• Grassroots Campaigns: a Political Memory

    Jul 06, 2016 by Joe Fuld

    grassroots campaigns memories

    How I Learned Grassroots Campaigns from the Master

    Every Fourth of July, I think about my former boss, Congressman Jim Jontz. Jim taught me the importance of grassroots campaigns - real conversations, and knocking on doors. Jim was a congressman from Indiana’s 5th district and a progressive legend. In his first campaign, he won a state representative seat by 4 votes. He went on to win a state senate seat by less than 100 hundred votes and three congressional elections by less than four thousand votes total. He was my mentor and teacher in the world of grassroots campaigns.

    I, along with many future campaign operatives, got my start in politics by doing field work for Jim Jontz in a rural Indiana district. There, I spent six months of my life organizing volunteers and knocking on doors and got a great apprenticeship in how to run grassroots campaigns.

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  • Canvassing Campaigns Still Matter

    Apr 07, 2016 by Joe Fuld

    canvassing

    Don't knock door-to-door canvassing

    Canvassing is special to me. I love knocking on doors. I think it is still a vastly underrated form of communication. Why do I think canvassing is so special? Because of the connection direct contact makes with targeted voters in a personal and systematic way. With any paid medium you need repetition over a condensed period of time.

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  • Engaging Your Campaign Supporter List

    Mar 03, 2014 by Ben Holse

    campaign supporter racoon

    Building a Campaign Supporter List: Keep Your Campaign Supporters Engaged!

    Your organization has developed a strong campaign supporter list. That’s great news! Now let’s make sure we keep your campaign supporters involved with your campaign or cause. Email is undoubtedly one effective method of communicating with your campaign supporters. There are, however, a variety of other ways to engage with your campaign supporter list as well. Here are a few suggestions:

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  • Tips to Mitigate Volunteer Flake Rate in Your Grassroots Campaign

    Oct 17, 2013 by Ben Holse

    5 Tips for Reducing Campaign Volunteer Flake Rate

    Stop Grassroots Volunteers From Bailing

     Running a grassroots campaign is hard. There are always going to be grassroots volunteers who sign up for shifts and do not show up. That’s why when organizing an event, you can generally assume a 50% flake rate (percentage of grassroots volunteers who do not show up for their shift).  More often than not, however, with the right coaxing, you can get a volunteer, who would have otherwise failed, to turn out for their shift. Below are a few suggestions to help you to mitigate your flake rate.

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  • Canvassing Rural Areas

    Sep 16, 2013 by Ben Holse

    Canvassing Rural Areas image

    Canvassing Rural Areas: Door to Door Is Not the Same Everywhere

    Canvassing rural areas present a unique set of challenges. While you want to canvass as many homes in these areas as you can, as grassroots canvassing is the most effective method of volunteer voter contact, you also want to do so in a way that makes sense for both you and your canvassers. Below are a couple of suggestions for overcoming the challenges of rural canvassing:

    1) Open up your specs as wide as you can when pulling a list for sparsely populated areas in order to create the densest turfs possible.

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  • Political Organizers Top Tips for Campaign Data Entry | TCW

    Jun 19, 2013 by Ben Holse

    data entry tips for political organizers

    Political Organizers Top Campaign Tips for Data Entry:

    For political organizers, data entry and turf cutting are the two most likely tasks that will be keeping you up late into the night. Unlike cutting turf, which can be strangely comforting, data entry is only really enjoyable when it is complete. So to help out political organizers still in the field we have compiled a short list of tips to make data entry a bit easier.

    1. There are a number of campaign tools now available that can help reduce the amount of data that you have to enter at the end of the day. The technology exists for canvassers to enter data on their smartphones or tablets while they are canvassing and for phone bankers to input data in a virtual phone bank as they make each call. Check out or list of 100 campaign tools for political organizers here. For a paper list, you may also be able to use the barcoding feature, provided that you can get your hands on a barcode scanner. It is possible that your campaign will not have these pieces of technology on-hand. If your campaign’s field program is set up to utilize these technologies, then be sure to ask your volunteers to bring in their personal technology to use when you call to remind them about their shifts.

    2. Throughout the course of the campaign, you will likely encounter an individual who wants to help, but refuses to do any voter contact. These individuals are prime targets for data entry. While your data volunteer is working, make sure that the individual knows their contribution is highly valued. Ask them if they can come in once or twice a week to help with data entry.

    3. If you are working with other organizers or other campaigns, coordinate data entry time so you can have conversations to keep you awake and alert. But at a certain point, you do have to just crank up the tunes and knock it out.

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