Interest groups are groups that want to influence public policy. They do this in a variety of ways. For example, they work to educate the public and the legislators they want to influence about their cause. They work to get persons who support their cause to get elected. In addition, they lobby, or work to influence, elected officials to support their cause. Engaging in fundraising to support their work is an important task for an interest group as well.
Interest groups will use electioneering as a means of getting the candidates who support thier position or cause to get elected. Thihs takes people who are willing to work on behalf of the candidate by means of phone banks, door-to-door campaigns, staffing tables at appropriate public events, writing letters and op-eds to media outlets, and engage in fundraising activities to support these actions. The more candidates they can help to get elected, the more likely they can influence policy.
The effectiveness of the interest groups in utilizing electioneering will depend on the size of the organization, the effectiveness of training the people who work in the electioneering process, of their fundraising effort, of their message, and of well they get their message communicated. Additionally, the more experience the leadership has in electioneering for a candidate, the more effective the overall campaign will be. Finally, their ability to influence public opinion on an issue is critical as well. For example, when the ideao of global warming first became known, there were few supporters. But as public perception changed because of educational efforts, more and more people see that as an important social issue. Groups that have been involved for a long time in making political changes in how global warning is addressed may be more effective at creating change.