The idea that you need this massive political machine to run for office is completely not true. Especially in this day and age where you can do so much with technology.
You can actually run a really efficient campaign with a limited amount of human resources. Take the time to get on social media. Make those social media accounts and pages. More importantly, using Google and Google Calendar very effectively can help in planning and schedules. Use MailChimp to build a database properly. If you have time, keep track of names in an organized fashion that you can leverage down the line. Join organizations that will help with votes. Align yourself with an organization who believes in the same things you do. This can help in making a presence for the candidate in the community.
You can go far on a small amount of human and financial resources, only if the candidate is ready to put in the work. The myth that people have spent years and years building up a political machine is not true.
There’s stories of people that make big changes by bringing an issue to light even if they’re not successful in winning the campaign. They still have a huge impact on the community. It is the one thing I think that is greater than voting in which you can have the greatest impact on your community.