Developing a Solicitor Training Manual

04 Dec, 2012

PAC & Campaign Finance

Developing a Solicitor Training Manual

Producing a solicitor training manual is the best way to make sure all of your PAC solicitors receive the same information and raise money effectively. No two manuals are alike, but here are the elements all manuals should contain.

The PAC’s mission statement and purpose The manual should explain the PAC’s purpose as well as demonstrate why PACs are an important part of American politics. Also describe the PAC structure, bylaws, and other guidelines.

An overview of government relations Explain how the government affects the company and association and the ways the company or association can affect the government-through PACs, grassroots and lobbying.

The role of the volunteer solicitor Volunteers should know in clear terms what their objectives and responsibilities are. Explain the PAC value to the individual, the company and the larger political arena.

Legal requirements and restrictions This is key. Solicitors need to know what they can and can’t do, eligible employees, definitions of coercion and other considerations for their solicitation. Include basics, as well as points that relate to their solicitation techniques.

Solicitation overview In the manual, walk the volunteer through a solicitation from beginning to end. Start with explaining how to plan and schedule a meeting, describe a minute-by-minute account of how the meeting should unfold, and note the kinds of follow-up activities solicitors should accomplish, including writing thank you notes and forwarded contribution envelopes.

Samples Sample solicitation letters, invitations, presentations, enrollment cards and thank you letters all make the volunteer’s job easier and help present a unified view of the PAC. Tips for personalization or writing other documents may also be included.

Solicitation Dos and Don’ts Make it overwhelmingly clear which solicitation strategies are encouraged and work and which strategies do not work or are against the law.

Talking points, frequently asked questions and sample responses Make a list of important points solicitors should always address, specifically the importance of the PAC, its voluntary nature, and that participation will not affect job status. Additionally, include in the packet questions employees always ask, such as “How does the PAC decide to which candidates we will give contributions?” and give your response.

Your issues Highlight issues important to your organization and your stance on those issues. Noting the issues makes the solicitor aware of the specific concerns important to the group, who can then better explain the issues to a potential contributor.

Contact list Making every solicitor’s phone number and email address available to PAC volunteers helps build a network of involved solicitor volunteers. Also be sure to include contact information in case they need assistance. It’s always good to know you’re not alone out there on the PAC trail!


Kristin Brackemyre
Senior Director, Public Affairs Practice
202.787.5969 | email