Ok. So you’ve made the decision to run. You know what you want to run for.  Now it’s time to get serious.  The Campaign Plan for Women Timeline will help you to think about the “big picture”. Lots of details will go into your plan, but this will help you organize what it takes to run a campaign. Work backwards. If you’ve planned a big event like a gala for work, a 50th anniversary party, or you’ve mapped your own personal goals then this is something you can do. Yes, it will feel overwhelming at times – lots of dates to remember! – but that is what your local clerk’s office or board of elections is for and why you pull together a great team around you! Our motto “Plan the Work. Work the Plan.” Whether it’s 5 years or 5 months (or even 5 weeks), this timeline will help you create a great campaign plan.  Remember. If it’s not written down, it’s not a plan.  

Part 3: Work the Plan

  1. Continuing being the Candidate: Fundraising and Contracting Voters
  2. Communicate
  3. Get-Out-The-Vote


1. Continue being the Candidate: Fundraising and Contacting Voters

Calendar Check.
Staying on track is key. Bring the campaign plan back out if you and your team have gotten distracted. Look back at the last few weeks, have been spending the majority of your time raising money and contacting voters? If not, look ahead and make changes to your schedule to reprioritize these two things.

Check in with yourself.
Provide enough time in the Candidate Schedule to make sure you are getting rest, eating well and sleeping.  The final days of the campaign are going to be the most time consuming and you want to make sure you are healthy!

Check in with your team.
Is everyone ready for the final stretch and have what they need to make it happen? Take feedback from your team, but keep your adjustments in line with your goals of raising money and talking to voters.

2. Communicate:

You can only get to so many voters in one day. Use your other modes of communication to help put your message in front of voters.

Start really leveraging your social media and email list. Make sure your messages are consistent across your platforms. Check to see if your emails are getting a decent open rate, if not make an adjustment.  Make sure your messages on social media are matching your e-communication in tenor and tone, but don’t bombard people with the same messages on every platform.

Push out your press releases and engage your reporter contacts to get earned media on your latest fundraising numbers, an upcoming debate, or a recent endorsement of your campaign.

Through your Ambassadors, prepare them with talking points so they can chat you up to key influencers and possible secure more endorsements for you.

Prepare your volunteers with talking points and lists of telephone numbers for phone banking and “walk scripts” for door-knocking so surrogates can get to more houses and reach more voters! Managing volunteers is the job of the campaign manager but you should know where your people are. If you are managing your own volunteers, it pays to put the time in beforehand to get volunteers fully prepared for what you are asking them to do.

Of course, get your lawn signs and literature out there. But don’t worry too much about the lawn sign competition. Lawn signs don’t vote!  

You know who does vote? People. Which takes us to the most critical part of the campaign:

3. Get-Out-The-Vote:

Getting out the vote is turning out voters to the polls on Election Day. There are several ways that people can vote, whether it’s in person on Election Day, part of Early Voting that happens in several states a few weeks before the final Election Day, Absentee Ballots, or Vote by Mail. Using your vote or “Win” number, your campaign will have a good handle on who votes when in your community. In the final weeks and days leading up to campaign you and your team will make decisions about what tactics to use on what group. Remember, you are spending a majority of your time on Persuadable or Swing Voters, giving love but not time to Likely Voters who are For You and spending no time on folks that don’t vote or won’t vote for you in these final days.

Below we’ve mapped a list of tactics, their effectiveness and how time-consuming they will be for your campaign.

To learn more about how to execute an effective GOTV plan during your campaign, watch these webinars from our training series: