We can’t wait another three years for our elected representatives to get their act together. That’s why you leading a doorknock to survey our community is so important.

Along with hundreds of others right across Australia, you’re making this a huge campaign for our planet and the people we love. Our plans are big, bold and ambitious – and by leading a doorknock you’re helping others who care to stand up and get involved.

This guide provides everything you need to run your own community doorknock, including conversation scripts, runsheets and tips and tricks for your local area.

Your role as a doorknock leader

Be organised

To run a successful doorknock you will need to do (or delegate!) the following:

  • Make sure you read through all of the resources (listed below) before the day of the action. Get in touch with your ACF Organiser for any questions about this.
  • Choose a time and location, and list the event on the ACF website.
  • Recruit and confirm a team.
  • Download, print and assemble materials for volunteers.
  • Coordinate your team on the day (step-by-step outline below), making sure every volunteer stays safe, gets briefed and has the resources they need for the action.
  • Report back to ACF so we can track our impact!

Get the resources

Make sure to read through the following before the day:

  1. This doorknock leader kit
  2. Conversation script
  3. Climate doorknock tips and tricks

Getting ready for your doorknock

Choose a time and place

How long should the doorknock be?

If all the volunteers are experienced, allow 2.5-3 hours: two hours for doorknocking, plus 15-30 minutes at the start to distribute materials and check in on any recent political moments or talking points, and 15-30 minutes at the end to debrief, tally results and decide when to do it next. Many groups organise to have a meal, drink, or coffee together at the end to make it more social.

If you have one or two new volunteers, add half an hour to give them an overview at the start, then pair them with experienced volunteers who can answer any other questions they have as they doorknock.

If you have several new volunteers, allow at least 4 hours total, since you will also need to train the the new people.

What time of day?
Try to organise your doorknock to avoid knocking at mealtimes, e.g between 9am-1pm or 1.30pm-5.30pm on weekends (knocking doors for two hours in the middle), or on weeknights before dinner.

Where should we doorknock?
Check with your ACF community organiser for a map of priority areas in your electorate. 
You’ll need to pick a venue for people to meet at and have a briefing. Meeting rooms at your library, a quiet space in a local cafe, a nearby park (weather dependent!) or your home are all good options.

Register your event

List your event on the ACF website, ideally 1-2 weeks before the day. This allows you manage a list of RSVPs and keep in touch as the event approaches.

If you're part of an ACF Community group, you can use Action Centre to list your event.

If you're not part of an ACF Community group, list your event here. 

Recruit others to join you

Let your friends and family know what you’re doing, and share the link to your event widely. The more people in your team, the more people you’ll be able to talk to. Of course, you can do the action on your own too, and as often as you like.

If you're part of an ACF Community group, you can use Action Centre to target people who live in the area. Pick up the phone and call your list. You can also send an email or text. A personalised invitation by text or a quick phone call is the quickest and most effective way to get people to show up.

Get everything ready for the day

Familiarise yourself with the script, run sheet, and tips documents. Remember you don’t need to know everything there is to know about climate change, you’re just talking to real people and empowering others to do the same.

Ask your ACF community organiser for walksheets for your volunteers. They will either send them to you or teach you how to produce them yourself.

Make sure you have phone numbers for all your doorknockers in your phone, and charge it overnight.

Prepare clipboard kits for doorknockers. Each doorknocker will need a clipboard that contains:

  • A page of tips and tricks
  • A walksheet
  • A petition sheet
  • 10 postcards to leave behind
  • 2 pens

You will also need a sign-in sheet and reportback tally sheet, and a few paper copies of the doorknock script in case there’s someone who can’t use their phone (please try to coach them through any barriers first though!)

Other things to bring (nice to have but not essential):

  • Name tags
  • Signage to help doorknockers find you at your briefing venue
  • Some chocolate or fruit for people

Try out our doorknocking survey which we'll be using on the day!

Make sure you enter your name as 'test' while trying it out – we can then easily take the entries out before uploading the data.

Get in touch with your volunteers a day or two before

Send your volunteers a text or give them a call. Confirm the details, point them to the resources (listed above), and remind them to bring a charged smartphone or tablet with internet access, water and to dress for the weather. 

Consider asking a few volunteers to arrive early on the day to help set up and greet people, or take on other additional roles, like someone to take photos or to help with tallying the numbers at the end.

Need support? Get in touch with your ACF organiser if you encounter any problems or have questions, or ask other volunteers on Slack.

On the day

Have a plan

This run-sheet steps through everything to cover on the day across the pre-, during- and post-doorknocking stages. Gather all the numbers from volunteers after the doorknock using this tally sheet.

Delegate tasks where possible! To spread the load, ask volunteers to take charge on different tasks throughout the event, such as staffing the sign in table, tallying numbers afterwards, collecting and organising all materials - what needs to be returned to the office and what can be reused for next time - and packing up the room.

Good luck! Feel free to email questions, feedback or ideas to community@acf.org.au or call your organiser if you run into any issues.

After your doorknock

Let us know how you went

Report back to your ACF community organiser to debrief the doorknock. Remember to enter the details of all volunteers in Action Centre, or send your organiser your sign up sheet. We'll need to know how many doors attempted, doors opened, meaningful conversations, petition signatures and volunteer sign-ups.