Organizing Your Political Campaign

Originally posted on and written by Benjamin A. Katz

How to Assemble Your Campaign Team

The size and nature of campaign staff varies greatly depending on the office sought and the resources available. A local campaign may be run completely by part-time volunteers while a national campaign could have a staff of hundreds.  

Despite these differences and regardless of size, all campaigns must fill the same key positions While a smaller campaign may depend on a few people doing multiple jobs, it is just as important that all major roles of the campaign are occupied.

For any campaign, the three key jobs that must be fulfilled are fundraising,accounting and voter contact. If these jobs are not done well, the campaign cannot succeed.

The Fundraiser

Fundraisers are typically professional consultants. Smaller campaigns will often contract with a consultant that’s working on several local races. Larger campaigns will often have a full time staff member working on fundraising and the largest campaigns will have several staff members in addition to consultants. These fundraisers will employ a variety of methods to raise funds, including:

Other Positions in the Campaign

In some campaigns, there is a designated technology staff, or campaign geek. While it can be useful to have someone with technology skills on staff, technology has, in reality, become part of every job in the campaign. The fundraiser, accountant, field director and the rest of the campaign staff need to be using modern campaign tools. Everyone should share information through a unified database system (take a look at’s BackOffice and VoterManager) and communicating via email. Likewise, the campaign geek may be in charge of the website but modern tools allow those who are directly in charge of the messaging to update the website without the extra step of going through the technology staff (CompleteCampaigns’SiteBuilder product, for example.)

As a campaign grows and more resources become available, it may make sense to invest some of these into other specialists, in particular: polling and opposition research. These expensive consultants are well worth the money, just as long as you have enough left to make good use of their information. A polling firm should be able to tell you where and how to best direct your message. For example, it may be that women under 50 are very likely to vote for your candidate if they know about his or her position on education. Likewise, a research firm can tell you about important votes or actions of your opponent that might be important to let the voters know about. A research firm might also provide you with valuable information about your own candidate’s background and how this might be used against your campaign.

Your campaign team is critical to the success of your campaign. Make sure the key roles are filled with professional and committed people (from management level all the way down to volunteers.)  If they’re working together for your campaign, you have an excellent chance of success.

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