If you were calm before, you aren’t now; you have been running a marathon only to discover that you need the energy for a drag race at the end. Be ready for long days, a diet that consists almost entirely of pizza and donuts, and 10 minutes of sleep each night.
Shift all of your efforts towards getting those final donations, talking to undecided voters, and getting your name in front of as many people as possible. It's time to get out the vote.
When to start: 1 month to 1 day prior to the election (October - November)
Ensure everything is in order and compliance
Not much is left for the administrative side of your campaign when there are only weeks left to go until the end of this journey; your only real concern should be ensuring that all necessary affairs (such as financial reporting) are in order to be in compliance with your local election laws. Assuming this is in order, shift all available energy away from the administrative side of your campaign and pour them into field work.
Follow-up on outstanding commitments
Hope you had a chance to relax over the past few months because you should expect to see an uptick in donations to your campaign as you come into the home stretch.
People are more willing to donate to your campaign during this time, but only if you worked hard for the donation in the first place. Potential donors know that it is now or never for them to contribute and that you most likely have a need for more funds as you go into the last week. Previous donors also want to see you win, and are often willing to put in a little more to get you across the finish line. For that reason it falls on you to follow up on any outstanding commitments and to contact any former donors one more time.
At the very least, your calls should be easier to make as you can point to specific items you need during the final push and donors know that every dollar counts.
As always, remember to use FundHero’s intuitive financial tracking tools to help you track down outstanding pledges and to contact previous supporters during this final push.
Talk to undecided voters
Remember all that data you have been collecting over the past year? Well now it is time to really use it. During the final days you and your campaign should be trying to talk to as many identified undecided voters as possible in hopes of bringing them over to your side.
A common mistake campaigns make is trying to convert people who have said that they are opposed to you or to go the other way and only talk to those who have expressed support for you and ensure that they get out on election.
Though identified supporters should absolutely be contacted, this is best achieved through phone banks, emails, and postcards. Conversely, if you are attempting to flip people who don’t support you, all you end up doing is wasting valuable resources. When it comes to field campaigning activities, it is important to just work on converting those who are on the fence in order to maximize your field time.
Your communications team should be in full force during this time: making media buys, sending out literature to potential and supporters, and ensuring a strong digital and physical media presence. This is your last chance to get your name out there, so it is important to make sure you have a full media blitz.
Congratulations! You made it! On election day you are going to want to spend every moment trying to get people to the ballot box. Wave on street corners in the morning, make phone calls to undecided voters in the afternoon, and perhaps you can even drive people to the polls in the evening.
Oh, and hopefully you remembered to plan your election night party!
The marathon is over and, win or lose, you still have some wrap-up work to do.
Perhaps most important in ensuring that your final financial reports are submitted and that you have paid all outstanding invoices to your vendors and any staff.
Take the time to truly evaluate your performance during the previous months. If you lost, think of this time as a way to see how you can improve during your next run for office; if you won, honestly critique the areas that you feel you could have improved…
...after all, the next election is just around the corner!
Check out all the phases of a campaign below!
- Pre Planning
- Making it Official/ Set Up
- Building your Base
- The Grind/ Community Outreach and Voter Identification
- Beginning of the End
- Get Out the Vote