How to Host a Door Knocking Canvass

Thank you so much for joining this fight. Elizabeth is proud to count you among her best supporters. Grassroots teams — made up of people like you — are the backbone of this campaign and at the heart of why Elizabeth is running for president.

Canvassing is a campaign staple. It allows volunteers to engage and recruit more people to the campaign. We can’t miss this chance to gather friends, family, and fellow Elizabeth supporters to grow this grassroots movement for Elizabeth – thanks for taking the lead on this!

Running a canvass shift is easy, and this toolkit makes it even easier! First, submit the host agreement form and register your event on our website. Then follow the steps below.

Step 1

Take a training

Sign up for a training.

Step 2

Invite people to your canvass

You can make your event Public or Private. Public events are promoted on our website and email list. We recommend organizing a Public event, and we’ll help you recruit people! A Private event is just for your own friends, family, and people you personally invite.

All you need to do is think about people you know you can count on to attend – and then make sure everyone who RSVPs actually shows up. This is the moment to put on your organizer hat.

  1. Make a list of who you want to invite to your canvass shift. Think about your friends, family, and fellow Elizabeth supporters you know to create your list.

    • Use the Your Network worksheet. Create a list of everyone you could invite to your canvass and then start reaching out to everyone.
    • Use your Friends and Family Contact Sheet. Use this worksheet to track the friends, family, and personal acquaintances you invite to your canvass shift.
  2. Remind your friends to come. We recommend talking to your list of friends and family three different ways (that’s what it takes for someone to really commit to something):

    • The invitation, which you’ll send over email.
    • The second invitation, to re-invite folks who haven’t responded to your invitation.
    • The confirmation, a text or phone call to confirm they’re able to come.
    • We’ve written sample emails and sample social media to make this easy!
  3. Tips for promoting your event to the public. If your event is public and you’d like to do even more to bring supporters to your event, here are some tips:

    • Post in your regional All in for Warren Community Group.
    • Reach out to your local Democratic Party chapter to invite them, and see if they’ll help promote your canvass.
    • Contact local organizations and ask for their help. Local chapters of progressive organizations may be willing to send an email to their members about your canvass.
    • Let your local community know:
    • Submit your canvass as an item to the local newspaper community calendar.
    • Post it in your community’s local forums, or any relevant local Facebook groups.
    • Invite your local Democratic elected officials.

If your event is public, we will send out an email inviting other Elizabeth supporters in your area, and advertise the event on our website.

Step 3

Plan your canvass

Use this checklist to track your progress.

  1. Recruit

    • Determine the location of your event
    • Register your event on our website
    • Invite people over email, social media, and more!
    • Send your confirmation email to your RSVPs
  2. Prep

  3. Day-of

    • Set out your materials and bundles
    • Clearly post signage around your launch site for canvassers to see
    • Make sure that everyone has a smartphone or can pair up with someone with a smartphone
    • Set the sign up sheets up by the door
    • Set up a laptop with the Win with Warren donation page (optional)
  4. During the Canvass

    • Make sure everyone texts LIST to 24477 to sign in and get the list number
    • Follow your agenda to have a successful event!
  5. Final Steps

Step 4

Make an agenda

Use the host agenda to stay on track and keep yourself organized during the event!

0:00 - Canvassers Arrive and Check In

  • Set up your materials and signage
  • Make sure they have a smartphone
  • Have volunteers sign in and get the list number by texting LIST to 24477
  • Remind volunteers not to enter the list number until they’re at the location where they want to canvass

0:10 - Introductions

  • Have everyone introduce themselves: What’s your name? Why are you in this fight? Have you canvassed before?
  • Take a group picture!

0:15 - Train volunteers

0:30 - Launch Your Canvass

  • Remind volunteers not to enter the list number until they’re at the location where they want to canvass
  • Give your contact information to each volunteer in case there’s an issue or if they have questions during the canvass
  • Give out a canvass bundle to each person with their canvass location as they leave
  • If anyone prefers to canvass with a buddy, two people can canvass together using one smartphone

2:00 - Close Out Your Canvass

  • Lead a discussion: What went well? What didn’t? Who was your favorite person that you talked to? Why?
  • Make sure everyone leaves with a copy of the Next Steps
  • Schedule everyone for the next canvass
  • Remind everyone to fill out their post-shift survey text

Step 5

Follow up with your canvassers

After the canvass shift, remember to:

  • Submit your host feedback form: please fill this out so we know how it went and how we can improve things on our end in the future.
  • Send a follow up email: Thank your volunteers for coming with the follow-up email to keep them looped in on next steps. Include the group picture that you took.