11 Ways to Get Out the Vote
Anyone gearing up for a big online voting campaign? (Hello, all of you in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge Qualifying Heat!!) Whether you’re one of the 104 agencies currently competing to earn a spot in the Challenge or looking for folks to cast their ballots for you in a local contest, take note of these tips for rocking the vote.
- Make sure that everyone who comes through your lobby knows to vote for your shelter. How about setting up a laptop so folks can vote right there, right then?
- Add the voting link to your email signature, and ask your staff, volunteers and board members to do the same.
- Posting the link every day on your Facebook Timeline is a no-brainer, and be sure to frequently update your supporters and staff on your progress—this is a great way to keep ‘em motivated and focused.
Exhibit A: Chip Billingsworth, spokescat for Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, lets supporters know how his agency’s doing during the 2011 Qualifying Heat.
- How did Brother Wolf Animal Rescue make excellent use of voting stickers in their campaign during the 2011 Qualifying Heat?
- They stuck ‘em on their mailing envelopes
- They stuck ‘em on pizza boxes delivered to college campuses
- They stuck ‘em on people at bars (who, according to BWAR, may not have remembered how the stickers got there the next morning)
- They even campaigned on Facebook to get a sticker on every person in their hometown of Asheville, NC!
- Go to high-traffic areas—i.e. schools or the mall—to pull in big numbers. By setting up laptop stations or sending staff/volunteers around with iPads, you can get votes right there on the spot. “We found big college campuses to be a great vote-getting location!” says Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, 2011 Northeast Region Winner. “Catch them during the noon-2pm lunchtime. Not many people will say NO!”
- Any big outdoor events scheduled in your community during the voting period? Grab a smartphone and wireless laptop and have folks vote directly at the event. Nothing coming up? Set up a voting table on the sidewalk in an area with high foot traffic, and bring along 2 or 3 folks to hand out flyers encouraging people to vote.
- Offer a discount on your adoption fee to folks who present proof of their vote.
- Got team players who are great on the phone? Organize a phone bank to have volunteers call your supporters directly and ask them to vote. It’s easy to write a script, and you’d only need 3 or 4 people to make calls for you.
- Update your website to reflect the election. (Translation: Get the message about voting on your homepage, and make it prominent—you may want to think about putting the information on a splash screen.)
- Make like 2010 $100K Challenge Contestant McKamey Animal Center and print up some yard signs that you can ask volunteers and board members to put in their yards during the voting period. “Even our city mayor put a sign in his yard!” they report.
- Greater Birmingham Humane Society had staff and volunteers use soap crayons to write the voting URL on their cars during the 2010 $100K Challenge—a great way to increase your reach AND a fun way to take action.
How can you make voting more entertaining for your voters and volunteer campaigners?
Best of luck to all the agencies in the Qualifying Heat –12 days of online voting, starting today at noon, to select this year’s 50 official contestants in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge.