Home | Menu | Contact Us
Mandate Media Logo
Mandate Media: Digital Strategy for People Changing the World
Our Blog for Tips, Tricks, and News: Politics + Technology

Leveraging $4000 into 2250 names and 1758 volunteers

If you're a relatively safe member of Congress, and you're looking to build your supporter database, how do you go about that? You could just buy a bunch of names, but that's a bad idea -- after all, what you really want is to establish relationships with people; create more supporters, not just a bigger list.

Helpearlblogad5_1Congressman Earl Blumenauer was planning to give away $1000 each to four legislative candidates in Oregon. Sure, he could write the checks in five minutes, get a nice thank you, and be done with it.

But here at Mandate Media, we thought we'd try another approach. We decided to leverage that money to help Earl build his list, influence and motivate the grassroots, create some buzz, and deliver hundreds of volunteers to legislative candidates.

We launched Help Earl Decide. At EarlBlumenauer.com, you can see a demo of the first round, and the second round.

In the first round, folks were asked to pick five challengers and five incumbents out of all 56 candidates. In the second round, we had ten finalists - and folks picked their top four.

But we didn't just ask 'em their opinion, we also asked 'em to sign up to volunteer for the candidates they supported. How did it go? The metrics speak for themselves.

  • 2250 people voted and joined Earl's list, including Oregonians from 29 of the 36 counties in the state.
  • 1758 also volunteered, for an average of 3.6 legislative candidates each.
  • All 56 candidates got volunteers, some got several hundred.
  • Earl was having so much fun, he decided to add a fifth winner - for a total of $5000.

So, for just a few thousand bucks (that he would have donated anyway), we helped Congressman Blumenauer add a couple thousand new names to his list, make friends with all 56 Oregon House candidates, and reach out to the grassroots.

As the Willamette Week newspaper put it:

What do you do for fun when you're a Democratic congressman from Portland with no serious challenger and your name often gets mentioned in talk of future statewide runs for governor or senator? If you're Earl Blumenauer, you use your campaign website to ask Net surfers for help selecting four Democratic candidates for the Oregon House who should get $1,000 donations from the congressman.

In addition to the small press hit, Blumenauer discussed it on our local Air America station, (listen mp3), and published a guest column at BlueOregon.

Not bad, eh?

A brief self-promotional moment: If you want Mandate Media to do something like this for you, drop us a line. With the technology built, we can make it happen very fast.