After a wild election cycle and generally tumultuous year, 2020 is finally coming to a close. For Bluebonnet, it's been a big year, so we want to share an update on our fellowship numbers, campaigns, and projects, as well as some of the exciting things to come in 2021.
At a glance, here's what Bluebonnet did this year:
Recruited and trained a community of 500+ fellows.
Built data and tech teams for 400+ campaigns and causes.
Facilitated more than 35,000 hours of volunteer work.
Established a national presence, working in 35 states.
Reached campaigns at every level, from school board to US Senate.
We're proud to have built a program that is training the next generation of data-savvy campaign managers, candidates, and leaders. Before joining Bluebonnet, 69% of fellows had never volunteered for a campaign before; after the fellowship, 90% plan to volunteer for political campaigns in the future.
Next week, we'll wrap up our work in the Georgia runoff. Then, we'll launch our first wave of campaign teams for 2021. Already, we've partnered with several campaigns preparing for the next cycle — and many fellows have indicated that they intend to continue volunteering through Bluebonnet.
The success of this year is a result of the long-term relationships between Bluebonnet, the fellows, and our partners. Fellows volunteer between 5-7 hours per week with their campaign and nonprofit partners for at least 3 months, and most fellows stay on through election day. By creating a bridge between young, tech-savvy talent and campaigns, we're creating a movement that will build people power in the progressive ecosystem for years to come.
And here are a few of the ways that Bluebonnet fellows used their data skills to make a direct impact:
Voter targeting (e.g., building lists in VAN) — 73.6% of data teams did this kind of project.
District overview (e.g., mapping census data) — 60.7%
Win number calculation — 42.1%
Early and absentee voter tracking — 32.6%
Software setup — 29.2%
Read about the MN ballot chase, GA postcard analysis, and ThruText sentiment analysis here.
Now, we're building a bank of projects that can be referenced and shared with Bluebonnet partners in the coming cycles, lowering barriers of access to data projects and expertise.
Most importantly, we want to say THANK YOU and leave you with a few fellow stories. These stories underscore the impact that Bluebonnet fellows are making across the country.
Flipping Wisconsin: Why Deep Red Districts are Worth Our Effort. A case study of the WI-05 Congressional District.
First They Ignore You: Miranda shares her experience as a first-generation college student working on Chloe Maxmin's Maine State Senate campaign.
The View From the Boiler Room: John provides an in-depth look at his time volunteering with Marquita Bradshaw's Tennessee Senate campaign.
What's it like working on a rural campaign in 2020? Kriti, Simran, and Lauren frame their time with Rita Cruise's North Carolina State House campaign.
We are so excited about Bluebonnet's future and how we will enhance progressive races in 2021 and beyond. Thank you so much for your support thus far. If you'd like to leave a New Year's donation for Bluebonnet Data, here's our ActBlue.
Stay safe, and have a happy New Year!
Executive Director, Bluebonnet Data