Tips for Libertarian Activists

Survey your prospects

Last updated by Tom Isenberg

The Washington State LP surveys our prospects. When we send database updates to our county LP's database managers, we also include printed surveys for all new prospects. Each county LP is responsible for surveying those prospects and sending the completed surveys back to the state office.

The ideas is that two weeks after we send out a prospect kit, we call the prospect. We ask him/her a few questions and put these responses in a survey database (so we can do some analysis later.)

Our goals are to:

  1. Give every prospect some human contact, to "humanize" our political party and show them we care.
  2. Discover what makes prospects contact us.
  3. Discover how easy it is for prospects to contact us.
  4. Discover what issues turn people on.
  5. Get their impressions of the LP and answer their questions (not try to convert them)
  6. Encourage prospects to take the next step (become members, volunteers, donors)
  7. Weed out prospects who aren't interested after all. Why keep them on the mailing list?
  8. Find out what kind of talents and experience they have (occupation, organizations.)
  9. Find out what their donor potential is (occupation, organizations.)
  10. Give our volunteers something to do!
  11. Find out who are volunteers are and what tasks they want to help with.


NOTE: Have a cheerful, positive disposition and be extremely polite and respectful. Remember, they will get their first (and lasting) impression of the Libertarian Party from you! Be very diplomatic. Sometimes people will chew your ear off with their own theories and gripes. Don't waste time debating with them! Just stick to the following questions (in order.) Have a pen ready to mark their answers.

Hello, this is (insert your name) calling for (insert their name). I'm a volunteer with the Libertarian Party of Washington State. I'm just getting in touch with people on our mailing list to get your opinion on a few questions.

Is this a good time to talk? (IF NO: When should I call back?)

  1. Great! My first question is: Was it easy for you to find the phone number of the Libertarian Party when you first contacted us?

    1. phone book/directory assistance
    2. Washington Libertarian newsletter
    3. other literature (specify):
    4. at an event (specify):
    5. advertisement (specify):
    6. other (specify):
    7. I didn't call.
  2. Where did you first hear about the Libertarian Party?

    1. news story (specify):
    2. friend
    3. other literature (specify):
    4. at an event (specify):
    5. advertisement (specify):
    6. other (specify):
  3. What made you decide to contact the Libertarian Party?

  4. Did you have a chance to look over the materials we sent you?

  5. Would you like to become a member of the Libertarian Party? It's free and it does not affect your voter registration at all.

    IF NO: Would you like us to take you off of our mailing list? IF YES: We'll do that. Thank you very much for your time! Goodbye!

    IF YES: Great! Do you still have the membership card we sent you? IF YES: Great! Just send put it in the mail as soon as you can! IF NO: We'll send a new membership card to you at: (insert address)

  6. Would you like to volunteer with the Libertarian Party in your area? IF NO: (Go to question 13.)

  7. Have you had any political experience before?

  8. What are your interests or talents, for example, what's your occupation?

    1. student
    2. retired
    3. full-time parent
    4. attorney
    5. accountant
    6. secretary
    7. advertising
    8. marketing
    9. other (specify):
  9. OK, I have a list of possible volunteer activities and you just say YES or NO if you'd be interested in them. You don't need any experience, because we'll train you if you're really interested, so just say YES or NO to each of the following choices. Would you like to:

    1. attend Libertarian lectures or conferences?
    2. work on a campaign?
    3. write letters to the editor?
    4. call talk shows?
    5. collect signatures for initiatives or candidates?
    6. help staff a literature table at the local mall?
    7. lobby lawmakers or testify at public hearings?
    8. speak to high-school classes or other groups?
    9. help organize college groups?
    10. help with convention planning?
    11. help do telephone surveys like this one?
    12. be an officer in the local or state party?
    13. be a discussion group participant or leader?
    14. put a Libertarian bumper sticker on your car? (we'll send you one)
    15. help with envelope stuffing?
    16. write for our newsletter (opinion pieces, articles, etc.)?
    17. host a get-together to show a Libertarian video to neighbors and friends?
    18. participate in daytime rallies and protests?
    19. participate in nightime rallies and protests?
    20. run for office?

    (NOTE: You'll want to use these same letter or number codes in the "volunteer?" field of your database.)

  10. Are you active in any other political organizations? What do you do there?

  11. Are you involved in any other social organizations? What do you do there?

  12. Would you like to make a small financial contribution at this time, say $10?

    IF YES: We can do it by credit card over the phone, if you like: (Visa or MC, name on card:, card number:, expiration date:

    IF NO: OK, maybe you can help us out later...

  13. Do you feel closer to conservatives or liberals or neither?

  14. What political issues are you most interested in?

  15. Are there any questions you have for us at this time?

Thank you very much for your time and maybe I'll get to meet you in person at some Libertarian events!