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A Red Flag from Walkin’ Willie:

"I’ll never forget the first time I recruited volunteers for door-to-door canvassing. Vice Chair Wilma and me – well, we called 500 people and 250 said they would volunteer. We figured that was pretty good. We needed about 225 people, and we figured a few won’t show up here and there."

"Well sir, you can imagine my surprise when about 50 people showed up that day. ‘Good grief!’ I said to Vice Chair Wilma. ‘What happened to all the rest? Did we give ‘em the wrong day and place?’"

"’Nope,’ Vice Chair Wilma said. ‘Think they just stood us up, Chairman Willie!’ And she was right. Those darned rascals never showed."

"Well, we learned our lesson. If you want 250 volunteers, make sure at least 600 have said yes they will come. And it takes over 2,000 phone calls to get 600 people who say yes. So the rule of thumb is 2,000 phone calls to get 250 volunteers."



At best, only 50% of those recruited by phone who said "yes" will actually show up to help. Make sure your phone callers keep accurate records of the name, address and phone number of each volunteer who says "yes" over the phone. Each person who says "yes" should be sent a confirmation letter within a week of his or her agreeing to volunteer.