Resources for Women Running for Office

Resources for Women Running for Office2018 Update: We still think this is a great list of resources for women running for office (go go ladies!) — but if you’re looking for small political actions to take weekly, check out this roundup of resources.

Have you ever considered running for office? Maybe you were spurred into action by the outcome of last November’s election (NPR says it’s created what seems to be “a level of intense interest not seen in at least a quarter century”), or maybe you’ve always wanted to get involved in politics. It can seem overwhelming, but there’s actually a lot of guidance out there — including a bunch of organizations that teach women how to run for office. So today, we thought we’d round some up of the best resources for women running for office.

(Psst: In the past, we’ve talked about what to wear while canvassing (and how to dress like Selina Meyer in Veep!), as well as discussed the business etiquette surrounding political talk at the office and feeling pressured (or pressuring coworkers) to contribute to charitable causes at the office — but we’ve never discussed resources for women running for office, whether it’s the school board, city council, Congress … or the presidency.)

Here are some of the best resources for women running for office, with a closer look at five organizations that teach women to run for political office (and to those of you gearing up for a run, GOOD LUCK — you can do it!):

1. She Should Run

Who it’s for: She Should Run is non-partisan.
What it offers: An online community of like-minded women; access to experts and women leaders; advice and guidance; the She Should Run Incubator, which is a set of free online courses for women and girls interested in running for office.
How to get involved: Nominate a woman to run for office or nominate yourself, volunteerjoin the incubator, or donate.

2. EMILY’s List

Who it’s for: EMILY’s List recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women to run for office.
What it offers: In-person training sessions, webinars, and other resources through Run to Win.
How to get involved: Sign up to learn more about running for officesign up to help a woman run, attend the We Are EMILY conference, or donate.

3. Women’s Campaign School at Yale

Who it’s for: The Women’s Campaign School at Yale University (not officially part of Yale) helps women with “some political campaign experience” run for office.
What it offers: A “grueling” training consisting of five 12- to 16-hour days of learning how to run for office: 80 students “eating, breathing, and talking about the political process and how to get ahead.”
How to get involved: Apply for next year’s summer session (applications have closed for 2017), donate.

4. Emerge America:

Who it’s for: Emerge America helps Democratic women run for office.
What it offers: “The only in-depth, seven-month, 70-hour, training program” (currently in AZ, CA, CO, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, NV, NJ, NM, OR, PA, TN, VT, VA, WA, and WI) plus a supportive network of women in politics. (Trainings in the works: AL, CT, GA, LA, NY, RI, SC.) Women meet one weekend a month for seven months to receive training on topics such as ethical leadership, public speaking, fundraising, and campaign strategy.
How to get involved: Nominate a woman to run for office, apply to a program in your state, donate.

5. VoteRunLead

Who it’s for: VoteRunLead is non-partisan.
What it offers: A three-part web series that teaches you to “articulate your experience as expertise, demystify the campaign trail, identify roles for your current squad, expand your local network, and outline your path to political leadership.”
How to get involved: Sign up for the three-step process: (1) watch the web series, (2) join the Facebook group, and (3) schedule a one-on-one coaching sessionDonateask a woman to run, or nominate yourself.

A few other resources for would-be politicians:

Have you ever run for office, or have you held office? Are you considering a run, or are you ready to find out how to run for office? Why (or why not)? Have you gotten involved in one of the programs above that teach women how to run for political office? What office would you consider/are you considering running for? If you have experience in politics and campaigns, what advice would you give to other women on how to run for office?  If you’ve run, what were the most helpful resources for women running for office?

More Resources for Women Running For Office:

  • Keys to Elected Office: The Essential Guide for Women [Barbara Lee Family Foundation]
  • The Problem for Women Is Not Running. It’s Deciding to Run [NYT]
  • I Ran for Office and Won [Slate]
  • Candidate College: 10 Essential Tips for Running for Office [Huffington Post]
  • Women Should Go Local To Break The Glass Ceiling [Bustle]
  • If You Want to Run for Office (and You Should), Start With These Resources [Slate]

Picture credit: Pixabay.resources for women running for office | resources for women on how to run for office | tips for women running for office | organizations that teach you how to run for office


  1. Every couple of years the local chapter of the League of Women Voters where I live puts on workshops about how to run for local and state office. They’re for everyone, not just women, but they are tremendously helpful and full of good information.

    • I would like to run for public office some day. I wonder though what office I could run for? Is there an office that lawyers typicaly run for? I would NOT want to go to Washington, so it would have to be here in NYC. Does the HIVE have any ideas?

      • NYC would be difficult for a first run I think for the typical ‘small’ offices like school board, city council, state legislature, or mayor. Maybe look at volunteering on a local campaign first and see how that works.

  2. Candidate :

    It’s me again! Thanks for the round-up. I’ve also found Run For Something, (targeted for scientists), the Wellstone organization (had friends who worked with them in college), and Indivisible helpful. My local Democratic City Committee doesn’t provide resources, but is a great way to meet helpful individuals.

  3. Paging Junior Minion :

    My comment on your Seattle suggestions TJ posted late — here’s some additional data :)

    Marination is actually more like street food — think kimchi tacos. I’d plan on getting lunch or a snack there, not dinner.

    Other food: no one has given you seafood recommendations! If you are splurgey ($100 dinner for two), check out the Taylor Shellfish near the Seattle Center. I don’t know if it’s the season yet but I took my mother to a combined crab + oyster dinner there that was to die for. Toulouse Petit, also near there, has fabulous Cajun food and cocktails. The Tin Lizzie, also near there, has amazing cocktails. That’s on your way to Discovery Park from where you’re staying, if you want to visit one of the bigger parks (with a better beach than Alki, though I’ll be piled on for saying it).

    The Ballard locks are fun if you’ve never seen locks and they’re a short drive from Whale Wins. Consider stopping at Kerry Park on your way up from West Seattle/ downtown to Fremont — that’s where the pictures with a perfect view of Rainier, the Space Needle, the Sound, and downtown are taken from.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Thank you so much! These suggestions look great. I’m excited to visit.

      • Anonymous :

        Mine got stuck in moderation because one of my recommendations is Biscuit B_tc_h! They made delicious biscuits & gravy. I highly recommend the Hot Mess.

        Also check out The Crumpet Shop.

        Both are in Pike’s Place Market area.

  4. Here in the UK, women 50:50 is doing some great work. There is also a report called “The Good Parliament” with a long list of recommendations on how we can make the institutions of government more diverse which might be worth checking out if you want a bit more of an academic perspective.

  5. Rhonda Wallace :

    Don’t forget Annie’s List in Texas.


  6. Mid-day observation: I’m overhearing a end-of-internship party for a long-term intern on my floor, and the male boss is congratulating the young female intern by calling her “kind and sweet” (among other things, but he started with those). I know he doesn’t mean anything by it, but I’m just twitching thinking about whether he (or anyone else) would think it was important to highlight those qualities in a male intern at a work function.

  7. So basically the House is happy with a world where being a cis woman is a pre-existing condition.

    I don’t have words.

    May the Senate be sane. May the Senate be sane.

  8. I just forwarded this article to my 13-year-old daughter, who recently asked me how she would go about preparing to run for public office. Thanks!

  9. New Tampanian : has been super helpful for people I know for FL candidates

  10. jumpingjack :

    I just came across a FB group for young female attorneys considering running for office, Young Esquirettes:

  11. So delighted that Corporette is discussing this topic!

    I’m running for State Assembly in Maryland (District 39) and can’t tell you how amazing the Emerge program is in our state! After working as a congressional staffer, for the Democratic party and in various campaign roles, I know a far amount about how to run a campaign. But when it’s your name on the ballot, the dynamic is completely different. Learning in a rigorous, structured program over seven months provides you with a foundation for success– and a network of women who are tackling the same niche issues you are as a candidate. Just having a sisterhood of women to compare notes with in a non-competitive environment is a great perk.

    Happy to chat more if anyone wants to ask questions offline.

  12. Emerge Virginia has a seven month training program for Democrat Women

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