Recruiting volunteers for your political campaign can be challenging. Today, more than ever, people have a lot on the go, and they might balk at the thought of having to add one more commitment to their schedules.
However, this does not mean that it can’t be done. It just means that you need to be strategic in your recruiting. You need to be cognizant of when to bring on volunteers, and also when to ask for them.
Of course, in addition to volunteers, you also need to be proactive about fundraising for your campaign. In many cases, these two activities are interlinked, because fundraising involves face-to-face meetings or phone calls. It’s best to spend most of your one-on-one time with donors who are likely to offer the largest donations, as these types of meetings can be quite time-consuming. Working with volunteers can really help speed things up.
So, when do you ask for volunteers and donations? Here are some tips.
After You Recruit A Volunteer Coordinator
Quite simply, the right time to ask for volunteers is after you recruit a trustworthy volunteer coordinator. It’s not worth going to the trouble of recruiting an army of volunteers if you don’t have someone that can show them what they need to do and to stay organized in the midst of campaigning.
There’s no question that all of them need to be loyal and hardworking, but having a skilled leader in their midst will definitely expedite things. If you’re going to work with volunteers, remember to work with someone that can lead them too.
Additionally, if you can find a volunteer coordinator with a broad set of connections at colleges, associations, local political parties and other known networks, that’s the ideal. These tend to be prime locations for recruiting volunteers, so having an “in” can definitely be an asset.
When Tasks Become Unmanageable
Another obvious time to recruit volunteers is when your team is beginning to feel overwhelmed by their workload. Simple, time-consuming, tedious tasks can be easily delegated to volunteers, whether it’s handing out flyers, putting up posters, running direct mail campaigns, or other promotional efforts.
If possible, start recruiting well in advance of overwhelm. If you find yourself with too many things to do, it can be difficult to add one more thing to your agenda in an attempt to bring on recruits. Begin recruiting several weeks before any major campaigning activities if you want to work with the best people possible.
Asking For Donations
In general, personal meetings are the best way to solicit donations, especially larger sums. As such, the candidate is often the best person for the job, and should be freed up to conduct one-on-one solicitations. This also speaks to the importance of volunteers, since they should help free up more of the candidate’s time.
Therefore, the best time to start asking for donations is when there is already a team of volunteers in place. This ensures that the momentum of the campaign isn’t lost, and continues on while the candidate and his or her team are busy asking for donations.
If the candidate cannot conduct all of the meetings, then the campaign manager or finance committee can also assist. If there are any key business people among your volunteers, you may want to enlist their help as well.
It can be challenging to time the recruiting of your volunteers as well as the solicitation of donations. However, they are amongst the most important activities you can engage in during your campaign.
Make sure to prioritize, and don’t discount the importance of gut instincts, as these can sometimes lead to important insights and meaningful answers.
If you are looking for help with your next campaign, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’d love to see you succeed in your political endeavors!