HomeSC WIL Online Leadership CoursesElected Office CourseLesson: Identifying Your Network

You can’t run for office alone. You need to build a team to succeed.

This lesson will help you identify the people you already know, and the people you need to get to know, who can help your campaign by voting for you, supporting you personally, volunteering, or joining your campaign team.

Identify your inner circle

  • Who are the last 10 people you texted? Who picks up your call at all hours? 
  • Who will be 100% honest with you, even when it hurts? 
  • Who drove your kids to school when your car broke down? 

You’re going to ask these people for a ton of help. They may be part of your campaign team, or they may help you personally to free up time for your campaign. Write down their names and contact info and what you are going to ask of them. When you ask, be specific. People are more likely to respond when you make a direct request.

Identify your community circle

The mom of your child’s rec league teammate might be an expert on web design and could build your campaign website. Or the fashionista friend of a friend you met at a baby shower could help you pull together your campaign wardrobe.

Use the Campaign Connections worksheet to help you brainstorm connections, then record their names and contact info, and what you are going to ask of them on the Campaign Supporters List template. When you ask, be specific. People are more likely to respond when you make a direct request.

Grow your community network 

How have you been showing up for the community so far? – Leave tweeting, retweeting, and posting out of the equation

Are you not showing up in a meaningful way for certain issues? What can you do to get actively involved in finding solutions?

  • Vote – in every election
  • Show up at town council meetings
  • Volunteer for another women’s campaign
  • Attend a rally or march to support a cause you care about
  • Call your representative and ask to sit down and talk about problems that need fixing
  • If the environment is your focus, how can you personally make your life greener?
  • Mentor 
  • Get involved, go to meetings, or volunteer
    • Join, Join, Join – are there groups that look awesome, but you’ve never thought of joining? Or you’ve never had the time? Join in, make friends, tell them you’re considering a run for office. 
    • Connect, Connect, Connect – Tell people about your campaign and that you’re looking for help/support/advice. 
    • Show Up, Show Up, Show Up – Did you recently get an email asking you to attend the neighborhood watch meeting? Consider showing up so the person who asked will show up at the voting booth for you. 
    • Host, Host, Host – Gather friends for a book club, dance party, or viewing party. If you only know a couple people, ask them to each bring two friends. If you don’t have space to host, ask a friend to host at their place or find a bar or restaurant. 
    • Befriend your friends’ friends – Ask your inner circle if there are people you should know. GET EVERYONE’S CONTACT INFORMATION.

Don’t be a jerk! – When people help you with their money, time, and talent, thank them!

GET EVERYONE’S CONTACT INFORMATION. These are your followers/supporters. Use the “Campaign Supporters List” or create your own Google Sheet or Excel file. Get contact info for everyone you meet and talk to about running for office and put it in the spreadsheet.

TIP: Did we mention get everyone’s contact information? This will become your campaign database. You will ask these people to support you financially and at the ballot box.


Use the Campaign Connections worksheet and start recording your connections on the Campaign Supporters List template.

Additional Resources:

Tameika Isaac Devine, former Council Member and Mayoral Candidate, City of Columbia, on who she talked to when she first decided to run. (3 min. 10 sec. watch)

Thanks for financial support from