What Can Candidates Do Over the Holidays
by National Democratic Training Committee, @TrainDems

The holidays are almost here and nearly every campaign wonders what to do while voters are focused more on family and not politics.

Rather than hibernating for several weeks, campaigns have an excellent opportunity to build relationships and do some good in the community. Here are four suggestions for candidates between now and New Year’s.

  1. Holiday Cards – Now is a perfect time to send a holiday card to every supporter, volunteer and donor in your database. Holiday cards are a little work, but worth the effort. They help maintain your list and keep relationships warm with those who support your campaign. Don’t just do an email, send a letter. Write personal notes on the cards to special volunteers and important supporters.
  1. Volunteer Charity Events – If you’ve just run for office, many times the volunteers and people who were working on your campaign 24/7 leading up to Election Day may be experiencing a bit of withdrawal. Get them together again to volunteer, not for the campaign, but at a local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or other charity in your community.
  1. Raising Money – Again, not for your campaign, but use your list to support a good cause. Ask your donors to give to an organization you believe in and is working in your district. Most organizations will work with you to setup a webpage or some donor portal to make it as easy as possible.
  1. Thank You Calls – When is the last time you called your VIP volunteers, political allies and donors without an ask? Use the time between now and New Years to make a call without an ask, just to say Happy Holidays. Too often campaigns only communicate when they need something. This is a chance to let these people know they are appreciated and grow a relationship with them. It will pay big dividends next year when you are calling to make an ask.

For candidates with primaries in early 2017, you can combine the above with asks for support and contributions. You don’t have time to spare. For incumbents, local parties and others, use the next few weeks to make new friends and catch up with old ones.