A Database is Just an Address Book
Like many third party candidates you may already have a database that you use to track your supporters. This is great, but you may wonder “How can it drive all of those other things, it’s just an address book?”.
What you get out of a CRM is related to what you put into it, but the output is multiples higher than the input. Think about it, just setting it up to catch email addresses allows you to keep in contact and interact with people you never met. That’s pretty huge.
Some Sample Differences
This part right here, this will change how you use your database whether you sign up or not. This is where it starts.
Define your organization in the database as an actual organization type of contact. If your database supports it, create roles and relationship types. A role is a “job” in your organization such as “campaign manager” or “volunteer”. Relationship types can include “member”, “supporter”, “donor” even “critic”. Now as you create entries for your staff, assign them roles (all your permissions can be assigned to the role). As you create jobs to gather contacts, set the relationship type right at entry.
Some Sample Results
Have a survey “Will you vote for me yes/no” collect the contacts and automatically add them with defined relationships.
Later, you can even define other organizations and start defining relationships to them. These are the types of activities that through enough data collection allow groups like Facebook to show you an ad about the thing you are just thinking about. These are the things that allow you to tailor campaign activities best to the crowds that you are addressing.
It is my hope to be releasing a CiviCRM extension in November which will define important relationship types and roles for political campaigns and parties in November. Watch for it.