Volunteer Orientation

This is a template. Copy and paste the content below into a blank document and add your own campaign details.

Welcome to the ________ campaign for ________.  Over the next few months there will be many different activities and tasks that will need your valuable time and effort.  You will be asked to help out based on the priorities established by the campaign manager. Below is a list of some of the volunteer activities you may be asked to do:

Canvassing – Canvassing specifically means to cover a neighborhood with volunteers for the purpose of voter ID, persuasion (door walking), literature drops, voter registration and GOTV (flushing).  A canvass will have different priorities at different times in a campaign.  Early in a campaign voter ID, persuasion and registration are more important.  Late in a campaign literature drops and GOTV or flushing occurs to get people out to vote.

Leafleting / Flyering - Involves handing out and/or posting printed campaign material (flyer, brochure, pamphlet, door hanger, etc.), usually with pictures and main points about the campaign, web site address, phone number, date of voting etc.  Can be done door to door based on a targeted map and list or just about any populated area like: grocery stores, county fairs, farmers markets, yoga parlor, gyms, cafes, a beach, park, concert, subway station, town squares etc.

Lit Drop - Lit drops are done without knocking on doors or ringing doorbells in order to quickly cover large areas with campaign literature.  Volunteers typically go house-to- house in neighborhoods to drop off flyers, pamphlets or door-hangers with information about a candidate.  It is a federal crime to leave political material in a mailbox so you must leave on or near the front door.  Door hangers are campaign literature printed on card stock with a hole, designed to hang on a door knob. 

Clipboarding - Clipboarding combines leafleting, signing up volunteers and registering new voters at any populated area like: outside grocery stores, book stores, county fairs, farmers markets, yoga parlors, cafes, a beach, park, concert, subway station, town squares etc. Materials Needed: Clipboard, pen, campaign literature, volunteer sign up sheets, voter registration forms.  Tip: wear campaign gear to increase visibility.  Paper clip a bumper sticker to a favorite baseball cap or hat and/or make a sandwich board out of cardboard campaign signs and duct tape.

Tabling - Tabling means setting up a table at local community events or populated areas to raise visibility, talk to voters, sign up volunteers, register new voters, raise money with a donation bucket and hand out campaign literature, bumper stickers, buttons etc.  Commonly done at: Grocery stores, Flea Market, Art Festival, County Fair, Hayride, Outdoor Concert, Music Festival, Parade, Farmers Market, Fish Fry, Craft Show, Art Fair, Wine Tasting, Fireworks Display, Fall Festival, Scottish Games, Dog Show, Halloween Haunted House etc.

Door Walking - Means going door-to-door to talk to people about your candidate or issue.  This is part of canvassing and can include leafleting, signing up volunteers and registering new voters. Materials Needed: Clipboard, pen, campaign literature, volunteer sign up sheets, voter registration forms.

Phone Banking - Volunteers call people to identify sympathetic voters, make sure they are registered to vote, know where and when to vote and make sure they have a way to get to their polling location on Election Day.  Also may help with absentee voting if necessary.

Mailings - Collating, folding, stapling and sealing items for mailing to a targeted set of voters.

Flushing – On Election Day, “flushers” go door-to-door in targeted neighborhoods, reminding people to vote, giving them directions and offering rides to the polls.

These are just a few of the things you may be involved in.  Campaigns can be hectic and emotionally charged.  Please be flexible and patient.  Your time is valuable to us and we want to make the best use of it.  The better informed you are about the campaign, the more effective you will be at most of the tasks you will be asked to do.  So please read up on the campaign whenever you have time so you will be well informed. 

[Insert a brief paragraph about the goals and objectives of the campaign, campaign HQ address, directions, map, phone number, email contacts and all other important logistical information]

Don't get frustrated, Get active

If at any time, you are frustrated with what you are doing (or not doing) grab some campaign literature and go around the area of the campaign office or your own neighborhood and talk to people about the campaign.  Hand out literature.  Ask businesses if you can put up a flyer in their window or on a bulletin board.  Go up to people and ask them if they know about the race and the candidates. Let them know where the campaign office is and invite them to come by and volunteer.  If you can't find campaign literature, go to the web site and look for something to print out.

Visibility Tips

  • Make a sandwich board with 2 cardboard yard signs and duct tape so people will know you're not a salesman and read about the campaign while you're talking to other people.
  • Use two large paper clips to attach a campaign bumper sticker (unpeeled) to a favorite baseball cap.