A candidate running for election needs to have a team of well-trained, well-organized and dedicated people working with her. She may hire professionals to work for a salary, or rely solely on the services of volunteers. Depending on the size of the campaign being waged, team members sometimes take on more than one role. The key positions in any campaign include manager, director of volunteers, fundraiser, finance officer and communications coordinator. .
The campaign manager is the key member of the team and is in charge of organizing the entire campaign. Generally an expert in the field, he develops and executes overall strategy and coordinates the efforts of the other team members and volunteers. He must be able to work in synchronization with the candidate and when required, should be able to assess situations quickly and make intelligent shifts in direction.
Director of Volunteers
People who volunteer for campaigns come from a variety of backgrounds and their experiences range from homemaker to business executive and everything in between. They bring passion to the campaign and a willingness to do their part in getting their candidate elected. They do, however, need organization and guidance. This is where the director of volunteers comes in. This person assigns specific duties to certain volunteers based on their experience and abilities -- everything from manning phone banks to canvassing door-to-door. She must be able to handle the pressures of working with a large group of people with varying talents, and diplomatic in order to bring everyone together as a team.
The money needed to run a successful campaign are gathered by a fundraiser. This person needs to coordinate fundraising so that money is available for campaign activities when needed. Depending on the size of the campaign, fundraising can be in the form of small, informal events or pricey dinners and parties held in homes. Fundraisers also make use of email and social media outlets.
Finance officers are often those who have made a sizable contribution to the campaign fund and are in charge of bringing in similar donations. They manage the campaign's accounts and keep records of funds collected and expenses incurred. This job must be done with careful precision because campaign finance statements will need to be filed with various elections offices at specified intervals -- and the candidate's opponents will have the opportunity to examine them.
Communications coordinators are in charge of interaction with the voters. They write press releases, organize press conferences, make sure the candidate's website is in place, and help develop ads for TV, radio and social media like Facebook and Twitter. Their goal is to take the message developed by the campaign and sell it to the voters.
- Political Campaign Craftsmanship; Edward Schwartzma
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers; John Lip
- Mississippi Center for Public Policy: Campaign Structure
- Federal Election Commission: Quick Answers to Candidate Questions
- Federal Election Commission: Campaign Finance Reports and Data
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