The global COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all of us, all around the world. We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy in these unprecedented times. Here at ControlShift, we're trying to do our part to support our local communities and our partner organizations as best we can.
We know that for many of our partner organizations, the way you're working, organizing, and campaigning have had to change because of the pandemic. On our side, we've been rolling out some new features to the ControlShift platform to try and help. We'll be collating information about those new features – as well the tactics, tools, and trainings that are being shared in the progressive organizing space – into this document. We'll be adding new resources and updating this document regularly.
Again, we hope that you and yours stay safe and healthy – if there are things that we can do to help, please let us know.
New in the ControlShift Platform
For organizations using the events toolset, we've rolled out a few new features to help support your event organizing during the pandemic. We've also included a few reminders about existing features that you may find useful.
- Virtual events by default: We've released a setting that allows organizations to change the default behavior for the new event creation form. Instead of showing the location search for in-person events by default, we'll show users the timezone selector that's used for virtual events. If needed, users will still be able to switch the event to an in-person event.
To change the default behavior for event creation, go to the admin homepage > Settings > Options > Events and check the Virtual events by default box. This change will affect all event creation forms, including group, calendar, and petition events.
- Web conference URL: When creating a virtual event, we'll now ask event hosts for their web conference URL. If the host enters that information, we'll show a Join web conference button on the event page, and web conference information will be included in the admin moderation queue and in the confirmation and reminder emails for events and attendees.
As a reminder, we also allow event hosts to include links in the event's description. (Additionally, if your users are hosting video conference calls, you may want to share some tips about how to host a successful video call.
- Event redirects: We rolled out support for redirecting event pages to other URLs. This feature may be useful if you need to send users to a Zoom RSVP page (for example) instead of the main event page. To set up the redirect go to the event page > Admin > Settings > Event Page. More information about setting up a redirect is available: https://support.controlshiftlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/204369128#redirect.
- Attendee limits: We're now including attendee limits in the moderation queue for events. This may be useful if you're approving an in-person event and want to set an attendee limit. Once the attendee limit is reached, users will be allowed to join the waitlist. If a confirmed attendee changes their attending status, the first person on the waitlist will be notified that they're able to attend the event. You can learn more about attendee limits here: https://support.controlshiftlabs.com/hc/en-us/articles/204249978#standalone.
- New Event Lede: As a reminder, the new event lede allows you to provide tips and other information to your hosts. (You can see an example here: https://test3.staging.controlshiftlabs.com/events/new.) To add text to the top of the event form, go to the admin homepage > Settings > Contents > Events > New Event Lede. Please note that this field accepts HTML.
If you have any questions, or if there are other changes to the platform that would help support your work during this unusual time, please send us an email.
Tools, Tactics, and Trainings
We're all in this together, so we're using this space to collate various tips, tactics, and trainings that have been shared throughout the progressive organizing space. If there are other resources you'd like to share, let us know or leave a comment on this article.
- Tectonica's twice-monthly TON (Tectonica Organising Network) Newsletter always has great information in it, including tips, upcoming trainings, reading lists, etc. They've also been curating resources for COVID response. You can subscribe here.
- The Tuesday Company has put together a guide for Organizing While Corona.
- Powerlabs has put together a guide for running successful and troll-free Zoom meetings. Check it out.
- EveryAction has released a guide for fundraising throughout the pandemic and financial uncertainty.