First Steps of Campaigning

Campaign Startup
February 11, 2019

It’s time to get to work!

You’ve thought about it, you’ve asked yourself the right questions, and you are ready. Thankfully, you weren’t bitten by a radioactive spider, you chose this life.

To get you ready for your campaign, we thought we would highlight the key parts of getting started. If you’re struggling, read deeper into each issue on its own blog post or send us an email with your questions.

Start with these simple steps to prepare for your campaign.


Write Your Personal Statement

Every story starts with a character and their origin, a good writer helps the reader care about the characters. Your personal statement is just that. It is your origin story, why you want to be the hero and why others should care about what you are doing. It’s the story you will share throughout the campaign that helps voters and community members care about you and your cause.

Check out “How to Draft your Origin Story” for more details on writing your personal statement.


Build Your Team

The Avengers or the Justice League? Either way, you also need a group of heroes willing to help you in your cause. These are your friends, family, and volunteers, these are the people who will support you through the whole process. They each bring different skills and know-how that will help keep you going. Read “How to Build Your Team” for more details on putting together your super team.


Set Your Goals

Running for political office or launching a non-profit is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s important to set a few goals. When things get hard, these benchmarks will help you understand your progress, give you a path forward, and provide you and your team something to celebrate when you reach major milestones.

Two key goals to set early on are your “vote goal,” or the number of votes you need to win your race, and “fundraising goal,” so you know how much money you need to raise. You can read more about how to set these goals here.


Find Your First Fans and Followers

Once your team is established, you need to find your fans. These are the people who may vote for you, may become volunteers, or may donate money. Basically, the people who will stand by you. Often these individuals start with your team (your closest friends and family) and then expand as you build relationships in your campaign. Check out “Your First Fans and Followers” to get an idea of groups of people you should be thinking about.


Understand the Laws

It is always critical you understand any laws and key dates related to your campaign. When are you required to file financial disclosure? Are there limits to how much or who you can accept donations from? When is your primary election, when do you need to file for office, etc?

You can get most of these answers at your local elections office website or by giving your election administrator a call.


If you are feeling overwhelmed don’t hesitate to reach out. Are there questions you have about campaigning or fundraising? Send us an email and we will be sure to see if your question can be answered quickly or if it’s something we should write a blog about.

We are here to help you! So let us know what you need.

Matt Lyon
Matt’s experience includes overseeing up to fourteen staff members, administering budgets exceeding $1.1 million annually, directing million dollar paid media programs, raising over $5 million for various causes and organizations, and developing and implementing communications strategies that led to dozens of stories in local and national outlets, including the New York Times and Washington Post.
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