Give Good Directions to Canvassers by Tom Lotito

By at September 19, 2012 | 12:56 pm | Print

Give Good Directions to Canvassers by Tom Lotito

Tom Lotito

The difference between a great volunteer canvass and a bunch of wasted time can come down to tiny details. One of the most important details to keep track of is planning out transportation for volunteers. Here are a few ideas that I find make a big difference:

  • Provide a map: Don’t assume everyone has a smartphone or GPS. Print Google Maps to go along with the canvass packets you give volunteers.


  • Test out the directions: Don’t just assume the directions Google or Mapquest provide are accurate. Double check them. If it’s an area you’re not familiar with, make time to drive there yourself before sending volunteers.


  • Think about the walking route: If you’re sending canvassers into a neighborhood that’s got a big hill they’ll either go up or down, give them directions that start at the top. If they’re walking downhill as they go, they’re less likely to get worn out before they finish.


  • Pair people up: If you read my earlier tip on the buddy system, you know why this is important. It’s also great for transportation. If one person can navigate, it’ll help reduce the odds that your team gets lost. No one wants to waste time driving in circles.

Prepping your volunteers with clear directions and instructions will help your canvass operation more than you can imagine.

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Tom Lotito is an alumnus of New Organizing Institute’s (NOI)  New Media #BootCamp6, and a veteran canvasser. 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.

New Organizing Institute Education Fund          1850 M St. NW, Suite 1100            Washington, D.C. 20036    @tmlotito on Twitter

Management & Strategy

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