A successful (and fun!) campaign finds its strength in its volunteer base. Whether they're phonebanking, canvassing, doing data entry or holding a sign on the side of road (join us at the rally tonight!) -- the services provided by our volunteers are vital to any campaign operation. Folks that are fired up for your cause are the voices on the phone reminding potential supporters why they need to vote, handing out stickers at your rally, and eventually voting in the polls on Election Day. So how do you show these folks that you appreciate them?
One of the easiest (and most important) ways is to feed them. You may be cramped for cash, but a little snack goes a long way toward making a phonebank shift or a canvass shift more enjoyable for your volunteers. Here are some good ways to make that happen:
- Have snacks handy. Having healthy snacks like granola bars, fruits, trail mix, or pretzels for your volunteers is always a great start. You don't have to spend a fortune on them -- just go down to Costco and stock up before big activities.
- Make events pot-luck. Many volunteers love to bring food into the office. Whether they're feeding the organizers they've adopted or providing good snacks for other volunteers, there are always supporters who want to bake or cook something for you. Find out who they are, make a sign up schedule, and ask them to "adopt" a night of the week to bring in food!
- Ask for in-kind donations. If you're really organizing in your community, hopefully you've built relationships with some local businesses, including restaurants. Many restaurants are happy to make an in-kind contribution of food to your campaign. Map out all the supportive local restaurants, and build a schedule for when you'll ask them to donate!
Volunteers are there because they care about your campaign and your mission. So show them a little love, and provide them with some sustenance to keep them going during those long days.
Have you had experience organizing food and logistics for volunteers? Share with us in the comments on the blog.
Jamie McGonnigal is Community Engagement Manager at NOI.