Staff Academy | National Democratic Training Committee

A New Wave of Staffers

NDTC’s Staff Academy is an intensive, 10-week program designed to recruit, train, and connect new staff to paid career opportunities in Democratic politics across the country.

When inviting applicants to join our program, we prioritize leaders who are women, people of color, and transgender and non-binary people.

Best of all, the program is free for anyone accepted.

How Staff Academy Works

Online Training

Accepted cohort members will participate in online courses, attend weekly virtual live training webinars, and work on assignments—all while working in a strong, collaborative, and inclusive learning environment.

Virtual Live Training Event

The program culminates with a four day, virtual training event during which cohort members level up their skills, pitch campaign plans, and work through simulation-based scenarios.

Job Search Support

We help graduates during their search for campaign jobs by facilitating connections and providing individualized coaching.

By the end of the program, Staff Academy Graduates have the foundation needed to build a successful career in Democratic politics and understand how to lead and manage a positive and inclusive culture as part of their strategic campaign goals.

Choose From Three Training Tracks

Cohort members choose between three skills tracks when applying to the program: digital, fundraising, and communications. Every cohort member will also receive training in management and leadership.

Digital Track

Core skills taught
  • Developing a digital campaign plan and digital content calendar
  • Writing and sending emails using NGP 8
  • Crafting effective, targeted social media content and posts
  • Building a campaign website
  • Writing in a candidate’s voice
  • Creating successful calls to action
  • Moving people up the ladder of engagement
Common job titles

Digital organizer, email strategist, and digital director.

Fundraising Track

Core skills taught
  • Developing a campaign fundraising plan
  • Making hard donation asks
  • Creating call sheets
  • Following campaign finance laws
  • Tracking pledges and donations, following up with and thanking donors
  • Using spreadsheets and donor tracking software like NGP
  • Throwing fundraising events
Common job titles

Finance assistant, call time manager, and finance director.

Communications Track

Core skills taught
  • Developing a campaign communications plan and content calendar
  • Crafting an effective message, tailoring it for different audiences, and writing in a candidate’s voice
  • Managing your candidate and preparing talking points for them
  • Media monitoring and writing a daily morning communications brief
Common job titles

Communications assistant, press secretary, and communications director.

Develop Management & Leadership Skills

No matter which training track you choose, you will also receive training in management and leadership.

Core skills taught
  • Creating an inclusive team culture through an understanding of identity, oppression, and privilege
  • Pitching your campaign plan to various campaign stakeholders
  • Managing up and laterally with teams, vendors, and volunteers
  • Preparing for the job search with coaching on resumes, interviewing, and networking skills
  • Managing your time and priorities effectively to accomplish your goals and avoid burnout

What Graduates Have to Say

Our graduates now work on campaigns for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and all the way down the ballot.

After 10 weeks of NDTC Staff Academy, I can confidently say that I am prepared and in the position to work on any campaign. NDTC taught me the various complexities of working on a campaign and provided me with a comprehensive guidebook, created by experts in the field, to catapult my political career.
Felicia Donelson 2020 Staff Academy Graduate
NDTC is the best option for those who want to learn about Democratic campaigning. Staff Academy trains you for a career in politics, but the team also empowers you, creates networks for you, and takes care of you. I’m graduating from the NDTC Staff Academy feeling accomplished and ready for any sort of communications position.
Anahi Hurtado 2020 Staff Academy Graduate
I was able to train with a diverse group of the most talented and dedicated people I have ever had the pleasure of encountering. I came away from the program knowing that the future of Democratic politics is in good hands and that I have the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on progressive campaigns.
Eleanor McDonough 2019 Staff Academy Graduate

Staff Academy Partners

Not Sure About Staff Academy?

If you are not ready to commit to Staff Academy but are interested in building a career in political campaigns or enhancing your skills, check our Online Academy campaign staff training courses.

These courses are available 24/7 and you can take as many or as few as you would like on your own schedule. Unlike participating in the Staff Academy Cohort, there is no application to access the courses.

To learn more about the differences between Staff Academy and our Online Academy campaign staff courses, check out our blog post on NDTC Staff Training Programs.