Recruiting for Your Event

Recruiting is easy and simple: begin with inviting a few friends, and then ask them to invite a few more! You’ll be surprised how fast you can fill an event

Circles of Influence/Community Mapping

The concept of “circles of influence” or “community mapping” is often used in organizing to understand and analyze the relationships and networks of individuals who have the ability to influence others. It is based on the idea that people are connected to each other through various personal, professional, and social relationships, and that these connections can be leveraged to create a broader impact.

The purpose of identifying and mapping circles of influence is to identify key individuals who can help establish your event, participate, or more. By targeting individuals you already have relationships with, you can effectively mobilize people for your events and actions.

Before you start recruiting, think about who is in your circle of influence, and physically draw it out! Below are example of the different circles you may have:

  1. Family Members
  2. Friends
  3. Neighbors and Affiliations
  4. Community Groups
  5. Friends of Friends and Acquaintances


Platforms for Recruitment and Promotion of Your Event

Now that you have a list of contacts and groups to recruit from, pick a few different platforms or strategies to recruit them! Here’s a step-by-step guide for recruiting volunteers to join a phone bank for Democrats:

1. Social media:

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful tools for organizers. Create event pages, post on your personal social media, and directly contact people to reach a wider audience. Additionally, encourage participants to share event information with their networks, expanding your event’s visibility and potential reach.

TIP: To effectively utilize social media for recruitment, focus mostly on direct outreach and related content. Some examples include:

  • Reply in a Twitter thread talking about Democratic issues, politics in your area, or issue-specific dialogue.
  • Reach out to a Facebook group moderator and ask them to promote!
  • Direct message organizations and individuals with influence to invite them to join and promote your event.

2. Local community organizations:

Collaborate with local Democratic Party chapters, college clubs, activist groups, and community centers to spread the word about your phone bank campaign. Attend their meetings or events to pitch your initiative. Co-hosting events, cross-promoting on social media, and leveraging the reach of partners can significantly increase participation.

3. Email newsletters:

Reach out to your existing network or circles of influence via email newsletters. Include a call to action and encourage them to forward the message to their contacts.

4. Personal outreach:

Encourage your current volunteers and staff members to personally reach out to their friends, family, and colleagues who might be interested in volunteering for your events. Personalized invitations from organizers, supporters, or community leaders can be influential. These invitations can be sent via email, social media messages, or personal calls to targeted individuals. Make sure to express the importance of their participation and make them feel valued.


Perfecting the Invitation

Regardless of how you get your message out to potential volunteers, there are specific elements that your invitation should always include. 

Making a Hard Ask:

Your invitation should always include a hard ask.

  1. Purpose and Goals: Clarify the purpose of the event and the overarching goals you’re seeking to achieve. Explain why the event is important in the context of the political campaign or cause, emphasizing the potential impact it can have on specific issues or communities.
  2. Call to Action: The message needs to include a clear call to action that encourages recipients to participate and get involved. This will be asking them to attend your event and make calls to voters.
  3. Keep It Specific: When inviting potential volunteers to an event, keep it as specific as possible. For example: Will you join me on Saturday at 5 p.m. for a phone bank?
  4. Clear Communication Channels: Provide clear instructions on how potential volunteers can respond or RSVP. Include your Mobilize America link and any details they may need to join. 
  5. Personalized Appeal: Especially when reaching out to those in your personal network, you may tailor your message to resonate with the interests, values, or experiences of the recipient. Reference shared beliefs, common concerns, or local issues to make the invitation more personal and relatable.

Additional ideas to encourage attendance include:

Impact and Results: To inspire volunteers, share examples of past successes or the potential impact of the event. Explain how volunteers’ efforts directly contribute to achieving the campaign’s or cause’s objectives, emphasizing that every contribution matters.

Importance of Volunteer Support: The message can highlight the significance of volunteers in the political process. Emphasize how grassroots efforts and community involvement are vital for success, and that volunteers are the backbone of the campaign or movement. Express gratitude for volunteers’ dedication and stress that their participation can make a tangible difference.

Personalized Appeal: To establish a connection, you may tailor your message to resonate with the interests, values, or experiences of the recipient. Reference shared beliefs, common concerns, or local issues to make the invitation more personal and relatable.

Volunteer Doubling

“Vote tripling” is a concept used in direct voter contact strategies to increase voter turnout, where the voter is asked to remind three friends to go and vote with them. The term “tripling” refers to the goal of multiplying the impact of a single voter by getting three more people to participate in the electoral process.

In volunteer activities, you can volunteer “double” by asking an attendee to bring a friend! If you have 10 people who come, and everyone brings a friend, that doubles the impact your group can have.