasser fails to complete their weekly duty associated with the role rotation then they will have to explain to the group why they did not fulfill their duty and how they plan to restore trust to the group during the following week. If a canvasser fails to complete the duty associated with their role for two weeks in a row, then the individual will be evaluated by the group and repercussions may ensue based on the collective decision making process.

C. General Behavior and Punctuality: If it becomes evident that a canvasser is not adhering to behavioral standards or work schedules, each member of the collective has the opportunity to give voice to this fact in the group context. The Canvass Collective will then develop a follow up procedure for making sure that the problem at hand is resolved in a timely fashion.

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