Spring into Action

In April, Swing Left is encouraging groups across the country to take action: hosting letter writing parties, high-traffic canvasses, or other voter contact events—and to make those events welcoming to new volunteers. If a new volunteer gets involved with your group now, they’re more likely to stay active all year—helping grow our collective impact to win the midterms!

Recruiting first-time volunteers

Getting new people involved is essential to winning this fall. Swing Left groups across the country have done a great job recruiting so far—almost 800 first-time volunteers participated in 2022 Kickoff events earlier this year!

Tips for how to recruit new volunteers for your Spring into Action events:

  • Make your event fun! Choose a fun location, consider including activities like listening to music or hearing from an exciting speaker, and emphasize how joining your event will be an enjoyable opportunity to meet and connect with other motivated volunteers in your community.
  • Remind potential volunteers about what’s at stake in the midterms, such as local issues that resonate with people in your community, and how attending your event will make a difference.
  • Co-sponsor your event with another local group that shares your goals.
  • Post your event on Mobilize with an appealing title, and include some indication that the event is welcoming to new volunteers. We’ll do our part to help you recruit, as well—when you post your events publicly, we can email volunteers in your area and invite them to attend.
  • Email anyone that RSVP’d to events you hosted in 2020 or before through Mobilize—there might be a lot of people who volunteered for an event in previous election cycles but haven’t volunteered yet in 2022.
  • Table or clipboard in your community (use Reach to record people’s contact information and follow up with them later).
  • Ask your members to invite their friends (use Reach to have and keep track of your relational organizing conversations).
  • Use digital organizing strategies such as DMing your social media followers to invite them to your events and asking other local groups or community members to share your event online.
  • Post flyers in coffee shops, bulletin boards on your college campus for college groups, and other community hubs where progressive folks congregate.
  • Drop off invites at Democratic houses in your neighborhood (use the search tab on Reach to search for addresses and identify Democrats) or dorms on your college campus for college groups.
  • Invite everyone who signs up to bring a friend with them.

Welcoming first-time volunteers

Getting first time volunteers to your event is just the first step - then you have to make sure they feel welcome and have a good experience so they come back. Here are a few tips:

  • Greet each volunteer when they join your event, introduce them to other group members, and be welcoming and inclusive.
  • Use name tags so that people can easily get to know each other
  • Give your attendees opportunities to talk, socialize, and connect with each other—the more community-oriented your events are, the more people will want to stay involved.
  • Introduce them to Swing Left’s strategy and your group with these welcome slides—understanding the “why” behind your work will help new volunteers feel excited about joining your group and inspired to take action.
  • Take immediate action together by letter writing or high traffic canvassing.
  • Pair new folks up with an experienced partner, especially for high traffic canvassing, to build their confidence and help them feel supported.