Canvassing –systematically talking with people face-to-face and asking for their support – has been an engine of political change throughout history.
Here are a few specific reasons why we do it:
To Raise Money and Build Resources in a People-Powered Way:
We talk to hundreds of different community members in cities across the country every day. By gaining support from a wide swath of people we can fight back against powerful interests and build the strength of the progressive movement with people power.
To Build Organizations:
Canvassing builds lists of new members and supporters. These lists of supportive citizens are an invaluable resource for progressive groups. For citizens, signing up as a member with a nonprofit group is often the first step toward a longer-term relationship with the organization and with the issue.
To Raise Awareness and Increase Name Recognition:
Canvassing makes organizations and campaigns more visible which allows them to have a louder voice. Instead of running expensive TV ads, these nonprofit groups can build public awareness of their work and the issues they address through person-to-person conversations.
To Win Campaigns:
Canvassing systematically generates political activity in targeted areas. We can get more people out to the polls and get more progressive candidates in office by strategically canvassing voters before elections.
To Deepen Democratic Participation:
Canvassing creates an opportunity to get people plugged into the democratic process and taking action on issues that they care about. By providing a means for ordinary citizens to get more involved in the most pressing issues we face as a country, canvassing increases the level of participation in our political system.