Over the past couple of weeks, we have received an influx of questions about the best ways someone who has no campaign experience could go about getting involved on a campaign. Now, while there is no one way to do this, we wanted to share a couple of examples about how to get involved.
1. Think about joining a political group on your campus. A lot of colleges have groups like College Democrats and other political groups. Getting involved with a political group on campus is one of the easiest ways to get access to a campaign. These groups typically participate in “day’s of action” with campaigns. They are also likely to host different events like phone banks, canvasses, and voter registration drives – all of which provides you with campaign experience.
2. Consider volunteering for a local candidate. If there is someone running locally in your hometown that your are excited about, reach out to their campaign and ask if you could come volunteer one day. Smaller campaigns like city council or county commission are always in need of volunteers and you might be able perform tasks you wouldn’t be able to on a larger campaign. Getting involved on smaller campaigns is a good way for you to gain some diverse skills. Simply, do a Google or Facebook search to find some contact information for their campaign and reach out directly.
3. Apply to be an intern on someone’s campaign. It is not uncommon to see postings about internships with campaigns. Job boards like Tom Manatos, Brad Traverse and District Daybook post them all the time. Consider signing up for one to get the notifications. Also, listservs are a good place to find internship postings. For example, you might see them on your Sorority listserv or on JobsThatAreLEFT. Additionally, candidates might post them on their campaign website. Search for those internship postings and apply for them as early as you can. You might even want to reach out directly to a campaign and express your interest in being an intern. Keep in mind, while most of them will be unpaid, they help you gain experience that you can use to land a paying gig.
4. Checkout a non-profit that works on an issue you care about. There are a ton of non-profits who are doing great work developing issue campaigns. If there is an issue you really care about, find a non-profit that works on that issue and either apply for a published internship or reach out to them directly and let them know you’d like to volunteer to either participate in signature gathering or in other capacities needed. Idealist is a good place to search for organizations working on specific issues. You will also find internships listed on the page as well.
Ultimately, with 2020 on the horizon, this is a good time to get involved on a campaign. There are and will continue to be a ton of people running which means more opportunities. However, folks should keep in mind that just because an opportunity doesn’t appear to exist doesn’t mean it can’t exist. When looking to get involved on a campaign, there is no shame in offering your help to a campaign as either a volunteer or intern. What’s the worse thing they could say?