6 WAYS TO VOLUNTEER
HOST A MEET & GREET
You can invite your neighbors over for coffee on a Saturday morning or wine on a weeknight to meet the candidate. Ask the campaign how long your event should be, what time works for them, and how many people they would consider a successful event to be. They might look at their records and ask you to include nearby neighbors you don’t know in the invitation. This is a great way to meet new people.
I encourage you to try this even if you think you can’t talk to people. You can go with a partner and see how it is done. You aren’t knocking on just any door; you are given a list of addresses in a neighborhood for people who are likely voters. Primarily, you knock, no one answers, and you leave a door hanger. You get exercise, soak up a little Vitamin D, and help get the candidate’s name in front of voters. A win for everyone.
If I can do it, you can do it. will provide scripts, but don’t be afraid to modify them (for style, not substance) to make them sound more like you. Most of the folks on the other end of the line will be either friendly OR honest about wanting to get off the phone. Once in a while, you have a great chat with an older person (because that’s who has land lines) who will reinforce your faith in humanity and democracy with their passion for your candidate or issue.
When volunteers return from phone-banking, and when donations come in, someone has to log them into the computer. If you think data entry is your thing, please make a commitment for the long haul. Campaign staff can train you, but to make the most of the time they spend training you, you need to show up on a regular basis. And, accuracy is very, very important. Take your time and get it right. The campaign uses this information to plan future block-walks and phone banks, and relies upon it for mandatory financial reports.
GIVE & RAISE MONEY
To earn votes, campaigns have to connect with voters. Those connections are phone calls, emails, handshakes at events, articles in the newspaper, eyeballs on signs, etc., and even with a tremendous volunteer base, campaigns need to spend money to make these things happen. If you can’t write a big check, consider making a monthly gift of a smaller amount to help with cash flow. And, consider bundling. If you get ten friends to each give $10 a month for 12 months, and the campaign finds ten other people to do that, it adds up.
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTING
There’s a famous campaign saying you should know: signs don’t vote. Aside from being obviously true, social media posts don't either. But that's not the point. It's about creating a reputation that proceeds us in the 5 previously mentioned types of volunteering. Play nice. Speak truth. Be brief. Comment first on an article about your candidate, and say something positive without resorting to mudslinging about the other candidate. That helps get the message out, and makes the people who comment after you look like jerks.