Tracking canvasser movements and activity is a necessary part of any field grassroots organizing. In an ideal world, this involves nothing more than sitting at your laptop and seeing canvasser activity coming through to you.
Why we do canvasser tracking?
Acting as field director or campaign manager you really want to optimize your canvassers time in the community. By viewing real-time data on canvassers and tracking what they are doing you can view:
What ground isn’t being covered
Which canvassing teams might need backup
What areas are being missed
Where to meet for debriefing
Where to send cars to pick up canvassers
Field canvassing means your team will be out in the community in traffic, in different weather and in potentially dangerous neighborhoods. It is critical to be able to see, for example:
Where they were last?
Have they gone off their canvassing route?
Have they stopped in one place for a long period of time?
Have they stopped canvassing?
Understanding returning data from voters is obviously hugely important for a high-functioning campaign but what is often overlooked is understanding the data coming back about canvasser workflows.
A careful review of canvasser activity can tell you a lot about the best canvassing techniques and the most effective messaging for voters.
Who’s canvassing technique is working?
John could be knocking on 50 doors a week but the reception at the door indicates we aren’t doing well. Perhaps you need to talk to John and take him through some more training. It’s good to work with your canvassers and analyze what they think could be improved on an ongoing basis.
What messaging is working?
If you are using A/B testing on the campaign trail, it will be interesting to see which messaging is performing better than the other. Testing messages at the door is often the best way to check which campaign slogan resonates more with the voters.
If partners need to be changed?
More times than not, volunteers will come from various different areas. We often pair up new canvassers with older ones, simply because experienced canvassers are like fountains of knowledge when it comes to technique and the locals. Canvasser tracking can easily show the Campaign Manager if this system is working going by the quality of canvassing being done. Sometimes it may be necessary to make swaps midway through an election run and this is often a seamless transition.
Every field director wants to get the best out of their team, even if they are just casual volunteers. Setting key performance indicators KPI’s and tracking them is one of the most important things that you can do in this regard. The most obvious KPI would be number of doors knocked but you can also drill down to number of surveys completed with voters, contact information taken, vote pledges gathered, and so on.
Equally, you should be taking note of canvassers missed doors or low percentages of voters canvassed to doors knocked. The average time spent on each door can also be tracked to get a sense of the interaction taking place.
How we do it?
Ecanvasser can help you stay on top of all the work your volunteer canvassers are doing in 3 easy steps.
Go to the Campaign Page on your Ecanvasser Dashboard and navigate to the Activity Feed.
Click on the Filter Activity button, and from here select the Canvasser history that you would like to see, as well as the Canvass Type.
Once you’re the canvasser has been selected, click the Filter Activity button once more. The Canvassing Timeline will then be filtered according to all the canvasses that this canvasser has carried out.
Feel free to add or remove any other filters to review general activity. In particular, the last filter provides the chance to filter activity by date.
If you wish to take a more detailed look at your canvassing data, you can export canvass data as raw CSV from the Results tab.