For the past few years, Libertarians have been winning arguments; now it’s time to win some elections! In 2015, we can make a big push to increase membership, expand our fundraising, educate the public more effectively, and improve our electoral results. To do this, we need the help of dedicated volunteers. Libertarians are still a minority within the political landscape of Maryland, but we can outperform our base if we work harder and smarter than the other parties. Libertarianism is on the ascendancy in America and Maryland and we need to sustain that growth if we want to create a society that respects and protects liberty.
You might be the leader we need to organize a local group of libertarians in your area for social events, issue advocacy, or service opportunities. Or you might be able to provide valuable information to your fellow libertarians and the public at large about pending legislation. Maybe you have a talent for writing letters to the editor of your local paper. Maybe you can help organize a letter-writing campaign on pending legislation, or a petition drive to correct a mistake your state or local government has already made. The specific opportunities for volunteer service vary with the seasons, but the need is constant.
We organize our volunteers into working groups. Each working group will have a director. New working groups for specific projects will arise in the future, especially as we enter campaign seasons. We understand that everyone has a life outside politics (thankfully!) and there are limits to how much time each person can dedicate to the effort. We will take as little or as much as you can give. We won’t pressure people to give more of their time than they are willing to give. You can join as many working groups as you wish or move between them as your interests change.
The Working Groups
Social Media and Outreach. Help energize our base and expose others to libertarianism through social media, the MdLP website and our outreach efforts. The goal is to make our internet outlets active and dynamic. Through social media we can spread libertarian ideas and to reach out to other groups that share some or all of our goals. We also run booths at fairs and do outreach to the public to educate people about libertarianism, our party, and our candidates. We hope to reinvigorate our speakers series in the fall, holding events at local colleges.
The volunteers in this group will focus on gathering content (news stories, commentaries, memes, twitter trends, etc.) and distributing it through our Facebook, Twitter and website blogs. We are working on a revamp of the website to accommodate these efforts. We will coordinate with initiatives of the national party in this area. If you enjoy working with social media, like working remotely from home, and/or have strong communication skills, this might be a good group for you. They will also plan and prepare content for distribution and attend fairs, parades, and outreach events.
Fundraising. Few people enjoy fundraising, yet what all political organizations need most is money. It isn’t just the size and scope of libertarian efforts which are limited by our fundraising, but also the quality of those efforts. That can change as we make a concerted effort in 2013 to dramatically expand the party’s fundraising. If you enjoy speaking with libertarians, are self-confident and believe in the mission, you can be a good fundraiser. Developing your fundraising skills is important if you wish to run for office or take a future leadership role in any non-profit organization, including the party.
Our volunteers will organize fundraising events, direct-call solicitation of registered libertarians (phone banking), direct mail campaigns, internet ‘money-bombs’ and anything else they can think of to raise money for the party. Some projects will raise funds for specific purposes, others for general party activities. As the saying goes, ‘you can’t get what you don’t ask for’ — so we need to begin asking our Maryland libertarians to support our efforts with donations.
Social Events. Libertarians enjoy socializing with like minds, learning from each other and just having fun. We hold social events to build relationships between individuals and to help bring new people into the party. We are trying to hold one social event each month and will move the events around the state to accommodate as many people as possible.
The volunteers in this group will plan, organize, market, and run the events. If you enjoy planning social events, this might be a good group for you.
Data, Polling, Research. If information is power, then for libertarians, information is the means to limit power. Our party and our campaigns need quality information for an array of purposes.
This group will work on developing membership data for party building (helping the other working groups) and voter data for electoral processes. Volunteers in this group can also work on issue, candidate, and opposition research (all of the legal variety) that can be utilized both by the party and the relevant party candidates. Volunteers will learn how to prepare Issue Memorandums and how to update them or apply them to other tasks. We hope to also initiate internal polling at some point in time as there are many important questions which typical polling organizations never think to ask (as they don’t share our libertarian agenda).
If you are interested in data management or have technical skills in statistics or database management, we need you! However, most of our volunteers will be inputting and updating the data sets or conducting research. If you have good research skills and good writing skills, the research arm of this group may be of interest to you. Members of this working group will also be working with members of candidate campaigns past and present to identify information utility as we perfect how we seek out and present information to our candidates.
Membership. We have over 15,000 registered libertarians but very few are members of the party. Why? Come help us cure this problem by reaching out to those libertarians and non-affiliated libertarians to get them involved in our great party. Volunteers in this group will assist our Membership Director with increasing membership in the party.
As you can probably guess, much of the output of each working group will benefit the goals of other working groups. We are all in this effort together and together we will make this work.
Please use this link to sign up to volunteer.