Everyone who canvasses with the Fund understands the value of canvassing. Boiling it down, canvassing helps the progressive movement in at least five ways:
- Raising money to fund campaigns and build grassroots organizations. Individual contributions are the lifeblood of citizens' groups. They translate directly into political power and fund the research, advocacy and outreach critical to winning campaigns.
- Signing up members for the partner organization. Canvassers identify people who support the values and principles that grassroots organizations fight for. By signing them up as members, we set the stage for a long-term relationship that will enable our partner organizations to continue their work well into the future.
- Educating the public about problems and solutions. Canvassers speak directly to millions of people around the country every year. We alert them to environmental problems and legislative proposals by special interest groups. We also make people aware of common-sense solutions and give them the opportunity to have an impact on their democracy.
- Building name recognition for the organization and the campaign. Public interest organizations can't often afford to run TV and radio ads to build their name recognition, as large corporations do. However, by talking to people individually and leaving literature with them, we can raise their awareness of the work that we're doing.
- Influencing decision-makers. Canvassing in the community gives us the ability to speak with thousands of voters in an elected official's district. We can inform people about their representatives' voting records, gather petition signatures, and ask people to make phone calls. That establishes accountability and encourages decision-makers to vote in their constituents' best interests.