How To Canvas

Canvasing, also known as door to door campaigning, is an important tool for activists, politicians, and community organizers. It’s a powerful form of direct communication, designed to persuade voters and advocate for causes. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of how to canvas effectively.

Step 1: Preparation

Before you head out to the streets, it’s crucial to be well-prepared. This includes understanding your cause, your target audience, and the message you want to deliver. Below are few points to keep in mind:

  • Know your cause: You should be well-versed with the cause or campaign you’re advocating. This will enable you to answer any questions confidently.
  • Research your audience: Understand the demographic and psychographic characteristics of your target audience. This will help you tailor your pitch to their interests and concerns.
  • Develop your pitch: Simplify your message into a concise, persuasive pitch. A compelling pitch can be the difference between a door slammed in your face, and an engaging conversation.

Step 2: Training

A successful canvassing expedition requires more than just passionate volunteers. Your team needs to be trained to handle all sorts of situations. During training sessions, you should cover:

  • Canvassing techniques: Train your volunteers on how to approach houses, how to introduce themselves, and how to start conversations.
  • Handling objections: Prepare your team for negative responses and train them how to handle objections gracefully.

Step 3: Hitting the Streets

With your team well-prepared and trained, it’s time to start canvassing. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Select your area: Choose a neighborhood that best fits your target audience. It’s more efficient to focus on one area at a time rather than spreading efforts too thin.
  • Plan your route: Plan your route in advance to avoid wasting time deciding where to go next. There are many apps that can help with route planning.
  • Get a buddy: It’s always safer to canvas in pairs. Plus, it can help boost morale and provide support.

Step 4: Follow Up

Canvassing doesn’t end at the doorstep. After your conversation, it’s important to follow up with the individuals you’ve spoken to. This can be a simple thank you note, or a follow-up email with more information about your cause.

Remember, the key to successful canvassing is persistence and positive attitude. It may seem daunting at first, but with practice and perseverance, you’ll be able to make a meaningful impact on your cause.


Canvassing is an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only does it provide a chance to engage with community members, but it also provides an opportunity to advocate for causes that you’re passionate about. We hope this guide can help you start your canvassing journey.