Victory Guide Wins CampaignTech Award

Campaigns & Elections has recognized 12 companies with 2018 CampaignTech Awards. Victory Guide won for "best down ballot technology solution."

The winners were recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, DC on April 26 and represent "truly exceptional" political campaign technology, according to Campaigns & Elections, the leading trade publication for political campaigns.

Among the winners were two other companies that were part of the Higher Ground Labs startup accelerator with Victory Guide. Congratulations to MobilizeAmerica and Tuesday Company on their wins!

How to Hire Campaign Staff 101

How to Hire Campaign Staff 101

Your campaign is ready to make the leap and to hire paid campaign staff.  Whether you are making your first hire or staffing up your campaign, here are some resources to help you.

Assess Your Campaign’s Needs

The first step is deciding what help your campaign currently needs or will need down the road.  Ideally, you should be looking to fill a core campaign need(s) with the person you hire.  What are the duties that you as a candidate are struggling with?  Is it formulating campaign strategy?  Is it staying on track for fundraising?  Whatever it is that you need help with, make a list to include in the job description.

Check out this example of a job description for a campaign manager.

Be aware that prior campaign experience is helpful, but not always necessary.  Finding someone who is enthusiastic, self-motivated, and eager to take on new tasks is just as important, if not more so.

Knock, Knock: Why Canvassing is the Best Way to Reach Voters

As a candidate for elected office, it can be overwhelming to try to figure out how to best reach voters.  Should you spend your time knocking on doors or calling voters?  Is attending community events worthwhile?  Maybe it’s better to focus on fundraising and to spend the money on direct mail?

You may also be getting conflicting advice from your campaign advisors, from other people who have run for office, and from vendors.  Each person has their “war story” of how they won an election using some particular tactic.

But how do you know what strategy really works?

How to Knock 10,000+ Doors Without Breaking a Sweat

If you are running for state legislature, county or city council, or school board, you will need to personally talk to a lot of voters. These races for lower levels of government are not big, impersonal machines like presidential or congressional campaigns are. Down ballot races are won and lost by the outreach their candidates personally do.

The science is clear that the best way to persuade voters is to talk to them in person, especially by knocking on voters’ doors.

I know what you’re thinking: knocking on doors takes so much time. And that’s true. But there’s an easy way and a hard way to do door knocking.

Upcoming Webinars

We're holding two webinars in March.  Join us for these free events.

Webinar: Jump Start Your Political Campaign

MARCH 6, 2018

8-9 PM (EASTERN)

If you are running for office this year or considering it for a future election cycle, this webinar is for you. Learn how to get your political campaign off on the right start and find out the five biggest mistakes candidates make.

https://www.victoryguide.us/webinar-jump-start-your-political-campaign

Webinar: Best Practices in Voter Outreach

MARCH 14, 2018

4-5 PM (EASTERN)

Learn the best ways to persuade voters and to get them out to the polls. This webinar will cover the efficacy of various methods of outreach by campaigns and will provide guidance on how to target voters.

https://www.victoryguide.us/webinar-best-practices-in-voter-outreach

Free Training for Democratic Political Candidates

Whether it’s your first time running for office or you are an experienced candidate, it can be helpful to brush up your skills on how to run an effective campaign. Luckily, there are plenty of options available for progressive and left-leaning candidates, many of which are free.

For All Democrats

Wellstone has been the major player in this space for years. Camp Wellstone teaches practical skills to candidates and campaign workers. (Note: this program charges a fee to participate.)

The National Democratic Training Committee offers free online training for any Democrat running for any office in the U.S. They cover everything from calculating your win number to writing a fundraising plan to organizing get out the voter operations.

Understanding Campaign Finance Laws

Campaigns need to thoroughly know and understand the laws regarding campaign finance. Nothing can get a campaign into trouble like running afoul of campaign finance laws. The candidate, campaign treasurer, campaign manager, and anyone else who is helping with raising money or involved with spending money needs to know these rules.

Campaign finance laws differ in every jurisdiction. Even two candidates in the same state may have different sets of rules. For instance, a candidate for city council may adhere to the rules created by the city government, whereas a candidate for state legislature follows state laws.

Before we go any further, a general word of caution: consult your local board of elections for the applicable laws in your race.

Find a treasurer

Most campaigns are required to have a treasurer. This is the person who is officially responsible for the campaign’s money and who prepares and files the required campaign finance reports to disclose donors and spending. Your treasurer doesn’t necessarily need to be a bookkeeper or account, but the ideal pick will be someone who is detail oriented and very organized. They are going to need to track every dollar your campaign receives and every cent that the campaign spends.

Technology for Political Campaigns and Movements

tech_webinar_Feb18.jpg

The 2018 election cycle presents new opportunities to engage voters through online and digital means. Whether you're trying to help inform voters about candidates or ballot measures, mobilize political volunteers, or make your canvassing operations even more efficient, new technologies can help your campaign or grassroots organization achieve its political goals.

We're hosting a free webinar on February 22 to discuss the changing political tech landscape. Learn about the cutting edge technologies that are available to help progressives during 2018 elections and beyond.

PANELISTS:

  • Shola Farber is Chief Operating Officer for Tuesday Company, which is bridging the gap between digital and field organizing. She previously worked with the Obama Administration’s National Economic Council, POLITICO, and was a Regional Director for the Clinton Campaign in Michigan.

  • Alfred Johnson is the co-founder and CEO of MobilizeAmerica, a platform that allows progressive organizations, volunteers, and Democratic campaigns to connect and win. Alfred previously worked on President Obama's '08 campaign, in the Treasury Department, the White House, and in technology and finance.

  • Alex Niemczewski is CEO and co-founder of BallotReady, an award-winning voter guide to every race and referendum on the ballot. She was recognized in Crain’s Chicago Business “20 in their 20’s” list, Techweek100, and as a Bluhm/Helfand Social Innovation Fellow.

  • Julie Palakovich Carr is CEO and co-founder of Victory Guide, a digital campaign manager for down ballot candidates. Julie is the youngest woman ever elected to the Rockville City Council in Maryland and is currently serving her second term. She is also a candidate for the Maryland State House.

Register for this free event: https://www.victoryguide.us/webinar-technology-for-political-movements.

15 Questions All New Candidates Should Ask

You’ve decided to run for office. Congratulations! But now what do you?

One of the first steps you should take is to research the rules, regulations, and laws that govern elections in your jurisdiction. The best place to start is with the Board of Elections or City Clerk, County Clerk, or State (depending on what level of government you are running for). Take a look at their website or give them a call. They likely have a resource packet for candidates.

Some questions you should ask:

  • When is the filing deadline?
  • What paperwork do I need to complete to officially file as a candidate?

Basics of Running a Good Campaign

There’s both an art and a science to running a good political campaign. Although many aspects of your campaign will depend upon your particular race and your district, there are many core concepts that apply to all campaigns. These recommendations are based on industry best practices, many of which are backed by evidence-based research.

Rule #1: Use a candidate’s time effectively

A candidate should spend their time talking to voters or raising money. Anything and everything else can and should be delegated to other people. If the campaign can’t afford to hire staff, find volunteers to take on some tasks.

Rule #2: Target the right voters

The most efficient way to get votes are:

Jump Start Your Political Campaign

Congratulations on making the decision to run for office! Politics is a difficult—but rewarding—endeavor. With these seven steps, you can get your campaign off to a successful start.

  1. Are you ready to run? Before you throw your hat into the ring, think hard about your decision to run. Talk to your spouse, family, friends, and key people in your community about whether or not to run. Be sure that you have their support and their commitment to help with your campaign. Make sure that you can take time off from work for your campaign; at the minimum you may need time off for debates and Election Day.

  2. Fill key roles. Determine who will play a central role in your campaign. You need to line up a campaign manager, a treasurer, and a "kitchen cabinet" of advisers. You’ll work most closely with your campaign manager to develop your campaign strategy and to execute this plan. (A word to the wise: Your spouse will most likely NOT make for a good campaign manager.) Your treasurer will handle the financial parts of your campaign. Although a background in accounting could be helpful, it’s not necessary. A good attention to detail will suffice. Your kitchen cabinet will be the backbone of your campaign and will provide you with advice, funds, and volunteer efforts.