Summary: Follow the tips in this article to set your canvassing efforts up for success.
First, a glossary
- Import: Raw data that you import and store in the tool, then use to cut your lists for knocking doors. Imports are static: the raw data you imported is always available to draw on to build new lists.
- List: A list is generated from an import. Think of a list as a digital clipboard containing everyone you want to try to talk to in your area. As you talk to people door to door, you will digitally cross them off your list or make a note for your team to revisit them.
- Effort: An effort is an outing for your canvassers to knock doors and work through a list (or digital clipboard). We recommend you set efforts to last no longer than 2 days. Click here to learn more about creating an effort in Organizer.
- Turf: A turf is a subset of doors included in an effort, typically in one geographical area or neighborhood that 1-2 volunteers can complete within 1 canvassing session. Usually you will cut multiple turfs per effort, and we recommend using the shape tool to define your turfs.
Understanding Organizer Canvassing’s data hierarchy can help you get the most out of the tool:
- You can build multiple lists from one import. Lists are dynamic, and you can use them to create multiple efforts.
- Cut turfs within an effort to assign a specific set of doors to each canvasser (“worker”). Each effort can (and likely should) contain multiple turfs.
Contacted voters will automatically fall off your list
As your volunteers complete their work within a given effort, all of the people they contact or mark as “Do Not Revisit” will automatically drop off of your list so that you don’t waste time going back to the same doors.
Visiting a door again
You may want to make a second pass over a turf to talk to people you may have canvassed previously. For example, you may need to do a final GOTV canvass or lit drop to all identified supporters to give them a final reminder about election day. As mentioned above, doors that have already been knocked will automatically be crossed off your list.
To visit the same doors again, create a fresh list in Organizer Canvassing. This is pretty easy to do: you can generate a new list from an existing import, or you can import a fresh set of data and generate a list from that.
When you cut a brand new list from a new or existing import, it includes everyone present in that raw data, including people you already contacted on an earlier list — and also including people you previously dispositioned as “Do Not Revisit.” There are 2 easy ways to filter the “Do Not Revisit” households out of your data when setting up a new list for a second pass:
- Option 1: Export your current canvassing results data via the Results tab, remove those households in Excel or in your external CRM, and re-import the resulting data to use in a fresh list.
- Option 2: Alternatively, you can import the “Do Not Revisit” list itself back into Organizer and then select that list under Exclude when creating a new list.
The same approach can also be used to exclude lists of voters who you know have already voted early or by mail from your canvassing efforts.