GOTV Tactics for Advocacy

by Joe Fuld (He/Him)


Using GOTV Techniques for Advocacy and Organizing

Advocacy campaigns get inspired by GOTV.  Get Out The Vote, has come a long way. A good GOTV program can give a political campaign a big lift and those tactics are now being used for advocacy. you can read more about GOTV techniques here and here. GOTV techniques have transcended their former use as “valued election tools”, and are now the core component of modern GOTV Tactics. They are being turned into engagement plans and are being used in advocacy, nonprofit organizing, and the corporate world. 


As you may know, a growing problem in the nonprofit, advocacy and corporate space is engagement. We communicate with folks all the time and bombard them with messages, but that does not necessarily mean people act on them. The hallmark of a good GOTV plan is engagement. Getting folks to commit to voting and then enforcing that commitment. Bolstering that engagement can be achieved through door-to-door or phone canvassing programs, digital GOTV through banner ads, email, CPA campaigns or SMS and through a variety of field actives. We have seen companies and advocacy groups layer these strategies like we do for GOTV in a political campaign. They are doing it to create a greater connection and engagement. Examples of GOTV in the non-profit and public sector include:

  • Canvass for a Cause, a California non-profit organization that, as the name would imply, uses canvassing in order to engage and inform citizens on progressive issues like LGBT rights.
  • Oregon non-profits, including the Fund for the Public Interest and OSPRIG, use canvassing as a way to fundraise.
  • British Petroleum canvassed investors after the Gulf Shores oil spill on the possibility of the organization breaking up.

How have you seen non profits, groups and companies using Get Out The Vote/ GOTV techniques? Share your Non campaign GOTV examples here and check our Advocacy E-book for more ideas.