Planning on fundraising? We have an effective plan for you


Fundraising Tips Feb. 27th, 2024

One of the most common and stressful problems political campaigns face is running out of money, particularly if you are coming into the home stretch and time isn’t on your side. The best way to prevent this is to have an effective fundraising plan that ensures that you are meeting your goals.

Now, on that note, have you made a campaign budget? If not, you are going to want to start there. FundHero can help you find out how much a campaign costs, and by helping you come up with a budget that works.

Okay, you have looked over your numbers and you know how much money you need – so you just finished your fundraising plan, right? Well, just because you know how much you need, doesn’t mean you know how to get there – that is where the fundraising plan comes in. 

Grab your Calendar 

The first step of any fundraising plan is to create a fundraising calendar. Consider all campaign events to help you will learn what your weekly, quarterly, and monthly fundraising goals are. In general, campaigns can raise as much as 40% on their budget in the final 3 months of a campaign, but this figure is changing over time. 

Once your goals are in place, think about how you plan to contact donors. Keep in mind that not all fundraising strategies are equal. 

Budget out how much time you are going to spend during the day or week on fundraising calls, writing and releasing fundraising emails, and sending out mail. Also, don’t forget about social media, video, and your website as part of your overall plan.

Finally, don’t worry about spamming potential donors. The worst anyone can ever do is not donate.

Finding Your Donors

Most campaigns struggle with fundraising because they don’t know where to start, but building a quality list of potential donors is actually easy if you are willing to put in a little bit of work. 

When making your donor list, start with those closest to you. Friends and family are most likely to donate to you and can be an excellent way to practice your asks. 

Next, reach out to your political party and the government office in charge of elections to find out which individuals regularly contribute to races such as yours. Donations to campaigns are public records, so don’t be afraid to look. That said, many states and federal agencies ban the outright solicitation of donors from publicly disclosed lists; however most jurisdictions permit you to use them for research purposes.

Finally, though some may be opposed to corporate/union/PAC (Political Action Committee) donations, know that these are legitimate sources for campaign donations. Be aware that these donations can be difficult to get, but are generally worth the time invested as they can result in larger donations.

Make the Ask

You now know who you are going to target and when/how you are going to reach them. It is now time to actually put your plan in motion. 

It is very easy to avoid fundraising work – things just magically pop up out of nowhere! For this reason, it is very important that you stay focused. Making calls, posting messages, and sending emails are not always the most enjoyable things in the world, but you know what is worse? Running out of money when you are close to victory – so stick with it!

Keep records of all interactions. Have a spreadsheet that outlines every letter, every phone call, and every face to face interaction so that you know who you can follow up on, drop from your list, or contact for the first time.

Following Up

Your work isn’t done after you have received a donation – in fact, it has only begun.

It may seem obvious and silly to say, but candidates often forget one important thing about receiving a donation: receiving a donation means that someone believes in your campaign so much that they are willing to give you money….and it probably means they are willing to do it again.

That is why, aside from just being the right thing to do, following up with thank you notes and campaign updates to your donors should be on the top of your fundraising to-do list. 

Personal and general follow up with donors keep them aware of the goings-on of your campaign and makes them feel like they are part of something bigger. Use this goodwill to reengage past donors and ask for additional money after an appropriate amount of time (campaign finance reporting cycles are good markers).

Final Thoughts

Like most things, good fundraising techniques are easier said than done; but by working off your budget and creating a fundraising calendar with financial goals, determining how you are going to reach out to donors and when, getting solid donor lists, sticking to the plan, and following up with donors, you can create a fundraising plan that ensures your campaign has was it needs to win.

Eric Bloom

With 17 years of experience, I have become accustomed to identifying key issues in order to craft impactful operational strategies, while fostering trust through exceeding expectations. My cross-industry experience (from politics to finance to healthcare to name a few) informs innovative solutions, tailored to address unique concerns and bolster the reach and effectiveness of initiatives.