How We Hustle: Creating Groups as Communities

When we think about how technology can strengthen organizational ties, we keep coming back to a common theme: relationships and conversations. It’s increasingly hard to grab people’s attention these days as folks are inundated with information and asks. It’s tough to keep up, which makes local, personal connection to each other, our communities and constituents critical to progress. This is one of the reasons we decided to structure groups in Hustle in a way that prioritizes communities and the relationships within them.

What are Groups?

In Hustle, organization admins create groups to organize their universe of contacts into smaller communities of people for organizers to connect with. Group admins can continue to upload lists of contacts and add agents/organizers as their communities grow.

Benefits to treating groups like communities:

  • Relationships: Using the same phone number to text contacts means that contacts can see the thread of messages and develop familiarity with the organizer. That person can also save the organizer’s Hustle number as a contact.
  • Targeting: It’s easy to target specific segments of your community within a group using tags and custom fields.
  • Identity: As organizers converse with contacts, they learn more about that person, which allows them to connect more genuinely and add additional information to the contact’s profile.

How should I set-up my groups?

Here’s our recommended flow for group creation, especially when focused on building relationships with your contacts over a period of time.

Step 1: Tags and Custom Fields
Consider what information about your contacts you’d like to have in the system. Do you want to upload fields like city, zip code or congressional district, or tags like volunteer or donor? Go to Settings->Tags & Custom Fields and add them there first. This will ensure they’re available when you or other admins upload lists of contacts.

Step 2: Create Your Groups
Organization admins can create groups. When you create a group:

  • Consider a naming structure that is scalable (ex. CO — West Slope Region).
  • The group location determines the area code of the Hustle phone numbers that your organizers will be assigned when you add them, so choose a location with an area code relevant to the contacts within that group.

Step 3: Prepare CSV for Upload
The minimum information you need to upload contacts to Hustle is first name, last name and phone number. Beyond that, you may also want to include information you’d like to use to target segments of your groups or use in a script (ex. City, County, District).

Step 4: Add Contacts & Agents/Organizers
You can continue to add both contacts and agents/organizers after your group is set up. Hustle scrubs your list for textable numbers upon upload, so if you have a list of 1,000 contacts or more, it’s best to upload that list before adding agents/organizers, so that you have a better idea of how many agents you’ll need.

  • Add Contacts: Click into a group -> Contacts/Supporters tab -> Add Contacts -> Choose a CSV File
  • Tags: Upon upload you can apply tags in bulk to the list. For example if your list is all volunteers, you can select the “volunteer” tag and it will apply to all contacts you are uploading.
  • Add Agents
  • Assigning Contacts to Organizers

Group Tips:

  1. It’s best practice to build within a group instead of creating new groups for every new goal. When agents/organizers are added to a new group, they are given a new Hustle phone number, so keeping organizers and contacts within a group helps maintain their relationships.
  2. There is a limit of 10,000 contacts per group + 1,000 assigned per agent, which is good to keep in mind when you’re thinking about how many groups you’d like to create.
  3. Phone Number is the unique identifier in Hustle, so you can *upload or even re-upload the same number into the same group* with additional information without creating duplicates.

For more best practices and Hustle how-to articles, check out