Tips for Libertarian Activists

Recruiting and training organizers

Last updated 1995-05-29 by Tom Isenberg

The LP needs lots of local organizers to find new prospects and members using Nolan booths, seminars, etc.

It should be the goal of every state LP to have active organizers in each county (or at least each major city) in the state. And someone on your executive committee (the state chair, the membership chair, etc.) should be responsible for personally recruiting these organizers. (If you're not on the executive committee yourself, but would like to be an organizer or help recruit organizers, offer them your services!)

It is crucial that instead of just designating some stranger to be the organizer for a particular county or city that you meet him or her in person and make sure that the person is qualified. Nothing is worse than having an organizer who turns people off. It is better to not have an organizer at all than to have a poor one. (After all, that person represents the LP and might be scaring off potential members, volunteers and donors.) You want someone who has his/her act together, is friendly and outgoing, is not a kook, and shows common sense. (They will learn the skills later.) To make these important judgements, you need to meet prospective organizers in person and watch them in action. An ideal way to do this is to get them together to do a Nolan booth in their area. (Or if not you, then someone you trust in a nearby area, such as the organizer in the next county.)

To recruit your prospective organizers, get a list of volunteers for each particular area. Find those who have volunteered to be organizers or help with Nolan booths or be candidates, etc. Call them up and ask them to help do a Nolan booth and figure out ideal dates and locations.

Remember, you are organizing this one, so it's up to you to ultimately decide the details. Hopefully, you'll be able to involve as many volunteers (ones you think might be good organizers) as possible. You'll be training them and doing the Nolan booth with them, so you'll get to see them in action. When the day is done, make notes on the volunteers and determine if you have found any potential organizers.

If not, repeat this process with a new batch of volunteers in that county or city. If you think you have found some organizers, give them a call soon after to thank them again for their help and to ask if they'd like to continue doing Nolan booths. If so, ask if they'd like to organize the next one (you will be their mentor.) Basically, this is the way to get organizers started. In fact, the most important thing local organizers can do is organize Nolan booths (and send the list of prospects they've found to the state office.) Anything else is icing on the cake (but the cake comes first!)

Once they've run their first Nolan booth, ask them to become the official LP organizer in their area. Explain to them that their main task would be organizing Nolan booths and that the state LP will get them the names of volunteers, etc. Offer to sell them (at cost) the Nolan booth kit (card table, easel, and poster) so that they have one of their very own (this also helps determine their committment.) Call this organizer every few months to encourage and offer help. Send monthly updates of volunteers in their area. If the person turns out to be a good organizer, encourage them to move onto the next level (creating an official regional LP.) If the person turns out to be a dud (give them at least six months, but no more than a year) find a new organizer!

RELATED TIPS SHEETS: "Nolan booth procedures" and "Survey your prospects".