Grassroots Campaigning: Mobilizing Local Support

A vibrant scene of a grassroots political campaign in action with diverse volunteers engaged in door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and organizing community events in a lively neighborhood.Grassroots campaigning is a powerful strategy for political campaigns, focusing on direct engagement with voters at the local level. This approach leverages community connections and volunteer-driven efforts to build support from the ground up. In this article, we will explain what grassroots campaigning is, provide strategies for building local support, and include case studies of successful grassroots campaigns, incorporating tools like PDI and NGP VAN to enhance effectiveness.

What is Grassroots Campaigning?

Grassroots campaigning involves mobilizing ordinary people to engage in political activities to support a candidate or cause. Unlike top-down strategies, grassroots efforts rely on local volunteers and supporters to spread the campaign’s message through personal networks and community activities. This approach fosters a sense of ownership and commitment among supporters, often leading to higher levels of voter engagement and turnout.

Strategies for Building Local Support

  1. Identify and Engage Community Leaders:

   – Connect with influential figures in the community, such as local business owners, religious leaders, and activists.

   – Use their networks to reach a broader audience and gain credibility.

  1. Organize Community Events:

   – Host town halls, neighborhood meetings, and social events to directly engage with voters.

   – Create opportunities for supporters to meet the candidate and discuss key issues.

  1. Leverage Social Media:

   – Use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share updates, organize events, and engage with supporters.

   – Encourage volunteers to share content and spread the word within their networks.

  1. Utilize Voter Data Tools:

   – Tools like PDI (Political Data Inc.) and NGP VAN can help identify target voter segments, manage volunteer activities, and track engagement.

   – PDI offers robust voter data and campaign tools, such as mobile canvassing apps, email blasts, and event management.

   – NGP VAN provides comprehensive voter engagement, fundraising, and field organizing capabilities.

  1. Canvassing and Phone Banking:

   – Organize door-to-door canvassing and phone banking to have direct conversations with voters.

   – Use PDI and NGP VAN to create targeted walk lists and phone lists for efficient outreach.

  1. Relational Organizing:

   – Encourage supporters to reach out to friends, family, and acquaintances to build support through personal connections.

   – Platforms like PDI’s OutreachCircle facilitate relational organizing, making it easier for volunteers to connect with their networks.

Case Studies of Successful Grassroots Campaigns

Case Study 1: City Council Campaign in Southern California

In a recent city council race, the candidate focused on grassroots campaigning to flip a historically conservative district. The campaign used PDI to identify high-propensity voters and create targeted walk lists. Volunteers conducted door-to-door canvassing and hosted community events to engage with voters directly. The use of PDI’s mobile canvassing app streamlined data entry and tracking, allowing the campaign to efficiently manage volunteer efforts and maximize voter contact. As a result, the candidate won with a significant margin, demonstrating the power of grassroots efforts.

Case Study 2: Congressional Campaign Using NGP VAN

A congressional campaign in Orange County leveraged NGP VAN to manage their grassroots efforts. The campaign used NGP VAN’s comprehensive platform to track volunteer activities, manage donor relationships, and execute field operations. By organizing neighborhood meetings and leveraging social media, the campaign built a strong local presence. The use of NGP VAN’s voter contact tools enabled the campaign to efficiently reach undecided voters and mobilize support. The candidate’s victory showcased the effectiveness of integrating grassroots strategies with powerful campaign tools.


Grassroots campaigning is a vital strategy for mobilizing local support and driving voter engagement. By leveraging community connections, organizing events, and utilizing powerful tools like PDI and NGP VAN, campaigns can build a robust grassroots movement. These efforts not only enhance voter outreach but also foster a sense of community and ownership among supporters, ultimately contributing to electoral success.