Volunteers from the New Bedford Community Preservation Act Campaign.The TPL Action Fund Toolkit

Campaign Toolkit

The Trust for Public Land Action Fund Toolkit will take you through the basic steps of creating and running a political campaign to win public financing for land and water conservation. Click the chapters below for detailed guidance and examples of materials from winning campaigns.

Keep in mind that there is no “one-size-fits-all” campaign. Everything from getting the measure on the ballot to educating voters depends on the nature of the election district (including its size, political landscape, different constituencies, conservation concerns and culture) and the resources of the campaign committee.

1. Laying the Groundwork

Identify strong supporters, build political support and begin putting together a coalition. Do your homework on the legal, technical, financial, and political factors that will affect the campaign.

2. Building Your Group

Organize a campaign committee under the laws in your jurisdiction; broaden your coalition; and gather supporters and volunteers.

3. Crafting Your Message

A consistent message is critical to making sure voters have heard about your campaign, are clear on what it entails, and are compelled to vote “yes.”

4. Goal Setting, Strategy & Planning

Determine which voters are most likely to vote for the measure, which will oppose it, and which can be persuaded. Write out a plan and timeline for the steps needed to win the campaign.

5. Fundraising & Budget

Determine how much money you will need, how to allocate it, and how to raise it. This section includes fundraising tips and sample budgets, as well as information on online donations.

6. Voter Contact

There are many different ways to get your message out, depending on your budget and the number of volunteers you have. This section details different forms of outreach and voter contact, including how to get media coverage and organize a field campaign, with links to sample ads, fliers, letters to the editor, phone scripts, and other materials from winning campaigns.

More Campaign Resources

Case Studies. Successful campaign strategies from around the country.