Last week, I offered some tips on how to keep your volunteer workforce operating like an efficient, highly tuned machine while running for office. Today, I will share some tips on how to keep your campaign volunteers happy, and coming back.

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The obvious, but often neglected rule is to make them feel appreciated. They can never be thanked too many times. And whenever possible, the candidate should be the one doing the thanking, taking pictures with the volunteers, and posting the pictures on Facebook and other social media channels.

Food and drink should always be kept in supply at the campaign headquarters, and workers should be fed when they return from a rally or knocking on doors. Likewise if you are doing phone banks in the evening, make sure that pizza or sandwiches are served.

Make the experience fun. Have a party once in a while. On birthdays, sing and serve cake. Take them to a concert. Or to a nice restaurant on occasion. Offer recognition and rewards to the best volunteer performers. Before concluding this series, I’ll offer a couple of tips about volunteers that are often ignored.

If you are sending an army of manpower out to knock on doors, staff a rally or pass out literature at an event, remember that they are representing you, your cause and your campaign. They should be presentable, well groomed, and trained to be polite. They should have a shirt with your logo, a hat or a badge that clearly identifies them as part of your team. Voters are more likely to open their doors to a stranger if your volunteers are wearing some sort of identification.

Never be shy about reminding them that they are helping you advance a cause, that their work will make a difference in the way people live and their quality of life.

No campaign can ever have too many volunteers.  Every year there are hundreds of political contests decided by a handful of voters. Nine times out of 10, the winner had the better organization and made the better effort of mobilizing their volunteers. Even in statewide contests, they can determine who is elected Governor, or Senator. And if you are a student of politics, you already know they can sometimes determine who sits in the Oval Office.

Have questions? Hit the comment button. Or email me at 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.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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