Reach more Hispanics with online services to meet their needs. Echar una mano.

8 mins read

Design your outreach campaign around your audience’s concerns. More engagement with less expense.

This outreach applies proven community organizing principles. It engages people where they are. Providing online help is cost-effective as it connects people to existing resources they may not know about, rather than you having to provide the actual service. Echar una mano’ is ‘lend a hand’ in Spanish. This blog showcases examples of this approach in action and how to design such an outreach program.

  • Avoiding eviction
  • Finding the nearest food bank
  • Help for people facing deportation
  • Getting free WiFi
  • Help with childcare
  • Help for people facing deportation
  • Reaching voters where they are (away from computers)

What is an engagement funnel?

How to design an engagement outreach program

  • Start by identifying the needs of your target audience
  • Find the resources that could be helpful in meeting that need
  • Provide that resource to them in the language and the form that works for them (text message vs web page)
  • Build contact lists of the people you have helped to follow-up with them later

Getting people to pay attention to a concern on their mind is easier than an ad without immediate relevance. The opt-in contact lists built let you call or text the respondents after the initial contact. This engagement funnel lets you have multiple contacts with an individual with each interaction building trust.


Setting up an automated helpline to provide information by text messages costs about $50/month. The cost per opt-in contact list with a valid cell phone number comes to 8 cents/record – assuming 20 people use the service per day.

Compare this to spending (say) $2,000 on an ad campaign which involves creating the ad ($800), building a web landing page for click throughs ($200) and $1,000 to publish the ad. Your ad would be delivered to 1,000 people ten times per person at $10/CPM (cost to serve an 1,000 times). 20 people would click on the ad assuming a typical response rate of 2%. These 200 people ( 1,000 x 10 x 2% )would be directed to your web landing page to collect their details.

Assume 10% of these 200 people filled out the form and provided their information translated to 20 completed forms. You can only follow up with people who completed the online form and provide their contact information. This is $100/lead ($2,000 to get details on 20 people) in addition to the exposure your ad got.

Fending off eviction

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Millions of Americans could be left homeless after the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the eviction moratorium. How can tenants find the forms that might protect them from being evicted? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an order that may protect you from being evicted or removed from where you are living. 

Get free WiFi

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When they go low by denying internet access to suppress voters, go high with free internet hotspots to help voters and build contact lists at the same time. Hispanic communities; poor rural and urban areas suffer from a lack of internet connectivity. Provide free WiFi at community centers, sports events, merchants for less than $2/day (for unlimited bandwidth and upto 12 simultaneous users) and build contact lists at the same time.

Dealing with deportation

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Worried About Your Child’s Well Being If You’re Deported? There Is An App For That. Finding reliable information on ever changing immigration rules is hard. It’s even harder when your English is poor and you’re in a hurry. There are several helpful resource groups but answers to complex immigration issues are often scattered across different websites or involve finding an expert to consult with. A simple way to securely find answers and locate experts is needed. Get the free app here.

Find the nearest food bank

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The digital divide hurts the poor by making it harder for them to find the resources they desperately need. VoterPAC uses an innovative approach to help the needy in California’s Central Valley and build contact lists. It provides details on nearby food banks with an automated text helpline, so those without internet access and unfamiliar with online searches can find free food banks.

Get free diapers so your child can go to daycare

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Community organizers help people solve problems such as not having a diaper for their baby. It’s a big need. Most child care facilities require parents to provide diapers for their child. Nationally, 57% of parents experiencing diaper need who rely on child care said they missed an average of four days of school or work in the past month because they didn’t have diapers. – NDBNMothers of Hope and Power Coalition are community organizers that help those in need through a host of services including free diapers. They use an automated chatbot to build opt-in contact lists of the people getting diapers. This enables them to both help communities and organize them collective action.

Go where the voters are

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Many potential voters aren’t at computers. They are at construction sites, factories, working at hotels. Reach them where they are. Provide free WiFi through vendors who serve them such as taco trucks, barber shops, markets. The vendor gets to provide free WiFi to their customers while you build contact lists of your desired demographics for a few cents per record.

TakeAway: Think outside the advertising box to reach more Hispanics for less money and build goodwill in the process.


Image credit: Jhon David on Unsplash

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Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

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