Fundraising for your non-profit or political campaign can feel like a daunting task and the truth is many people are scared to ask others for money. The fact is you cannot win a political campaign without getting people to join your movement whether it be financially and ultimately in the voting booth.
Here are my top 5 tips for fundraising in 2020.
- What’s in it for me?
People are selfish. They don’t care you are trying to make the world a better place, they don’t care about facts and figures. As I’ve said elsewhere on the site, if people cared about statistics the cigarette industry wouldn’t exist. People don’t care why you are running. What people really want to know is what’s in it for me? If you win this election, how will this benefit me? Maybe it helps a specific group that I care deeply about, maybe it will help move forward some interest of issue that’s close to my heart. When targeting specific donors you need to lead with benefits that speak to them. IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU.
2. You are not a hero
It’s common in the political world to overpromise to donors and make sweeping claims of -“Donate today because this is a big problem that I’m trying to solve the second I’m in office.” If you haven’t noticed people are tired of politicians, they are tired of being sold promises and people not delivering. The most powerful tool you can use is honesty. What is your intention?
Politicians/Non-profits feel this pressure of making these big claims to get donors and being some sort of hero, that is not your job. What people want is the truth and the truth is that you are committed. Committed to figuring it out, it may not all happen this term or the next but in the end, you will be there through all the blood, sweat and tears that comes with that.
3. Stop Begging
Fundraising shouldn’t be this arm-twisting, begging soap opera with you down on your knees asking for three nickels. Fundraising is about finding the group of people that believe in the same causes you do and delighting them to the very end. The truth is 80% of your donations will come from only around 20% of your supporters. Focus on that 20% and deliver anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who want to get them. The clearer you can get about who they are, the more successful you will be. Is it easier to ask 100 people for $10 or five people for $200?
4. Evaluate your relationship with money
I’ve worked with many politicians and entrepreneurs and their relationship with money reflects both in their businesses and campaigns. If you hate fundraising it will show in the numbers you raise. I’ve heard people say- “Oh well people in this district don’t have much money” or “I like everything about campaigning except for fundraising” or “I feel weird asking for donations.” If you don’t believe you deserve a donation then why should anyone else? You are going to have to force yourself to love it. To get big checks it’s going to take big nerves.
This costs money. And, your fundraising effort is usually one of the only concrete and measurable results before the primary election.
5. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it
Before you start your campaign besides the logistics elements, its important to really sit and figure out what is your story? Who are you? What makes you different? This may sound cheesy and unnecessary but when talking with potential donors you will need to be really clear about this and so does your team. It will make a world of difference not only for fundraising but for your marketing efforts as well.