Thinking of Running? Here are three exercises to help you get started!

US Capitol

US Capitol

For these exercises, you’ll need a pen and paper and we suggest you complete them in one sitting by yourself.  We’ve designed the questions to build off each other and get you in the mindset of a campaign! And don’t get discouraged by any of your answers (there are no wrong answers!) - these help form your base, but we will help you develop them further!

  1. Why do you want to run?  Please list the top three issues/challenges you plan to address in office.

    1. Hint: These should be personal, related to an experience you’ve had, your education, and/or work experience.  Also, they should relate back to your community, district, state.

    2. Let’s develop your 30 second “stump speech!”  

      1. Write out a brief script that includes the following elements:

        1. Introduce yourself: your name, what you are running for, and a piece of your story

        2. Include your reason for running (here’s where you insert your three priorities!)

        3. Finish with an ask for support (you can tailor the “ask” depending on your audience.

  2. Develop two lists (you have more people that can help than you think you do!):

    1. Volunteers: The people on this list should be individuals that you can call on to help with a number of tasks, from helping with events to picking up supplies to organizing other volunteers.

    2. House List: This is the list of people commonly referred to as “low-hanging fruit.” These are your friends and family, those in your various personal and professional networks, who you can call for initial donations and/or to host a meet and greet for you.

  3. Do you have a path to victory? Now this can be a scary question – and don’t worry, we aren’t expecting you to have your entire campaign strategy mapped out right now, but you should have a general lay of the land and have an idea of where your support will come from. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

    1. Do you have a base/potential base of supporters?

    2. Do you have a unique background to endear, inspire, and/or induce confidence with your constituents?

    3. Can you raise the initial funds needed? (We know this can be one of the most daunting aspects of a campaign but we have all the tips and tricks you need to get started and feel in control of your fundraising. Money is, of course, important, but it’s not everything.  Every race is different and so is the amount needed to raise.)

      1. Pledges vs. contributions

      2. You need to file before accepting contributions.  Here’s what you’ll need (insert link to fundraising page once completed):

        1. Treasurer

        2. Bank Account

          1. IRS EIN

          2. P.O. Box

        3. Campaign Name

        4. Be sure to note all your filing deadlines, information needed, contribution limits, and other requirements.  

Okay!  Now that you have these three exercises complete - you have the basic groundwork done to start your campaign! From here, see our next worksheet to continue building out your campaign!