Last week, we talked about ways to use and recruit volunteers. This video is how to make the best use of your volunteer’s time. If you are running for office this year, or plan to run for office in the future, this information will save you headaches, money, and help your volunteer workforce get more done in less time.
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I will start with one mistake you should never make:
Years ago I was involved in a Congressional campaign that had recruited 30 volunteers to knock on doors on a Saturday morning. They were told to be at headquarters at 9 am sharp to get their literature and walk lists.
The campaign manager had not bothered to sort or print the lists the night before. As he frantically tried to fix a sluggish computer, then a malfunctioning printer, the volunteers became impatient. After waiting nearly two hours for their lists, most left and never volunteered again.
Wasting the time of a volunteer sends a message that they are an insignificant cog in the wheel, and that is insulting. Do that and you will lose good volunteers. Good ones are hard to replace.
If you have volunteers making phone calls, the phone lists should be printed or entered into the dialing machine…before the shift starts…with scripts next to their phone…and materials to record the results of their calls.
If you are assigning volunteers to knock on doors in a neighborhood, they should have a list of the target households, a suggested script on what to say, plenty of literature and yard signs to leave behind, and a spread sheet or device to keep track of how voters responded to questions.
On long days when volunteers are expected to knock on 40 or 50 doors, assign someone to drive and another to do the knocking. It makes the day go faster and a two-person team will get more done.
If you are working a community in a rural or suburban neighborhood, volunteers should be furnished not just a map, but a color coded driving route so they make the best use of their time.
There are software programs that do that. Do a Google search and type “plan my route with multiple stops” and you’ll find several programs that allow you to enter multiple addresses, which will then spit out a colored map illustrating the most efficient way do the route. One of my favorites is route4me.com.
Next week I will offer some time tested tips on how the make the volunteer experience fun, and make them feel appreciated, so the good ones keep coming back. Day after day.
Have questions? Hit the comment button. Or email me at Jay@JayTownsend.com. My phone number is 845-458-1210.
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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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