Tabling To Win

Increase visibility, talk to voters, sign up volunteers, register new voters and raise more money


 Tabling, House Parties, Rallies and Fundraisers are a "Bottom Up" grassroots, pyramid approach to campaigning where the more tabling you do, the more people you will have to attend House Parties, Rallies and Fundraisers. But first you have to get people to do the tabling and to do that you have to engage the grassroots. 

A common mistake made in working with the grassroots is an expectation for people to show up magically and volunteer. When that doesn't happen, a campaign hires pros to do the job and the potential power of the grassroots is lost. There is a tendency to get caught in a "Chicken or Egg" paradox, when a campaign realizes how far behind they are and begin to panic. For example, they will say they don't have time for social events but are also frustrated by a lack of volunteers for a ballot petition drive and begin blaming the grassroots for not showing up. 

Guess what? The way to get the grassroots to show up and volunteer is to hold social events like a campaign office open house. The grassroots community is good at inviting and steering people to events but it is up to a campaign to engage those people and get them involved. The grassroots can be a firestorm of support but must be planned for and handled with care. 

Engaging the Grassroots 
To engage the grassroots, start early in a campaign by scheduling social events and inviting people by email and posting flyers at nearby college campuses, dorms, libraries, coffee shops, cafes, smoothy bars, high schools, yoga parlors, hair salons, gyms, etc. Conduct a separate effort of flyering by searching parking lots and putting flyers under windshield wipers of cars with like-minded bumper stickers. At these social events you sign up volunteers to do tabling and clipboarding/petition signing and to sign up more volunteers to cover more events. The Foundation is Tabling Tabling is unique because it takes advantage of community events and reaches swing voters and people who would normally not attend House Parties, Rallies and Fundraisers. It is also the best forum to sign up new volunteers and funnel more people to more events.

The Foundation is Tabling
Tabling is unique because it takes advantage of community events and reaches swing voters and people who would normally not attend House Parties, Rallies and Fundraisers.  It is also the best forum to sign up new volunteers and funnel more people to more events.

Every Tabling event can include: 

  • Raising money (small donation bucket + campaign gear) 
  • Talking to swing voters 
  • Signing up volunteers 
  • Ballot petition signing 
  • Registering new voters 
  • Raising visibility

Every event should have signup sheets to sign up volunteers and add people to email/mailing lists, gathering better and more up to date contact data.

Think of it like a pyramid or vacuum, where Tabling is the wide mouth, leading people to the other levels (Tabling > House Parties > Rallies > Fundraisers).  The important point is to try to cover every possible: County Fair, Farmers Market, Flea Market, Art Festival, Hayride, Outdoor Concert, Music Festival, Parade, Community Picnic, Barbecue, Fish Fry, Craft Show, Book Fair, Yard Sale, Art Fair, Wine Tasting, Fireworks Display, Fall Festival, Scottish Games, Dog Show, Halloween Haunted House etc. To do this you have to start early and engage the grassroots. 

TABLING TIP: Coleman folding camping tables are very lightweight and compact with a convenient carrying handle. Inexpensive and easy to transport and setup.

Tabling Resources:
Using Campaign Gear to Raise Money, Not Cost Money
 



Some groups who did it right in the 2004 election cycle were able to raise a great deal of money from small donations for campaign gear.  In return they were able to cover more tabling and house parties and gain more visibility while signing up more volunteers and registering and talking to more voters.  Don't get caught paying retail prices for small orders and paying last minute express shipping charges.

   1. Plan ahead
   2. Pool your orders with other groups
   3. Buy in bulk

 
DemStore.com - The best Democratic campaign gear for raising money, visibility, awareness and volunteers. Signs, Stickers, Buttons, T-shirts and more, union made in the U.S.A.  Please check in on DemStore.com for exciting new features to help facilitate bulk pricing and better grassroots organizing.