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Political Canvassing Jobs

HachfaceHachface Not the Minister Farrakhan you're thinking ofRegistered User regular
edited June 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So after two weeks of the temp agency not giving me any new assignments, I need a job fast. Since I'm a political person, I responded to a craigslist ad asking for canvassers. They say they pay a base of $320 a week, with commission for exceptional fundraising. Some people I talked to, however, say that you actually have to reach a certain quota before making this "base" pay. I've also heard that canvassing is hell in general. Has anyone here canvassed before, and if so how was your experience?

Hachface on


  • EggyToastEggyToast Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    You might have much better luck contacting your local political offices, rather than a craigslist ad.

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  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I've heard that these places can be pretty much mass-manufactured block-walking. You get dropped off in an area with no personal means of leaving, you've got to do it in the middle of a thunderstorm, and there are quotas to fill(but I didn't hear whether this applied to base pay, I'll bet yes).

    Septus on
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  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    your pay is usually a percentage of the money you bring in - i.e. it's the highest-pressure sales job you can imagine, and you feel bad because you're taking $ from a cause you like.

    kaliyama on
  • fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell CharlottesvilleRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    this sounds like the PIRG environmental groups that seem to be in every state.

    don't do it. it's a door-to-door, cold-calling marketing scam. kaliyama has it right; you're basically trying to "sell" people on the idea of donations. the gimmick is that it's for the environment, but you make little to no money for a hell of a lot of effort on a very dubious outfit.

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  • OrganichuOrganichu jacobkosh Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    My experience was that it was terrible, boring, aggravating etc. all of the above.

    However, you did get your base pay no matter what. In Philly it was about $8/hr. The only way (AFAIK) to miss out on your base pay was to miss quota enough times to get fired.

    Organichu on
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yep, these kind of jobs suck. You're basically conning people out of money, that they can often ill afford, by making them feel guilty if they say they cannot contribute even £2 per month. I know of 1 company in the NE of England who are making a mint from their "canvassers", who get commission only, so end up pressure selling, and don't care who they get the money off, the more they can get people to shell out, the more they make. The canvassers are dropped off in a town, and picked up later, or they have to go to the town by bus. They would hit housing estates, and say whatever it took to get people to sign up to make donations to charities, cos they only got paid if they signed people up.

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  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    It also depends on who you work for. I’ve never heard of the DNC screwing people over, but as others have mentioned, the enviro groups are notorious for scamming the employees. Also, unless you’re a born salesman or a very pretty young lady, don’t bother, because most people won’t even look at you before they walk away or slam a door in your face.

    supabeast on
  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Yeah, I forgot to mention that the person who told me about their experience, did it for a large-ish environmental group. Sounds like the same crap everyone else is talking about.

    Septus on
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  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    The PIRGs and other canvassing groups aren't scams, at least not the reputable ones. The job just sucks so bad you want to die regardless. And yeah, they'll fire your ass after a week if you don't push enough membership/subscription/donation/wahtever flavor they prefer to meet the quota.

    JihadJesus on
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