How to Raise Money for Your Political Campaign

To the Editor:iStock_000001957113XSmall

Money is a fact of life in politics.  Without it, campaigns find it extremely hard to get their message out, raise the profile of their candidate, and hire and equip staff to oversee the campaign’s volunteer and grassroots organizations.  While most candidates would rather spend their time making speeches and thinking about the issues, the fact is that every campaign – no matter how large or small – must raise enough to be able to run an effective targeted campaign.

Raising money for your campaign may not be your favorite activity, but it doesn’t have to be the tedious, painful affair that many current and potential candidates make it out to be.  Here are our top 3 tips for raising money for your campaign:

1. Start with People You Know

I always advise candidates that the best place to start looking for campaign money is close to home.  Candidates should sit down with their holiday card list, personal and business rolodexes, and high school and college yearbooks to put together their initial fundraising lists.  Remember, the people that are most likely to give to your campaign are the people you know the best.  Start by calling your friends and family and asking them to support your campaign, and your efforts will start to steamroll.

2.  Go Viral

Unless you are running for the most local of offices in the smallest of districts, it is unlikely that you will know enough people to be able to raise your entire campaign budget simply by calling your friends and family.  The next step, after you’ve exhausted your holiday card list, is to make your fundraising efforts go viral by building a fundraising network.  It sounds complicated, but it is really quite simple – building a fundraising network simply means getting other people to help you fundraising by motivating them to reach out to their own networks on your behalf.  Get your contacts and colleagues to make calls and hold events to raise money for your campaign from among their own friends and contacts.  In business, this is called “going viral.”

3.  Go Back, Again and Again

If someone gives once to your campaign, they are very likely to give again, if asked.  Once someone contributes money to your campaign, they are “on your team,” and have a vested interest in seeing you succeed.  Unless a donor has “maxed out” (i.e. contributed the maximum amount allowed by law), you should ask them to donate again later in the campaign.  Set up a process early in the campaign for re-soliciting donors over and over again, through a variety of mediums.  Obviously, you don’t want to over do it, but if you stay in touch with your donors through newsletters, your website, and free cultivation events, you’ll be able to go back to them 4, 5 or even 6 times during the course of the campaign to ask for another contribution.

Fundraising for your political campaign doesn’t have to be hard, so long as you develop a good fundraising plan, target your friends and family, ask them to reach out into their own networks, then re-solicit your donors again and again.

Joe Garecht

Joe Garecht is the founder of Local Victory, a website which offers hundreds of free articles and tips on winning elections.

A respected political consultant and seminar speaker who has been advising campaigns for over a decade, Joe is the author of several books including The Complete Guide to Getting Your Campaign off the Ground. Click here to learn more or get your copy today.

He started Local Victory to make sure that every campaign, no matter how small, had the tools and information it needs to win. Visit the site to download a free copy of Local Victory’s special report How to Get the Press to Cover Your Campaign. Click here to learn more or get your copy today.

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