The first step in raising money for your political campaign is figuring out who you are going to ask for money.
Make a list of everyone you know. Start with your friends and family, and then others. If your kid plays baseball, the baseball team parents should go on the list. If you are active in the PTA, the PTA members should go on the list. Everyone on your Christmas card list. Everybody you know should go on that list.
Send a mailing announcing that you are running for office, and ask for their help. It is easier for the first contact to be a letter, a nice, personal letter to them, that, “I am running for office. This is why I am running…” Keep it short. Then say, “Nobody runs for office alone. Everyone needs help and I am asking for your help.”
Don’t just ask for money. “We need volunteers. We need people to put up a yard sign, enter data, stuff envelopes, and of course we need financial donations.” And then you enclose a card in the letter with a return envelope that allows them to volunteer, put up a yard sign, work on the website, anything you have openings for, and, of course, a donation. Then people send it back. After two weeks, follow-up with a phone call. Follow-up is a must.
Start noticing businesses in your area that would be affected by the office you are running for. Businesses usually pay a higher property tax rate and therefore are more sensitive to local property taxes. Businesses need high school graduates that have basic skills. Perhaps there are local resource issues like water supply or land use affecting your local businesses. Start making a list of potential business donors.
As you research past races for the office you are running for, you should pull the campaign finance filings for those past races. You will want to see who has given money to the people previous to you on both sides. One reason you want both sides is you don’t want to go the opponent’s donors. Make lists of those that have given before and strategize on who you know that might be able to introduce you. You can also research other office’s donors if you think there is synergy.
Always be on the lookout for a potential donor. Be asking friends, family, and supporters for referrals. Devote a reasonable amount of time every week for fundraising and bean-by-bean you will fill the sack.