Welcome to the Vote Smart Ambassador Program!
Many Vote Smart members have requested a way to bring the information that Vote Smart provides into their communities. Answering this call, we initiated the Vote Smart Ambassador Program. The Ambassador Program is a citizen outreach network that allows our members to bring our resources directly to their neighborhoods. We are excited about the expansion of this citizen outreach group during the coming election year.
An Ambassador is a member of Vote Smart who provides publications and voter information services to members of their community and makes presentations within their communities. The mission of the Ambassador Program is to enable our members to reach out to their communities and bring them the free factual information that we offer. Ambassadors help promote an informed voting community by spreading the word about Vote Smart's free services and programs. Because Vote Smart has no advertising budget we depend upon word of mouth promotion. Become an Ambassador, and help your neighbors get the facts, not the spin!
The following guide outlines the entire Ambassador Program. It contains all the information you need to find and set up presentations, give presentations, answer questions, request material and much more.
Setting Up a Presentation
The following steps outline the process of setting up a presentation:
- Locate a suitable organization, group, association or club. Use our list of suggested organizations for ideas about where you can present or ask us for help finding nearby organizations that would be interested in having you present a program.
- Call the organization and ask for the person who coordinates speaking engagements, or the program director.
- Ask if the group has any open slots for speakers, and if they would be interested in having a Vote Smart Ambassador come and speak to their group.
- If the contact person has not heard of Vote Smart tell them a little about it. Offer to send them a brochure. Tell them about the 3-minute video on our site.
- Find out if the group has internet access or a DVD player, as showing the Vote Smart video is a crucial part of the presentation.
- Find out approximately how many attendees you can expect. This will let you know how many brochures you will need.
We encourage our Ambassadors to set up their own presentations. However, if you need assistance in finding an appropriate group to present to, or in setting up a presentation once you've found a group, we can offer you assistance with this. Simply call the Ambassador Coordinator at 515-989-6363, or email email@example.com. There is no minimum or maximum number of presentations you must give. We simply ask that you do as many as you are able or willing to do.
Giving a Presentation
The second step in the Ambassador Program is actually giving the presentation you just set up. Making an appearance as a Vote Smart Ambassador is quite simple. What follows is a basic outline of the presentation steps.
- Hand out brochures. Arrive at the presentation space early and find a place to display the brochures. You may want to stand at the door and hand them to people directly as they walk in. You can also place one on each seat. Every attendee should have a brochure in his or her hand.
Please include these four points in your presentation:
Vote Smart covers the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the Federal Government and all 50 State Governments in six basic categories:
- Background and Contact info
- Issue Positions
- Voting Records
- Campaign Finances
- Special interest group ratings
- Speeches and Public Statements.
- Every candidate - Democrat, Republican, or third party - is treated with equal deference, and only relevant and unbiased facts are presented. Vote Smart does not lobby, support, or oppose any candidate, nor does it accept support from any organization that does.
- In order to keep its unbiased, non-partisan integrity Vote Smart does not accept financial support from special interest groups, corporations, or the government. Vote Smart is supported primarily by its 45,000 members. Vote Smart also receives grants from philanthropic foundations.
- Explain our VoteEasy online tool that allows anyone to instantly see which candidates agree with their personal stances on major issues facing the nation. If possible, you can demonstrate this tool which is available at http://www.votesmart.org/voteeasy.
- Vote Smart covers the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the Federal Government and all 50 State Governments in six basic categories:
- Show our entertaining and informative 3-minute video.. The Vote Smart video is an inside look at why we do this work, how exactly it is accomplished, and where it all takes place. The video is the most important part of the presentation. You can find this video at votesmart.org/about, or you can request our DVD version.
- If you feel comfortable doing so, answer any questions. After the video is over many people may have questions. If you feel comfortable answering questions, go for it! If someone asks a question that you cannot answer please have that person call Vote Smart directly. Remind them that our hotline is toll-free and open to everyone. You don't have to answer any questions. Only answer questions if you feel absolutely comfortable doing so.
Remember, these presentations are simple and easy! If you don't feel comfortable speaking in front of an audience, don't! Just show the video and pass out brochures.
Through the Ambassador Program we hope to find others who will support our efforts but you do not need to ask for contributions. Our primary goal is to inform people in your community of our existence, allowing them to use our services to obtain abundant, accurate information about those who govern and those who wish to. All of our services are available free of charge and though membership and contributions are appreciated, they are not required.
Reporting your Progress
After you give a presentation, let us know how it went! Give us a call or send an email. We love to hear from ambassadors, especially after a successful presentation!
Contacting Vote Smart
If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns about the Vote Smart Ambassador Program, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached weekdays from 8am-5pm Mountain Time.
- Call us! 515-989-6363
- Email us! firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write us! Ambassador Coordinator
1153 24th Street
Des Moines, IA 50311
Some types of groups you might consider:
- Civic Organizations
- Colleges and Universities
- Labor Unions
- Professional Groups
- PTA Meetings
- Retirement Communities
- Religious Organization
Some examples of these groups:
- Elks Lodge Locator
- Kiwanis International Club Locator
- The Association of Junior Leagues International
- American Association of University Women, Local Branches
- American Association of Retired People, In Your State
- American Legion Post Locator
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Directory
- Jaycees Chapter Locator
- League of Women Voters, Local Leagues
- Lions Clubs International
- Republican National Committee, State Parties
- Democratic National Committee, Local
- Green Party State Parties
- Libertarian Party State Parties
- Moose International Moose Search
- Optimist International U.S. Club Directory
- Rotary International Club Locator
- Sierra Club, My Chapter
- Federation of State Conservation Voter Leagues, Federation Members
- Veterans of Foreign Wars, Find a VFW Post