Campaign Corner: How do we get more leaflet deliverers?

The Campaign Corner series looks to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.

Today’s Campaign Corner question: We know that there is more campaigning than leafleting, but our big problem at the moment is a shortage of deliverers. How should we go about getting more?

  1. LetterboxDon’t just ask members: Asking your existing members is an obvious place to start. However, some people prefer to give money than time, and so see their membership sub as their contribution. Similarly, some people prefer to give time (and may also feel that joining an organisations is too much of a commitment), so are willing to deliver but not join. In most places, the majority of the regular Focus deliverers are not members but instead helpers recruited by asking supporters.
  2. Ask in lots of ways: The easier and quicker the method of asking, the less effective it is. Going round in person door to door, calling on known supporters, is the most successful but also the most time consuming method. Sending a quick email to everyone is much quicker, but gets fewer positive responses. So start with the easy and move up to the more time consuming, refining the people you are asking at each step from email to letter to phone to doorstep. At each step, those who have responded to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be excluded and the next step can concentrate on everyone else.
  3. Target gaps in your delivery network: Local campaigners with a well-established record of distributing interesting local newsletters have often found that a special targeted leaflet or batch of door knocking in a road or village where a deliverer has dropped out is a great way to fill the gap. “Please help keep our newsletter going in your road” can be a very powerful message.

Got any other tips? Please do share them in the comment thread below.

Want to know more about local campaigning? Campaigning In Your Community by myself and Shaun Roberts should be right up your street. It’s available for only £4 from ALDC and you can read an extract for free here.

Previous Campaign Corners have included:

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This entry was posted in Campaign Corner.


  • I would add a fourth – call new members. Either those who have just joined the party (may be in short supply at the moment) or have moved from a new area. Such people are often enthusiastic but will quickly lose it if you don’t get in touch with them shortly after arrival on the scene.

  • This one is very important – please value and respect your members even when you DON’T want deliveries done. Too many existing and new members only feel as if they are “foot soldiers/pavement trampers” – they need to feel welcomed and valued in their Local parties and invited to other thing such as social events and celebrations. The Lib Dem Party is a Party for all, not just the well-off and the “rich club”. I’m sure that most LPs do treat there members very well but, sadly, there are some which don’t!

  • Emily Davey 20th Dec '11 - 1:23pm

    when I go out recruiting I try to go in a team of at least two. I take past canvass data and a list of gaps and look for one deliverer per road. I go for the direct thank you for supporting us and would you like to deliver I do not ask about local issues if someone wants to raise them they can. As soon as one of us has have found a deliverer we pull the team out and go to the next road with a gap.

    Which supporter to call on. When deciding on which people to call on if you have lots of names I go for the non elderly names sounding names, each generation has its names. I tend to opt for houses where both members of the couple back the lib dems otherwise the other partner may pressurise your deliverer into stopping.

    Moving the team on. I have come across people using whistles which they blow when a deliverer is found we have used mobile phones. If we are lucky we have someone who will not recruit on the clip board with the lists of names to call on and telling people which doors to knock on. They are the one with the mobile phone duty to pull everyone off.

    Confirming the deliverer. As soon as possible send the deliverer a letter confirming that they have agreed to deliver. This may lead to a couple dropping out but it saves time later when you are trying to hand out the bundles and they deny all knowledge of the agreement to deliver.

    Getting a team of recruiters is tough I have tried pairing wards we will recruit for you if you will do the same for me. I have found asking the MP speaker to come a little early to go recruiting is a way of attracting more recruiters one evening out with David Heath we found 15 deliverers in a little more than an hour.

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