Revolutionizing Canvassing With NGP VAN’s Distributed Canvassing Tool

One of the most challenging tasks during the campaign times is being a campaign field organizer in charge of cutting turf. Cutting turf involves preparing walk lists and maps for campaign staff and volunteers. It takes a lot of time, but with NPG VAN’s organizing tool called Distributed Canvassing, the trends and efficiency will change for the better. The tool is meant to revolutionize workflow when launching canvasses.

A volunteer in a campaign contacts a field organizer who schedules office time and spends some time cutting and printing turf. Then the volunteer checks the list of voters before canvassing and reaching the voters. The volunteer will then review the list back in the office for the organizer to enter the data into the systems.

However, with Distributed Canvassing, most of these procedures are cut down especially turf cutting and distribution. All the organizer has to do is set up a universe, specify the script, and state how many doors for each volunteer. The system creates a list number, and the only work the organizer does is distributing the list numbers. Distributed Canvassing tool then cuts the turfs depending on the volunteer’s present location.

Distributed Canvassing is based on Knock 10 app that is in its beta stage. Different people have used it in various programs such as statewide universes, traditional canvassing, and ballot chase. It was highly successful in a statewide universe in Virginia where the entire universe was almost checked out and canvassed in one weekend. It provided an easy way for organizers to reach out and proved suitable for sending people out in actual canvassing using traditional canvassing.


NGP VAN is a software firm based in Washington, D.C., specializing in developing fundraising and organization tools for progressive campaigns. They were instrumental in the 2008 and 2012 Barrack Obama campaigns as well as for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton campaigns in 2016. They have worked closely with Democratic Party campaigns. NGP VAN provides technology for nonprofits networking platforms, local governments, and other companies. Their tools help create date to help political fronts understand their voters better. They have developed a MiniVAN smartphone app that can be used by volunteers in data entry when canvassing door-to-door.

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