Do you know how much your campaign needs to raise to win your election?

Do you know the step-by-step process you will need to use to raise that amount?

For far too many campaigns, the answer to both of those questions is, “no.” Many, if not most of the campaigns I have come across (and smaller campaigns, in particular) simply say that they want to raise as much as possible, and that they want to raise it by asking everyone they can think of and holding some events.

That’s not a fundraising plan, that’s a recipe for disaster.

A Compass in the Thick of Battle

Political campaigns are tough. And they get tougher the closer you get to Election Day. There are rallies to attend, letters to send out, donors to meet with, issues to discuss, debates to prepare for, get out the vote efforts to coordinate. Every person in the campaign organization, from the candidate down to the interns, will feel exhausted and overwhelmed by Election Day.

That’s where the fundraising plan comes in. If you’re winging it when it comes to fundraising, then you’ll never know what to do next while you’re in the heat of battle. You’ll never know whether you are on track or behind in terms of fundraising, and you’ll never know whether to prioritize fundraising or communications or grassroots organizing.

A fundraising plan is you compass in the thick of battle. Every campaign, no matter how small or large, needs a written fundraising plan that details the following items:

  • How much your campaign needs to raise in order to win
  • Why you need to raise that much
  • How you are going to raise that amount, including such things as:
    • Personal solicitation by the candidate
    • Fundraising events
    • Direct mail and telemarketing
    • The finance committee and other fundraising committees
    • Online fundraising

And, perhaps most importantly, your fundraising plan needs to include a timeline with deadlines for each action step, as well as a list of who is responsible for carrying out each task. Without including deadlines and responsibilities, your fundraising plan is a nice idea, but not an actionable roadmap to fundraising success.

Every political campaign needs a written fundraising plan, preferably devised before the first dollar is raised. Have you crafted your campaign’s fundraising plan yet? If not, now is the time to start…

Photo Credit: tec_estromberg