TurboVote Toolkit

Create a Competition

Everyone loves a friendly competition. An on-campus competition is a great way to energize students to help their peers sign up for TurboVote and register to vote.

Campus competition step-by-step guide

Step 1: The competitors

The first step to organizing a successful campus competition is to decide who will compete. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Talk to your campus housing department about setting up a competition among dorm floors, dorms, or other campus housing.
  • Leverage some class spirit by creating a competition among different undergraduate classes.
  • Think about which sports teams have rivalries and would relish a competition off the field.
  • Have different Greek houses set up a competition among their memberships.
  • Empower student organizations to challenge each other to get students signed up for TurboVote.
  • Consider challenging a rival school to a civic engagement competition. Which school can get the highest percentage of students signed up for TurboVote? See if you can get your college presidents involved in the challenge!

To track which groups are signing up the most students during your competition, you'll need to assign each a referral code. Reach out to partnerships@turbovote.org for further assistance!

Step 2: Set a date

The next step is to decide when to have the competition. Some schools have run campus competitions to coincide with traditional voter registration days in the fall, such as National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) or Constitution Day. Other schools plan their competitions to not interfere with existing drives. It all depends on the competition and the students involved! If you are doing a competition for incoming students, then it makes sense to schedule it during the first few weeks they are on campus. If you are planning a competition involving Greek housing, it may make the most sense to schedule it during Greek Week or some similar existing event.

*Important: Make sure that you schedule any competition to end at least three weeks prior to any voter registration deadline.*

When you are scheduling your competition, think carefully about how long it will run. It can be helpful to keep it short, in order to create a sense of urgency among the competitors. A duration as short as one day, for events like NVRD or Constitution Day, can work very well. Competitions of up to two weeks can also work well, but much longer than that, and you may lose some of the excitement of the challenge!

Step 3: Find an incentive

For some competitions, bragging rights will be more than enough to get the students involved. Sometimes, however, a prize for the winner is a better bet to motivate students to help their classmates and club-mates sign up for TurboVote. Things like a pizza party or an ice cream social can be a great reward for the winning club. You may also want to try giving away t-shirts or laptop stickers. A small bump to the winning club’s annual budget can also work as a great motivator! Get creative with your prizes.

*Important: The prizes and incentives are not for registering to vote but for helping fellow students sign up for TurboVote.*

Step 4: Throw that gauntlet!

The next step is to invite the competitors to compete. If the competition is being run out of a student activities or student life office, then it may make sense for you to send an invitation to compete directly to the student leaders of the organizations you’d like to have involved.

If the competition is going to be run directly by the organizations, then delegate the responsibilities of the competition to student leaders in those organizations. When you get in touch with students about competing, make sure to give them their group's referral link, so that you can accurately track the students they are signing up. 

Step 5: Go time

Once you’ve chosen the competitors, set a date, and divvied out the referral links, it’s time for the competition to start! To help keep the excitement and energy of a competition going, you will want to give the competitors some feedback about how they are doing. You can do this by filtering for each group's referral code within your Partner Export from your Admin Console.

If your competition is spanning more than a day or so, send out daily roundups of who's in the lead and who needs to kick it up into high gear. Posting a public leaderboard on your school’s Facebook page or displaying it on announcement screens across campus can raise the visibility of the competition and boost that competitive spirit!