List Building for Nonprofits | Organizational Best Practices

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List Building for Nonprofits: Tips to Build a Movement 

List building for nonprofits is extremely important. These are people you can turn to for donations, taking action on your behalf, volunteering, and more. When list building, it’s important that you follow a few best practices. This will ensure you’re getting the best possible supporters and doing so in the best possible way.

1.  Never, ever buy a list. Buying an email list may seem like a fast and easy way for list building for nonprofits, but almost always this is a bad idea. First of all, the people on a list you buy haven’t opted into receiving emails from you. They may not even know what your organization is or be a supporter of your cause. This will lead to more people unsubscribing. Second of all, most bulk email systems (the good ones) will not allow purchased lists to be uploaded into their systems. This is to prevent spam. Don’t be a spammer!

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Canvasser Safety Tips

Canvassing safety

Canvasser Safety: How to Be Safe on the Doors

Be safe in the field with these canvasser safety tips. Canvassing can be dangerous, as it requires that you approach strangers in what is often unfamiliar terrain. There are also two very prominent dangers to the grassroots canvasser, namely loose dogs and confrontational people. Below is a short list of suggestions to protect you and your canvassers while knocking on doors.

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GOTV: What To Do With Your Leaners

Get Out The Vote Tips

A GOTV Question for the Ages – What to Do With Your "2s"?

ID-ing your supporters is an important part of any field campaign especially for GOTV. There are a variety of ways for Voter ID to help Get Out The Vote. One common method of voter ID using a 1-6 scale to measure each individual’s support score, with 1 being a solid supporter, 3 undecided, 5 firmly opposed, and a 6 not home.

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Canvassing Campaigns Still Matter


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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What Is Paid Canvassing and Do I Want Some?

paid canvassing

Spoiler: You PROBABLY Want Paid Canvassing

This may come as a shock to many people, but not every political campaign has people lining up to volunteer like President Barack Obama’s did. In fact, that was the rare exception, and for many campaigns, getting more than a handful of volunteers is a miracle. We know that high-quality, face-to-face voter contact is the best tool in our arsenal for both persuasion and turn out, but not every campaign has the footprint to cover a robust field operation using volunteers or campaign staff alone. In fact, many won’t. That’s where paid canvassing comes in.

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How Do I Organize A Candidate Photo Shoot?

Candidate Photo Shoots

A Beginners Guide to Putting Together a Candidate Photo Shoot

So, you are going to put together your first candidate photo shoot, great! As we’ve written before, producing custom photography is one of the best ways to increase the impact and appeal of your political direct mail. But where do you begin? Well, there’s a lot to do, and if you don’t prepare in advance, chances are your campaign shoot won’t go that well. Below is a beginner’s guide to organizing a candidate photo shoot that will hopefully help you start planning.

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Engaging Your Campaign Supporter List

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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Volunteer Recruitment 101

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Campaign Tips: Volunteer Recruitment 101

In a perfect world, a flood of volunteers would fight their way through the door the minute your grassroots campaign launched. In reality, however, volunteer recruitment is one of the most arduous challenges of a grassroots field campaign. And unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Recruitment takes hard work and needs to be tailor fit to the dynamics and the personality of each turf.  With those caveats in mind, below are a few general tips to start off the volunteer recruitment process.

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