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Once a commitment to participate is con-

firmed, web-based volunteer training and co- ordination software is available to train volunteers remotely over the internet, making their partici- pation much more flexible, convenient and cost effective. Training programs are designed to focus specifically on high value support activities. Ac- tivities that help the candidate or party actually achieve their goals and objectives. Once trained, web based volunteer co-ordination tools allow the volunteers to “do their part” from the com- fort of their home or office. These tools also make it simple and easy for volunteer co-ordinators to administrate the efforts of “work at home” volun- teers, thereby ensuring maximum efficiency and productivity across the network. The probability that volunteers will remain active and “spread the word” in order to grow the network has proven to dramatically increase when every effort is made to make it easier for the them to contribute, and when they feel that their time is well spent and that they are part of a well run, productive, use- ful and efficient operation. One that accomplishes what it sets out to achieve. It is extremely important that volunteers know

that they are making a difference. Volunteer pro- grams must provide continuous feedback related to the impact that their “individual” efforts are mak- ing on the overall goals and objectives of the can- didate or political party. Ongoing dialog is essential and timely access to information on progress (on all initiatives) is imperative. This “information ad- vantage” combined with other more performance based rewards (i.e. personalized and complimenta- ry invitations to political events) validates that they are in fact appreciated and valued.

Augmenting the Team

Deploying a well planned volunteer recruitment and coordination program should ensure that you have the necessary number of volunteers to imple- ment the core activities needed to accomplish your political goals (i.e. event planning, voter persuasion, party/candidate platform promotion, ongoing re- cruitment, etc). It can not however be expected to provide all of the resources needed to get the entire job done. There will always be an ongoing requirement to urgently identify and subsequently secure large scale support (both financial and vot- er) in compressed timeframes and to communicate changes in strategy, direction or messaging to large groups of

individuals almost immediately (using

a variety of communication channels). These ini- tiatives are often impossible to forecast and their sheer size and complexity necessitates looking outside of the volunteer network for alternatives. Fortunately, flexible solutions are available through experienced Political Services firms, solutions spe- cifically designed to successfully deal with these types of high volume, tight turnaround projects. Having significantly invested in politically experi- enced people, proven processes and the latest tech- nologies, organizations such as Momentuum have the experience, capacity and capabilities necessary to deliver these types of programs seamlessly, cost effectively and to rigid quality standards. Volunteer networks can be successfully ex-

panded, but to do so requires a fresh approach, a renewed focus and an ongoing commitment. A Good Strategy Deserves Great Execution!

John Arcuri is the Preisdent & CEO of Momentuum, a Canadian provider of political services.

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