There are lots of important elements that make up a winning political campaign: fundraising, direct mail design, message, earned media. And while candidates need to devote adequate resources to each, there’s a much more vital element that many campaigns don’t pay nearly enough attention to: volunteers.
You probably won’t find many candidates for political office who don’t know that campaign volunteers are important to winning an election. Whether you’re running for local office or in a big statewide race, the more volunteers you have, the more effective your campaign is likely to be. Door-to-door efforts, mail preparation, phone calls . . . everything is easier when volunteers are there to lend a hand.
Political candidates instinctively know the value of campaign volunteers, yet they rarely take the necessary steps to recruit them or make them feel appreciated. Finding potential volunteers and asking them to help with campaign tasks can be intimidating for many new candidates, but you’re likely to have a lot more success if you plan out your strategy ahead of time.
Short of handing out paychecks, the single best way to make people want to help you with your campaign is by showing how hard you are willing to work yourself. While you might not have many volunteers early on in your political campaign, you’ll be surprised at how many people will line up to help if they see you working hard on the campaign trail.
But don’t think that you need an army of volunteers in order to win your race on election night.
Many new candidates make the mistake of thinking that they need dozens of volunteers in order to make a real difference in their political campaign. The truth is that even a few dedicated volunteers can cover a huge amount of ground when it comes to campaigning. You’d be amazed at just how much help a single volunteer can be, especially in a local campaign.
If you’re a political candidate, have you stopped to think about how much your volunteers help your campaign . . . whether you have dozens or only a few? Showing them how much you appreciate their efforts, and helping them realize how important they are to your campaign, is both politically savvy and the right thing to do.