Host a Pre-Election Party
Hosting or attending a pre-election party is an opportunity to take concrete actions to educate yourself and your community on the importance of electing leaders in Washington who are champions for women and girls around the world. CARE is seen as a credible voice on Capitol Hill because our policy positions are grounded in our 70+ year experience in the field. Now we need to take our message, backed with this tremendous expertise, to the campaign trail, to make sure that voters are informed and that candidates know that voters are paying attention.
A pre-election party is an opportunity to inform and engage friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors in meaningful discussion about candidates – how they align with CARE’s mission to save lives, overcome poverty, and achieve social justice.
If you’re interested in hosting a pre-election party, contact your CARE Action Regional Advocacy Coordinator.
"Educating ourselves before Election Day is both our duty and a way to honor our foremothers who fought to give us the right to vote!"
– Jessica Steed, CARE Action Advocate
Designing Your Party
It is important to invite a diverse group of people with different viewpoints, backgrounds, and political beliefs. Anyone and everyone can and should get involved in the conversation regarding global poverty issues. This could include your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors. You can also encourage everyone to bring a friend – you’ll engage more people and maybe make some new friends in the process.
There are lots of ways to make this party as fun as it is informative. You can host:
Any event offline needs to be online too. If you’re hosting a pre-election party, create a Facebook event page (or the online tool of your choice) and invite all your friends. Then share the event via Facebook, Twitter, and email. There are online tools to help you create customizable event invitations. Invitations are more effective if they are personalized for each guest.
Social Media To-Do List
Before the Party:
1. Tag three friends to join you by sharing the event on Facebook Messenger or posting on the event page.
2. Send reminders! If you’re organizing an event, send reminders a week before, and a day before the event by sharing the event. You can send reminders via email, Facebook, and within the Paperless Post and Evite sites
During the Party:
Post and tweet photos from the party. Remember to tag @CareActionNow and all advocates who participated in the event. (e.g. “Watching the debate with @A @B @C! @CareActionNow #voteifyoucare” [+ clear, non-blurry photo from the event])
Photos: Make sure to get a group photo during your event. Be mindful of good lighting, and what’s in the background. Take multiple photos. Post a clear group photo, tag advocates. If you are holding signs in the photos, make sure they are appropriate (If in doubt, leave it out). Do not post 3+ similar photos -- variety is the spice of life! And remember to smile!
After the Party:
Give other advocates a shout out online for showing up. (e.g. Thanks @A @B and @C for coming to/hosting the pre-election party! @CareActionNow #voteifyoucare [+ photos from the party]) Giving shout outs on social is a great way to bridge offline and online interactions, and really important to retain advocates who showed up for the first time. This is easy to do on Twitter but it would require you to become friends with them on Facebook. Friend your fellow advocates on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
For people who show up without an RSVP, make sure you get their email (and social media handles) before they leave the event and invite them to upcoming events via email or social media.
Follow up with people who RSVP’d but did not show. Make sure to invite them to the next event.
Assigning and Doing the Research
Just because you’re the host, doesn’t mean you should do all the the work. In fact, the best way to get everyone involved and personally invested is to invite other guests to take the lead on researching the candidates and presenting what they learn to the rest of the group at the party. Think about who would tackle this opportunity with enthusiasm. Which of your friends are avid newsies or politicos? Or who is really conscientious? Ask these special guests to join you in making this an interactive discussion. Decide who will research which candidates, and share this tool kit with them so they know how to get started. On party day, you’ll invite them to share with the group what they learned, and help lead the discussion about the candidates and issues at hand. It is important to emphasize that they take an unbiased look and conduct their research with credible sources. They are helping to contribute to a fair, open and honest discussion, and that means they have a responsibility to come to this project with an open mind and a commitment to be thorough and fair.
1. Start with the basics with these key sites:
2. Search online news sites and set up a Google news alert for the candidate’s name so you stay on top of the latest news.
3. Search political sites like:
4. Review candidate’s campaign site – what issues are they highlighting? What do they focus on in their press releases?
5. If the candidate is an incumbent, search their voting record at Govtrack.us.
6. Look into who the candidate’s big donors are at opensecrets.org.
Keep track of all of the sources that you use. It is important to be able to cite where your information comes from. Create a simple, clear format to share your findings with other people at the party. You can be ambitious and create a PowerPoint presentation, or simply make notes on the key points. It’s up to you – but make sure to be clear and concise.
Setting the Stage:
Begin your program by giving a brief overview of CARE and why you’re hosting this event. You may want to show the following video, CARE: 70 Years of Delivering Lasting Change:
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Founded in 1945, CARE has more than seven decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, 4 providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after an emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. Last year CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. You can learn more by visiting: www.care.org.
CARE has launched CARE Action to ignite a movement to end global poverty and make positive change happen for those facing injustice.
Important Points to Highlight:
Make sure to have some questions prepared that you can pose to keep the discussion going if things hit a lull. Some examples:
- If a candidate doesn’t have a clear position on issues related to global poverty, is there anything about their background or public statements that hint at where they might stand?
- Are there national trends and issues that are having an impact on this race?
- What can we do as a community to help ensure that the candidates know that global poverty issues matter to us?