How to Canvass

Canvassing is a very important part of our fund raising efforts.  This is our primary method of contacting our volunteers and donors.  Canvass activities usually involve leaving some material (PV Postcard drop) or knocking on doors (Survey, Donation Campaign).  Please Sign up to Canvass for training and materials and, most importantly, so we may contact you when you are done.


Canvass Walking Routes

  • Never open a mailbox. (Protected by Federal Law)
  • Never approach a house with "No Soliciting" or "No Trespassing" sign.
  • OK to place on doorstep (or walkway or driveway if "No Soliciting" signs are out)
  • OK to slide under newspaper
  • It's best to walk with a partner.  Safety and you can handle both sides of the street at the same time.


Talk with your team leader to go over tips and learn how to collect feedback.  Review the goals of the canvass (literature drop, door knock w/ fundraising request, etc) and the rules (above).

Planning a Route

Print a map from the Canvass Walking Route map.  (Note: Be sure to look at all the 'pages' of routes, some routes may be hidden until you view the next page)   Select a few blocks that have not yet been marked.  Collect the material (like the PV Postcard) from your team leader.  Coordinate your path with other volunteers and report your actual route (in case things change mid-walk) to your team leader.  The leader then forwards a picture (camera phone pic Ok) to to update the route (unless you want to make a try of it yourself -- warning: it's not the easiest thing in the world).

Recording a Canvass Route

Carefully mark what route you walked on the map you printed.
Take a picture with your cameraphone or some other way to email the route to
Update the route yourself....

How to mark Canvass walks yourself: (can be edited by anybody!)
To make a new route,
  1. Open the "Edit Canvass Walk Routes" map.
  2. Click the Edit button, next to the map title.  (Anyone is allowed to edit this map)
  3. Click on the draw line icon and select 'Draw a line along roads'. 
  4. Click ONCE on the beginning of your trip.  Add way points by clicking on where you walked next (from the starting point).  If you click and hold the map will drag around on the screen.  If you double click the map will zoom in.  Keep clicking at every intersection until you get to the end.  You can remove way points by right-clicking on them and selecting 'delete'.  Each walk should correspond to just one line. (i.e. try to keep lines grouped together). 
  5. Click the line at the right when you are done with the route. Label the line description with the date and name of the person (first name ok) who did the drop.  You can even include comments like, "Followup with 123 Main ST, may want to volunteer!"
  6. Click "Done" button when you are done editing the map.  (You can also click Save at any time to make your changes permanent)
  7. If the route your working on vanishes, be sure to click 'Next' at the bottom of the list to see more routes.  Unfortunately, only one page of routes are shown at a time.