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2019 Campaign

Development Academy  

The 2019 Campaign Development Academy consisted of four, three-hour sessions covering the fundamentals of planning, organizing, financing and operating a successful campaign, including the latest in campaign best practices.    


The classes in each session were taught by master campaign strategists and experts in campaign management, communications, voter outreach, digital operations, finance, field organizing, getting on the ballot, and legal compliance.  


The 2020 Campaign Development Academy will closely resemble the 2019 Academy. 

Sign up! for notifications of upcoming classes. 

The following is a description of the content and faculty for each of the four sessions each of the four sessions in the 2019 Academy:   

Session 1.   Preparing for a Successful Campaign

Topic A.  Your Winning Campaign: Start to Finish in 90 Minutes.   

This fast-paced, eye-opening overview of what a campaign is and what it is not centers on the principle that, “At its core, a campaign is nothing more than a list-building exercise.” 

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Stephen Davis

Topic B.  How to Get on the Ballot: Filings, Forms and Deadlines, Primaries vs Caucuses.

Getting on the ballot, including required paperwork and timelines, the nominating process and differences between a party primary and nominating caucus are the focus of this session.

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Jim Nix

Session 2.  Strategic Planning and Organization for Your Campaign 

Topic A.  Strategic Planning: Scheduling and Budgeting.

Planning your campaign budget and schedule to make the most efficient use of resources, leverage the time and energy of the candidate and launch the right actions at the right time is highlighted in this session.  

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Maggie Thornton

Topic B.  Campaign Start-up, Strategies and Operations. 

A treasure trove of practical advice for campaign managers, this session includes the basics of organizing and operating a campaign, deploying websites and other digital tools, and making the best use of limited resources. 

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Josh Norris

 Session 3.   Campaign Finance and Using “VOTE BUILDER” in Your Campaign 

Topic A.  Campaign Finance:  Financial Planning, Fundraising and Reporting.

Structuring your fundraising goals, making the “Ask,” and raising the funds you’ll need, along with financial reporting and practical “Tips for Treasurers,” are the “Don’t miss” topics of this session.    

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 Erin Monaghan

Topic B.  VOTE BUILDER (“The VAN”):  An Essential Tool for Your campaign.

The many uses of the Virginia Democratic Party’s voter database ─ from building your list of potential supporters to managing volunteers and guiding your GOTV ─ are demonstrated in this session.

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Jim Nix  

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Jennifer Brown

Session 4.  Campaign Communications and Mobilizing Young and Diverse Constituencies.

Topic A.  Crafting and Staying on Message:  A Brief Guide to Starting Your Communication Operation. 

Showcasing guidelines for shaping both the content and delivery of your message, this session lays the groundwork for creating powerful, winning communications for your campaign.

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Nicholas Rogers

Topic B.  The Importance and Power of Young Adults in Today's Political Environment.

“How can Democrats continue to reach out to and inspire young and formerly under-represented minorities, so the power of their voices is amplified and mobilized for a better future?” is addressed in this compelling final session. 

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Taikein Cooper

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