Planning to Maximize a Campaign with Political Fundraisers
Political fundraisers are a necessity because while policy is important, you still need to essentially buy your way into a seat. The money spent on political campaigns can sweep into double-digit millions with political fundraisers running for years – gathering as much as 30k a week or more just to keep a candidate viable. On a more local level, hundreds of thousands may be necessary to sustain an advertising and marketing budget.
Getting a message to the general public, regardless of the scale, is a costly initiative. Aside from marketing however there are paid supporters, polling and traveling – all of which can get cost-intensive. The greater the position in office – and the more dense the population of the area – the greater the cost. Studies have shown that campaign fundraisers are a necessity because campaign spending is correlated positively with the success of the campaign. While not true in all elections, history has shown us that the candidate with the most funding typically wins the race.
Well before the launch of the political campaign, political fundraisers should be taking place as well as being planned for the future. During this time, advisers and candidates should determine how much it will cost to run the campaign. This projection will include things like advertising, staffing and travel expenses.
The cost of those expenses will vary – especially advertising as the rates vary depending on the medium. The cost of staff and travel will often depend on the location and where the campaign takes the candidates. Small town candidates won’t have much of a travel budget compared to a congressional or presidential candidate running for office. Those running for national offices are certain to have a much larger work force and be constantly involved in travel on the campaign trail.
Setting Goals for Political Fundraisers
Once you understand the cost of the political campaign you need to set goals and limitations for the campaign spending. Your estimation will give you a clear understanding over your major expenses so set your fundraising goals at least 10% higher than the required budget.
In addition to financial goals for your political fundraisers you should also set time-based goals. This sets guidelines for what percentage of your total dollars should be brought in during a given period. Example – If your goal is to raise 6.6 million for a campaign by the 1st of September in 2012 then you may set goals of a minimum of 550,000 per month over a 12 month period of political fundraisers in order to meet your goal, even if you’re raising funds more than a year out from that date. This ensures that you hit your mark during slow periods. Learn how to write a political press release and ultimately release several of them leading up to your fundraising in order to increase awareness.
Political Fundraisers Require a Web Presence
If you want your political fundraisers to be successful in the age of social media and web 2.0+ then you need a web presence. A website that clearly defines your policy, accomplishments, community involvement & outreach, oppositional messages and more will help people easily find you and support you online. Through this site you should be open to accepting online electronic donations.
In the next post, more about political fundraisers as we’ll talk about using volunteers to support fundraising and setting guidelines for locating and contacting donors.