Where to Start Finding Donors For Your Campaign or Election
If you want to raise money for your campaign you have to know where to start and many of the campaigns and causes that we work with have a hard time understanding how to find those first few donors to help them launch or sustain their campaign.
Your Campaign Starts with You!
The people most likely to donate to a case are people who have a personal relationship with the individuals involved in it. That's why the first activity you should take on when you start fundraising is to take some time and sit down to write a full list of all of your personal contacts. Include everyone who’s connected to you on social media, as well as those whose email addresses and phone numbers are in your contacts. Assign a dollar amount to each contact based on what you know about them and how strong your relationship is. Once you’ve finished that, add the numbers and see what the total is. If that total is one-third of your budget (the middle ground), then you’re doing well. You can raise the other two-thirds from community or donor networks. Don't forget, none of this matters if you won't pick up the phone and call them to ask for donations.
P2P for the Win
From there, peer-to-peer fundraising can very likely get you across the finish line. For more information on how to create and implement a fundraising strategy that will organically grow and work wonders for your campaign, check out Nationbuilder’s Digital Fundraising Course. If you find that you need more funds than you can get from P2P or your personal contacts, consider advertising on Facebook by creating Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.
Save Money and Save Your Campaign
Once the money starts flowing in, it may be tempting to start splurging on some nice office furniture or expensive clothing, but take it from us and just don’t. Your money should be spent on activities that Identify and Persuade Voters and then encourage them to vote on election day (GOTV). Any money you spend on anything except those activities is money wasted. You’ll also avoid the controversy that former candidates have accidentally stirred up by wearing the wrong clothes, and more importantly, you’ll have a far better chance of actually reaching voters and winning the election if you spend your money wisely.
Follow the Money, See Where It Goes
During the remainder of your political campaign, you’ll need to check in and reconcile your budget with your fundraising dollars to ensure the budget is still feasible. If you find that your original budget is outside of your fundraising ability, adjust the budget accordingly. Doing this gives you more power than waiting (and hoping it will pan out) only to be forced to make changes. Set weekly meetings to ensure that the budget is where it should be, and have them closer together (twice a week to daily) as the campaign goes on. Pay attention to your cash flow. As you list each expense, remember that money should be coming in. Schedule your major spends after big fundraising efforts, and if you’re operating on loans, pay it after the campaign is done.