Make People Comfortable with Voter Contact by Cristina Sinclaire

By at October 24, 2012 | 2:52 pm | Print

Make People Comfortable with Voter Contact by Cristina Sinclaire

Cristina Sinclaire, NOI
Strong voter contact programs rely on volunteers. But sometimes you get a volunteer who isn’t comfortable doing voter contact. While there are lots of other important jobs for a volunteer to do, there’s a great system I learned to develop volunteers and make them comfortable with voter contact. Here’s how it works:

  • Get them comfortable with the campaign. There’s no point in pressuring someone who tells you, “I don’t want to make calls.” So start by finding them a task they are comfortable with, and letting them see the office in action for a bit.

 

  • Start them off easy. Once they’re comfortable (probably the second or third time in), ask if they’d be willing to help make confirmation calls to other volunteers. Explain that these are people who are already signed up, and you’re just reminding them to come in for the shift.

 

  • Move them up slowly. Once they’ve done some confirmation calls, ask if they’d be willing to try recruitment calls to supporters. Be honest – this will be more challenging than the confirmation calls, but it’s still a (mostly) friendly audience.

 

  • Get them into voter contact. Once volunteers get over the initial awkwardness or lack of confidence, I find that most are willing (and often even excited!) to move into full voter contact.

Now, this won’t work for everyone. Some volunteers will just want to keep doing other activities, and that’s OK. The most important thing to remember is that a volunteer who feels pressured or uncomfortable isn’t coming back. But I’ve found great success using this method to get people comfortable and happy doing voter contact.

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Cristina Sinclaire, Program Assistant for the Voting Information Project at New Organizing Institute (NOI).  NOI trains organizers to build and manage effective movements by integrating tried-and-true community organizing, cutting-edge digital strategy, and data-driven decision making. NOI provide free access to revolutionary tools, technologies, and research to help campaigns reach the next level.

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