Door-to-Door for Dogwood

Ryan Hala, Canvass Director

While many college students spend their summers by the pool or in run-of-the-mill jobs, Ryan Halas was directing and implementing Dogwood’s first-ever door-to-door canvass — and delivering remarkable results.

Halas took on the role of Canvass Director this summer, and he and fellow UNCA student Amber Williams knocked on over a thousand doors and shared key messages about Dogwood Alliance and its work with hundreds of people. Halas, an up-and-coming grassroots organizer, calls the outcome “spectacular.”

“The average measure of success for a canvass is a ‘yes’ rate of 15%. That’s the percentage of people we talk to who actually become members of Dogwood and contribute to the campaign. We achieved a 20% ‘yes’ rate, which is incredible for a first year canvass. Another significant gauge of success is that in just one summer, we increased Dogwood’s total membership by 25%.”

Dogwood Alliance hired Halas to conduct this test canvass to see what the reception would be in Asheville. Even with a tiny staff and a limited window of time, the results were amazing and show the potential for an ongoing partnership between Asheville residents and Dogwood.

“Dogwood is a cool organization because it is so issue specific, and it wins its campaigns,” says 25-year-old Halas, a Lakeland, FL native who has worked on a number of other canvass-based grassroots environmental and social justice campaigns. “Dogwood has a very straightforward, effective corporate strategy that makes it easy to show results.”

We extend a very big thanks to Ryan for serving as Canvass Director this past summer and for opening the door to a powerful new tool for Dogwood Alliance!

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