A lot of effort goes into getting a candidate elected into office. Behind this effort are thousands of volunteers working to bring about a change that they believe in. If you’re looking to change the system, your best bet is to try and change it from within. For those of you looking to give your time for a cause, read on to know you can work for a political campaign.
What kind of political campaign can you work for?
Candidates can organize a political campaign for most elected positions, from city councilmen, governors, and mayors, to the US House of Representatives, Senate and the Oval Office.
Other positions include judges, auditors, attorney generals, treasurers and secretaries of state.
If you are new to working on a political campaign, you most probably will not be able to land a position with a lot of responsibility in a presidential or senatorial campaign. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to rise quickly up the ranks with hard work and talent.
What part of a campaign can you work for?
For a small campaign, one person, generally the campaign manager, might be overseeing all departments in a campaign. Larger campaigns are more structured, but for someone looking to rise up the ranks, they are more competitive as well.
Communications and policy positions are coveted and are more likely to be filled up by people with personal connections. Field positions, such as organizers are generally easier to get into.
The communications department controls the messaging of the political campaign, from crafting the message to managing a campaign’s media relations. The communications department must always have a finger on the pulse of a candidate’s supporters. The director of the communications department is often one of the only members of the campaign that is authorized to speak to the press.
Maintains the campaign’s presence online. That includes the campaign website, social media posts, and ads, and email communications with supporters. Since these are all great mediums to raise funds for the campaign, the digital department often works closely with the campaign’s finance team.
This department of the campaign deals with direct voter outreach for its voter persuasion and GOTV efforts. It does this through a combination of phone banking, door-to-door canvassing, peer-to-peer texting, and other methods. They are also pivotal to campaign volunteer recruitment and management efforts.
The finance team implements a campaign’s fundraising plan, including organizing fundraising events, researching potential high-value donors, and sending direct fundraising mail. Working for the finance department means you need to be comfortable with number-crunching and have a keen eye for details.
The political department is closely related to the field department but works on the macro elements of a campaign. That includes working with leaders of communities and constituencies, to obtain their support. The political department coordinates its efforts with the field department, to reach high impact areas.
Here are the most common ways you can join a political campaign:
The Campaign Website
The easiest and the fastest way to get involved with a campaign is to head on over to their website and sign-up with through their volunteer form. Every campaign will have a dedicated volunteer section where they detail the ways in which you can volunteer for the campaign.
The Hillary campaign website is a good example of laying out exactly how supporters can work for the campaign. Whether you want to organize a phone banking party, knock on doors or call voters from the comfort of your home, volunteer forms let you easily sign up for your preferred option and start campaigning.
Contact the Campaign through Social Media
Social media has turned out to be the cheapest and fastest way for candidates to reach out to supporters. Almost every campaign will have a solid presence across social media. Go to your preferred campaign page and send them a direct message or a tweet. You’ll definitely hear from them or other volunteers on how you can join the cause.
Contact The Local Field Office
Only large campaigns will have the resources to set up field offices across the electorate. A quick google search will reveal whether your campaign has a field office near you.
The campaign website will give you the address of the office and/or contact details of the organizer. Drop in for a visit and ask how you can contribute. The organizer will take you through canvassing best practices and fill you in on additional details about the area where you’ll be canvassing.
Make Yourself Available
This may sound obvious but your friends and family are your gateways to getting yourself involved in a campaign. Let your contacts know that you’re open to working for the campaign. Make sure that you clarify which side you’re on. There’s a good chance that one or more of your contacts or someone they know is already working for the campaign and they can connect you to the regional organizer. So, the next time you have your friends and family over for dinner, talking about politics may not be such a bad idea. 😜
If you know a candidate personally or any others who are already part of the campaign, you should be able to get an important role within the campaign.
Campaigns are always on the lookout for people they can trust with responsibilities to take charge of canvassing. The fact that you’re already known by members of the campaign team can work in your favor when you want to take on bigger responsibilities for your candidate.
The Campaign Reaches Out to You
Thousands of calls, text messages and broadcast messages are going out every day to potential supporters for fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and other campaign activities.
If a campaign hasn’t called you yet to ask for support then you’ll definitely have encountered SMS campaigns where you can sign up to receive updates from the campaign team.
There are plenty of reasons you might want to join a political campaign. Whatever it is, all it takes to join one is making yourself available, and having a persistent attitude.