NDTC's Candidate Bootcamp: A Day of Political Campaign Training -

This August, the National Democratic Training Committee will be hosting our second-ever Candidate Bootcamp! Our bootcamps provide political campaign training for all candidates, whether they plan to run for office in the future, or want to enhance their current campaign. Here’s a rundown of what you can expect from our upcoming bootcamp on August 6th, 2022

A Day of Campaign Training

Bootcamp participants are divided into two groups: Campaign Basics (Group 1) and GOTV (Group 2). Our Campaign Basics group will attend sessions which focus on the early stages of a campaign. Here, we’ll teach learners how to build and execute a comprehensive campaign plan. Our other group, GOTV, will attend sessions for those who already have a campaign underway. Group 2’s primary focus is mobilizing voters and translating existing enthusiasm into action. 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the schedule for the day. 

Welcome Session w/ Special Guest : (9:30 am – 10:30 am ET)

NDTC trainers will be joined by a special guest at 9:30 am to kickstart an exciting day of training. Following this, learners can hear more from our team on how the day ahead will work logistically. Stay tuned for more info about our special guest in the coming days!

After these first sessions, the bootcamp breaks out into two groups. Both groups have a full day of programming available to them. NDTC trainers provide each group with insights across each of the four areas of campaigning: digital, fundraising, field, and communications. Below is a schedule of the training offered throughout the day. Please note the 10 minute screen break provided between our welcome sessions and daily programming.  

Session 1: (10:40 am – 12:10 am ET)

Group 1: How to Build and Use Your Campaign Plan

In this session, our team debriefs the purpose and importance of a written campaign plan. Learners then familiarize themselves with the key components of an effective campaign plan. By the end of this session, participants will be able to apply a continuous improvement model in order to monitor their progress towards campaign goals.  

Group 2: How to Develop your GOTV Universe and Script

This group will cover the purpose and optimal timing for your campaign’s Get Out the Vote phase (GOTV). We’ll start by laying out the key components of any successful GOTV plan. By the end of the session, our learners should be able to define those components and replicate them for their own campaign. Along the way we’ll practice developing effective voter contact scripts. 

Session 2 (12:25 pm – 1:25 pm ET)

Group 1: How to Maximize Your Personal Network to Raise Money 

Not sure how to raise money for your campaign? This session helps you get started! Here, we discuss how you can leverage your personal network to raise money for your campaign. We’ll also cover rolodexing, and the proper way to prioritize donors. Additionally, every candidate should know how to make a “hard ask”. Learners will practice making these hard asks using the most effective methods possible.

Group 2: Using Digital Tools to Meet GOTV Goals

Today’s campaigns have a variety of digital tools at their disposal to motivate action from their voting base. This group will help learners identify those tools and how to use them. We’ll also use this time to review the key components of effective digital calls to action (CTAs). As with any skill, you can only get better by practicing. That’s why we also use this time to practice drafting calls to action which drive supporters to vote and volunteer. 

Screen Break (1:25 pm – 2:25 pm ET)

Session 3 (2:25 pm – 3:25 pm ET)

Group 1: Using Personal Stories to Connect with Voters

Personal anecdotes build empathy with voters and demonstrate your values as a candidate. In other words, they’re an essential part of your campaign communications. This political campaign training will help candidates refine those anecdotes using our “Story of Self” framework. In this session, folks in Group 1 learn to identify these stories from their lives and package them for their campaign. Every campaign event is different. That’s why we train learners to tailor these anecdotes for specific audiences and for specific purposes. 

Group 2: How to Put Your GOTV Plan into Action

This session further familiarizes learners with best practices for GOTV logistics and operations. Together we’ll discuss ways you can prepare campaign staff and volunteers for this critical phase of your campaign. Notably, participants learn to develop a timeline for implementing their plan. 

Session 4 (3:25 pm – 3:35 pm ET)

Group 1: How to Recruit and Train Volunteers

Learners in this session explore the most effective ways to recruit and train volunteers. This process requires candidates to identify and prioritize the needs of their volunteers. Over the course of this session, we’ll cover exactly how you can do that while also maintaining an inclusive and equitable volunteer program. 

Group 2: Maximizing Volunteer Capacity during GOTV

There’s plenty of opportunities for volunteers to take on new leadership roles during the GOTV phase. This training helps learners identify those opportunities and according to your campaign’s needs. We also cover ways that volunteers can gather and track important voter turnout data.  

Close of the Day (4:35pm – 4:45pm ET)

By this time, both groups will arrive at the end of a long day of training. Each group will close out the day within their individual training rooms. 

Join Us 

Our political campaign training provides useful insights for all candidates. Whether you’re starting a run for office, or in the midst of a busy campaign season, NDTC’s Candidate Bootcamp will connect you with the nation’s most qualified campaign experts. We hope you’ll join us on August 6th. In the meantime, you can join us for any of our upcoming virtual live trainings to get a taste of the bootcamp experience beforehand. We’re so excited to see you there!  

Register For Bootcamp