8 Steps in Political Fundraising with Donors

FundraisingBy John Tsarpalas

Here are eight steps to political fundraising with donors. Yes there are lots of ways to raise money like events, bake sales, ad books, raffles, and so on. However, asking is the most cost-efficient, fastest way to raise substantial amounts of funds quickly.

1.    Make a list of potential donors and people you know who are interested in your campaign or cause. Go through any lists you already have and highlight potential donors.  These contacts can include club or church lists, your lists of contacts from work or home, Christmas card list, or even voter lists from the area you are working.

2.    Write out a script with key points on why it is important for them to give. Brainstorm a list of reasons why these people should give, and would want to give. What can the group or cause do for them, and how can they see a return on their investment? Prepare to ask the potential donor what he or she wants to see out of the donation, and speak to them in terms of their goals. Write a dollar amount you are going to ask for, next to each name on the list. Highlight those people that you would be most comfortable in talking to first.

a.    For many people it is hard to ask for money.  The more often you do it the easier it gets, so start with people you are most comfortable with and work up.

b.    Most people can, and will, give more than you think. Set your asking amount high; higher than your initial instinct. If they can’t give that much they will let you know what they can give.

c.    Be sure your script includes asking for the donation (the closing as it is called in sales). If you do not ask they may never offer.

3.    If there are people on the list that you do not know or you are not comfortable enough to ask, send a letter explaining why they should give and asking for the amount you think they should donate and why they should give. Be sure to include a self addressed return envelope (do not waste money putting a stamp on it) and a donation form.

4.    If they do not respond within two weeks, you should follow up with a call.
Prepare for this call in two ways.

a.    Write out a script for this type of call.

b.    Use the letter as the reason you are calling: i.e., you are checking in to follow up on the letter. Be sure to remember to ask for the donation.

5.    For bigger amounts (usually $1000 or more) I prefer to make an appointment. Meet them at work or for coffee, breakfast or lunch and do the final ask there.

6.    Ask for referrals, whether they give you a donation or not. Who do they know that is interested in helping your cause?  Ask if you can use their name as an introduction.

7.    Set a daily and weekly goal of how many people you are going to call. Decrease your hesitation and start calling. If you are still too nervous try practicing or role playing with a friend. Another option is to have a call night were you and others in the organization make calls from the same spot.  Being with others forces you (or perhaps supports you) into action.

8.    When the check arrives be sure to promptly send a thank you note.

9.    Send all your donors a quarterly update on your activities. Try to collect as many e-mail addresses as possible to keep costs low. If you are hard pressed for something to say send some news articles that relate to your field. You are trying to let the donor know you have not forgotten them. This will make it easier the next time you call them for money.

Raising money is a matter of asking. If you do not ask you will never be able to fund your campaign or organization. You should always be asking.  Set a goal for every week.

Remind yourself of just how important the work you are doing is. It will be much easier to accomplish with financial support. Asking for donations is vital to your cause. DO IT!

My Intention, a Positive, Freedom, Fiscal Conservative Agenda

With the loss of the Presidential Election in 2012 to Barack Obama, Republicans, conservatives and Tea Party supporters seem glum. I understand their feelings. It is shocking that with massive unemployment, economic malaise, and a general lack of hope, America would reelect this man. I understand the economic worries that his reelection brings, and I do not think these worries are unfounded. I believe that the United States is headed toward a second recession, with continued losses of freedom, and unprecedented levels of government growth that will, in turn, bring new levels of regulations.  In short, America and the American people are going to suffer.  However, to quote Rahm Emanuel when he was Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” We are entering the most serious crisis in generations. We, as fiscal conservatives, must have positive, freedom, fiscal conservative agenda that creates prosperity and grow freedoms. We need to set the tone for a better America. It is through this crisis period that we must constantly remind the voters that too much government is the problem. At the same time, we must give workable solutions with a positive tone.  The good news is we can easily do both these things.

It is my intention through Commonwealthy to put forth simple, practical ideas, and an agenda for our politicians, leaders, and activists. I intend to spark dialogue by writing about solutions– long-term solutions that will transform America into an even more prosperous, freer land than it ever was.

I have been turned off by terms such as restore or return America. No one wants to go back. We cannot and should not go back. America has always been moving forward. America was the first to break from a king. It fought a terrible civil war to end slavery, and ended European fascism. Now we are in the next crisis period. This is the battle between the state and the individual.  Right now the state is winning. But the current state is based on unsound economic principles. This weakness gives the freedom lovers an opportunity. We must use this opportunity. We must see the individual prevail.

America and mankind needs to evolve into a national mindset that government needs to be used sparingly. This will be achievable as the citizenry find their lives, do to too much government, becoming more and more difficult. The voters will be looking for answers and solutions. The biggest obstacle we face is the liberal media. It will be challenging to get our message out; not impossible, just difficult. All fiscal conservative activists will have to become more aggressive in speaking up to friends, family, and groups. I hope you will turn to Commonwealthy.com, to be inspired, motivated, and made to think.  Please comment on our writings, listen to our podcast, sign up on our email list so we can send the latest post, consider running for office and use our tutorials to get elected.

To a better world,

John A. Tsarpalas