Best Canvassing Apps for GOTV

When most Americans think of elections, they think of the pivotal day in November when they cast their ballots. But to get to that day, many of us — campaign teams, volunteers, and supportive voters — are working year-round to promote voter engagement. 

Voter engagement efforts require more than a well-laid-out strategy; they also require reliable tools and tech that help campaign teams understand who to reach out to. Use this list of the best canvassing apps for GOTV (getting out the vote) to help you find the right canvassing tool for your campaign.

What is canvassing?

Canvassing is the process of contacting a target group of individuals to gather essential information for a campaign. Canvassing is often used by political campaigns to get voters to support a candidate or to generally get them to vote, but this tactic is also used by advocacy groups and nonprofits that want to raise awareness and donations for a specific cause. 

There are several ways to canvass a community. You may be familiar with a particular form of canvassing known as door-to-door knocking, which — as the name suggests — is the action of knocking on doors within a community to initiate contact and conversation. However, canvassing also includes other methods, including relational organizing, deep canvassing, and street canvassing.

What is a canvassing app?

Canvassing apps are software tools that help campaigners reach out to and track interactions with voters or supporters. Between conversing with dozens of people and navigating assigned communities or networks, canvassers need a simple and efficient way to record the valuable data they’re collecting. 

Luckily, there’s a whole list of apps that aim to make the lives of canvassers a lot easier. Nearly all canvassing apps provide the basic function of inputting survey data, but the best canvassing apps offer more. Depending on your team’s needs, features like scripted follow-up texting, social media sharing, volunteer chat, and phone contact syncing for relational organizing can provide much-welcomed support to your campaign.

How can canvassing apps help GOTV?

Canvassing apps can help get-out-the-vote (GOTV) campaigns by making voter mobilization and education easier. The best canvassing apps allow canvassers to share information from the field to their campaign, which makes IDing voters and understanding where to spend precious campaign resources much more efficient. 

For example, if you know a voter is a strong supporter, you probably don’t need to spend money sending them a costly printed mailer. Conversely, if a voter strongly opposes the campaign, it’s better to have that information so you don’t spend crucial volunteer time calling them multiple times, reminding them to vote. Plus, you can better understand how close you are to getting your win number by knowing how many voters are strong supporters and committed to voting on or before Election Day. Since this is the overall goal of GOTV efforts, we can consider canvassing apps an essential tool for any campaign or organization looking to turn out voters.

Best Canvassing Apps for GOTV


Reach is the best canvassing app for campaigns that want to encourage supporters to increase voter engagement and support among people in their own communities and networks. This strategy, known as relational organizing, is one of the most impactful ways to organize your GOTV campaign. Plus, this tactic allows anyone to participate right from where they are as long as they have the right tools.

That’s why a relational organizing and canvassing app like Reach is so valuable to GOTV campaigns. Reach offers contact syncing, which matches supporters’ family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues to your organization’s data. Once contacts are matched, supporters can see who they can influence and engage with. They can even use campaign-provided scripts to send messages to target contacts on their personal device. 

And if supporters and team members are canvassing in the field, they can search for anyone they meet in your campaign’s voter file to log interactions and conversation outcomes. In many communities where door-to-door canvassing is impossible, inefficient, or unsafe, this “community canvassing” tactic may be your best or only option for connecting with voters face to face.

Most importantly, Reach is versatile and provides flexible pricing plans for organizations and campaigns of all sizes.

Get started with Reach here.


MiniVan is a mobile canvassing app that supports GOTV campaigns engaging with voters by going door-to-door. This tool is part of the NGP VAN platform, which makes it best for campaigns already using their tools. It streamlines turf cutting (the process of dividing a target geographic area into sections for canvassers to tackle) with its unique Distributed Contacts Campaign feature, which assigns canvassers an area based on their current location.

The best part of this app is that it replaces traditional printed lists and packets with one app that’s easy to use on the go. Canvassers send information to the campaign in real time after connecting with each assigned household. No more shuffling papers!

Learn more about MiniVan here.


Need your canvassers to cover a lot of ground? Ecanvasser might be the best canvassing solution to leverage. Ecanvasser is similar to MiniVan in that it allows you to cut turf easily and send walk-list assignments through a mobile app, eliminating the complexity of turf cutting. However, it also offers a variety of integrations with Salesforce, NationBuilder, MailChimp, and more. 

If your campaign is using or considering any of these platforms, you may be better off using Ecanvasser for your mobile canvassing needs.

Learn more about Ecanvasser here.


Votivate is a full-service campaign management and voter outreach tool, which offers affordable voter file access for campaigns of all sizes, from nationwide organizations to local campaigns, non-profits, and consultants. The platform offers features for turf cutting, which allows you to load over 30k doors on the map, and door knocking, which allows you to load walk lists or look people up on the go. Votivate also provides an easy volunteer onboarding process for users and swift data exports and API integrations for whatever outreach method your campaign is using.

Votivate also delivers Vote-By-Mail, Early Vote, and even Election Day data as it comes in from every available race in the country. With a variety of options, Votivate is a great option for any campaign looking to obtain reliable voter data and prepare voter universes for canvassing, all in one. 

Learn more about Votivate here.


Universe is an out-of-the-box political software solution that allows local campaigns to get out the vote and reach supporters. Designed with smaller campaigns in mind, Universe offers mobile, desktop, and paper walk lists. This allows canvassers to engage with voters in the way that’s best for them. And in the case that canvassers come across supporters eager to join campaign efforts, Universe allows canvassers to intake new volunteers easily and instantly. 

Additionally, Universe allows campaigns to host text banks, phone banks, petitions, and direct mail campaigns. If you need a simple solution to act quickly, Universe might be the best canvassing app for your team. 

Learn more about Universe here.


OpenField is the best canvassing app for canvassers looking to get voters to take action on the spot. With OpenField, canvassers can help eligible individuals complete online voter registration or start the process of registering via regular mail. Canvassers can also help registered voters request a Vote By Mail or absentee ballot, so they’ll be less likely to run into interruptions before Election Day.

An added perk to OpenField is the flexibility of options that the platform offers. Along with its action-forward registration functionality, campaigns can use OpenField to cut turf and phone bank. 

Learn more about OpenField here.

Google Sheets

Google Sheets isn’t the most exciting or advanced option for canvassing campaigns, but it can get the job done — which might be all that you need for a small, neighborhood campaign. And, you can’t beat the price since it’s free. 

Google Sheets connects seamlessly with other Google suite products, like Forms, Chat, Drive, and Calendar, that you may already use within your campaign. To leverage Google Sheets as a canvassing app, you may be able to load in a CSV voter file you have requested from your county or state Board of Elections and add columns where volunteers can record survey responses to various survey questions. You can split the list into several different tabs or files to organize your canvassing operation — this way, volunteers will have an easier time filling out information on their assigned contacts.

Check out this case study of how a political organizing group used Google Sheets to canvass ahead of an upcoming election.

Learn more about Google Sheets here.

To Select the Best Canvassing App, Know What You Need

Frankly, there isn’t just one app that’s considered the best canvassing app beyond others. Each app excels in providing certain features, and determining the best tool depends on what you need for your campaign. In fact, larger campaigns may even use two separate apps to fulfill their robust canvassing needs.

If you’re interested in starting a canvassing campaign with Reach, there’s no better way to learn about the benefits of our canvassing app than scheduling a demo. Reach works with hundreds of canvassers each year to get out the vote, and we’re always excited to bring more campaigns on.

Best of luck finding the best canvassing app for GOTV efforts!

About Reach

Reach is a progressive technology start-up building tools for political campaigns, labor unions, non-profits, and activists around the united states. Read more about us here.

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