Contributions by VE consultants Brett Dinkins, Whitney Michael and Brit Schiel
Regardless of how many times someone has sought office, most candidates do not like the process of raising money. It’s their least favorite campaign obligation because they find it hard or awkward to approach someone and ask for a financial contribution.
But there are ways to approach fundraising which will make the experience easier, and having confidence in your ask can help the campaign’s bottom line a great deal.
We’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts for when you have to pick up the phone next to dial for dollars.
List of Dos
1) Do your research. Before calling potential contributors, know if they have given in the past. That way you’ll know what they are capable of and what to ask for, and you’ll avoid offending anyone with a request that is too high or too low.
2) Do explain the significance of your race in a way that’s meaningful to them. Laying out why their support is helpful and what you intend to do with their money will give them an understanding of your plans, and give them a sense of value to the campaign.
3) Do call personally. Donors want to talk to the candidate directly and they usually appreciate the outreach. It builds trust within the relationship that will extend far beyond just the first request. It’s fine for staff to follow up and to sort through the details after the call, but staff should not be making the hard ask.
List of Don’ts
1) Don’t be afraid to ask. The worst thing anyone can tell you is ‘no,’ and you’ll have to get used to it, because you will be rejected from time to time. However, more often than not, the person on the other end of the line is going to appreciate the call and help out your cause.
2) Don’t just call when you need something. Make sure you are communicating somewhat frequently with top donors. Be responsive and always send a follow up note thanking them for their contribution.
3) Don’t sell yourself short. If you’re prepared (see ‘Do List’ item number one), you should have the information you need to make an ask for a contribution that is within the means of the contributor, and you can avoid asking for too little.
Our goal is to set our clients up for success, so the next time you have to sit down and make fundraising phone calls, consider our list of tried and true measures.
If you’d like more information about our ability to raise money for your campaign, reach out to us TODAY!