Endorsement cards are a great thing to have when you are running for office.
These simple cards are both important and affordable.
Endorsement cards are one of the first things every campaign needs.
It is surprising how many candidates never make the effort to have these handy cards available.
What are Endorsement Cards and what are they for?
Endorsement cards provide a simple and effective way to confirm support, obtain correct contact information, and gather details about the supporter.
Like remit envelopes, you should always have endorsements cards with you.
Carry them in your pocket, briefcase or purse, and leave extras in your car.
When you walk precincts, always have endorsement cards with you.
When your make contact with a real supporter you are going to want to know the best way to contact them.
You will also want to know what they are willing to do to help your campaign and confirm if you can use their name publicly as a supporter.
Endorsement cards are easily printed or produced in house.
It is very simple to create an endorsement card on your computer with a simple word program.
If you have a campaign logo it should not be to hard to incorporate that into your card.
You can print it out on a standard 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper.
You could also buy card stock that you can laser print your endorsement card on to.
But it will probably be easier to take your work to an office center that can easily print out a few hundred or more.
Better yet, just hire your local printer to design and print your cards.
Endorsement Cards look like remit envelopes, so what is the difference?
The difference between an endorsement card and remit envelope is that a remit will be asking more specific information about the donor for legal purposes.
A remit will also have a location for the donor to list the specific amount they are asking contributing to your campaign.
Generally, remit envelopes don’t get into asking about volunteer information, but some do include that information.
However, not all endorsers are donors, so don’t scare off a public endorser with a remit envelope because they think you only want money.
8 items to include on your Endorsement Cards
- Always have your campaign committee name, campaign identification number, and committee address
- Include your name and office you are seeking
- Always, if it is a card, include a return address
- Make sure you have a spot to place a stamp to make it easy to mail back to you
- Ask if you can count on them for the voter’s support
- Ask if you can use the voter’s name publicly as a supporter
- Ask if they will volunteer and what specifically they will do – make calls, walk a precinct, host a coffee, stuff letters, etc.
- Ask if they will place a yard or window sign at their home
There are other things that you can put on an endorsement card and some of these items you may not want to include.
Be careful to not ask for too much or give people too many choices.
If your card is too cluttered and you bombard people with a pile of requests, they may just get turned off and throw your endorsement card away.
What about mailing Endorsement Card to voters?
Endorsement Cards can be a great thing to include in a letter you are sending to potential supporters or voters at large.
If you are mailing to a targeted group of voters in your district it might be appropriate to include an endorsement card.
Those that are impressed with your message can simply return the completed card pledging their support.
Just make sure you have a return address and indicate a location for the proper postage.
You may even want to include postage. This can be pricey but might be worth a try if you are interested in building a large base of local support.
This is also a little pricey but can be extremely effective to create a self mailer with a perforated tear off endorsement card.
Using a Business Reply Permit ,or BRM as it is refereed to, takes some planning, coordination, and a few dollars. But it’s still a good thing to do.
You will need to set up a special account with the Post Office and make a deposit to cover the postage on the pieces that are mailed back.
This provides voters an opportunity while they are reading your campaign material to complete and return – at no cost to themselves – the endorsements card proclaiming their support for you.
This method works great and can be a quick way to gather supporters, which is especially effective if you are running a grass roots based campaign.
Here is an example of one we did a few years ago to increase supporters for a local school board that was under attack by a small but vocal group in their district.
From left to right we have the Business Reply Permit. Second we have the endorsement or support card titled: “Thank You!”
Here is the front and back of the mailer including USPS indicia. The remit card was attached to this self mailer with a perforation and could easily be removed, completed and mailed by supporters.
This is the inside of the mailer. On the right side of the right panel “Good jobs for our community!” was attached the perforated endorsement card.
Again, the above example is pricey but it can be will worth it if you need to build a lot of supporters quickly. We actually got almost 50 of these back the first day and several hundred over about 8 days.
All Endorsement Cards for All Races may differ but here is one more example:
This candidate’s endorsement card is pretty simple and he does not ask for much more than your name but he is only running for re-election as a state party official.
But this is an example of how what your request on an endorsement card may vary depending on the type of race you are in.
There is really no set thing to ask for other than name, whether or not the person will support you, and if you can publicly use their name.
It is probably easier to produce endorsement cards at the same time you are producing your remit envelopes.
When you are running for office remember to have endorsement cards produced early in your race, if possible, before you start meeting with people.
Finally, endorsement cards are a tremendous help in building your endorsement list and collecting supporter information that you will later enter into a campaign data base for use throughout your campaign.
Candidate Take Aways
Print and design endorsement cards as soon as you know you are running for office.
Always have them with you and never ever leave home without them.