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Finance Measure Checklist for Success

Step 1: Planning

  • Begin planning 6 to 18 months in advance
  • Identify all potential project(s), costs
  • Identify unique local problems and opportunities
  • Review news clips, background information
  • Identify those factors that make your needs urgent
  • Develop a specific, strategic plan - Seek demonstrable citizen input on plan
  • Allocate funding to assess/educate your public
  • Retain professional expertise / advisors:
    • communications strategists
    • outside financial advisors (if needed)
    • survey research / polling firms
    • outside legal counsel where needed

Step 2: Survey Research

Conduct Public Opinion research to identify:

  • popular project(s) / issues / messages
  • problematic project(s) / issues / messages
  • areas where the electorate needs more education/information
  • persuasive arguments
  • feasibility/election timing
  • “base” and “swing” audiences for future communication efforts

Step 3: Feasibility

  • Evaluate Baseline Results
  • Recommendations are made on message refinement, strategy, public education, election timing

Step 4: Non-Partisan Public Information

  • Develop/Implement Non-partisan Communications, Organizing and Public Information Plan to build public awareness, support of needs
    • Develop and market specifics of Expenditure Plan (if applicable to funding mechanism)
    • Implement Communications: NON-advocacy, Information ONLY
    • Implement direct mail program to key audiences
    • Conduct Speakers Bureau to internal and external audiences
    • Develop strategies for specific advocacy groups, opinion leaders, and earned media
    • Engage your public through a Citizens’ Advisory Committee
  • Conduct “tracking poll” to assess changes in support, prior to action to place measure on the ballot
  • If feasible, act to place measure on the ballot

Step 5: Partisan Campaign

*A Public Agency cannot, at any time, engage in a partisan campaign. After placing the measure on the ballot, the agency must step away and transfer authority to a volunteer campaign committee, who can carry out the remainder of the tasks listed below. These bullets are included in this list for informational purposes only.

  • Initiate Committee prior to action to place measure on ballot
  • Write/submit Ballot Argument
  • Develop Partisan Campaign Strategy, Timeline & Budget
  • Designate Fundraising Goals/Raise resources to be successful
  • Identify/Secure Key Endorsements
  • Produce Direct Mail
  • Develop Campaign materials such as Fact Sheets
  • Conduct Early outreach to Permanent Absentee Voters
  • Identify number of supporters
  • Compel supporters to Vote by Mail
  • Implement rapid response to applied absentees
  • Conduct Persuasion of undecideds
  • Implement aggressive “Field Operations”
  • Run nightly phone banks for 8 – 10 weeks
  • Door to door walking on weekends
  • Use Earned (nonpaid) Media
  • “Get-Out-the-Vote”
  • WIN!