You cannot run a good campaign without good volunteers. It’s impossible. All of the money in the world cannot buy the enthusiasm, passion & commitment that comes from people who are willing to give their time & energy to your cause. With that said, it is very challenging to recruit & retain volunteers. A lot of people will show up for an event if you ask them to. Not many people will show up repeatedly in the heat of an Arkansas summer and work for you. You must be able to retain them.
And you must be more than a good talker to retain volunteers because volunteering for your campaign is more than just physical or emotional labor. When volunteers step out on the streets with your t-shirts & stickers on, they are quite literally placing their reputation & their personal credibility on the line. Therefore, you must be a candidate that is worthy of their trust & support. Sounds obvious enough, but if people do not believe in you, they will not volunteer for your cause.
Given my background as former Chairman of Harding University College Republicans, I had a lot of experience recruiting & retaining manpower that I was able to put to use in my campaign. Most of my volunteers came to more than one campaign event & they worked their tails off. In a city council district of barely 2,000 registered voters, we had 50 volunteers on our team. I am not sure Searcy has ever seen such a force. We could not have gotten as close as we did without them. I am extremely grateful.
If you are considering a run for public office & you don’t think you can organize volunteers yourself, find a Volunteer Coordinator. There is nothing more important to your campaign.
Nicholas Horton is the Editor of The Arkansas Patriot & former Searcy City Council candidate. In his spare time, he volunteers with various political campaigns & writes for The Liberty Bell. Contact Nicholas at firstname.lastname@example.org & follow him on Twitter.