Fundraising Tips

  1. If you feel guilty asking for money you should not be running.
  2. You never get what you don’t ask for.
  3. The most powerful ask is face-to-face.
    • Phone calls by the candidate are also essential.
    • Personalized letters with follow-up phone calls work extremely well.
    • Surrogates with a relationship to the potential donor are powerful.
  4. You need a finance committee. Give each member a fundraising goal.
  5. Devote at least some time every day during the campaign to fundraising.
    • Call time
    • Planning
    • Research
    • Budget review
  6. You must have a reason for the ask:
    • Meeting a concrete, measurable need for your campaign.
    • Fulfilling an emotional, transactional or ideological need for the donor.
  7. Your best prospects are people who have already given you money or volunteered for your campaign.
  8. Always ask for more than you think the donor is willing/able to give. It's not insulting; it's flattering.
  9. Special events are only a small part of your fundraising toolbox.
  10. Special interest groups are going to be your most important donors.
    • Labor unions
    • PACs and advocacy organizations
    • Party members
    • Business owners
    • Political organization members
  11. Raising money is really hard for first-time candidates.
    • Loan yourself as much as you can afford, to show you are serious.
    • Ask your strongest supporters for loans as well as donations.
    • Report everything, including in-kind donations, to prove you have support.
    • Don't spend on frivolous things. It will piss off your donors.
  12. Thank your donors in writing. Every time.

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The Democratic Party of McHenry County