Most political campaigns will hold at least one, if not more, fundraising events over the course of the election season. Far too many campaigns waste precious time and energy hosting events that raise less money than they otherwise could. Here’s how to raise more money at your next political fundraising event:

Start with a Great Host Committee

Putting together a great host committee for your event is the single best thing you can do to ensure success.

A host committee (sometime called an “event committee”) is a group of people who commit to help you raise money for the event by personally selling tickets and getting people to come. The host committee should not be composed of volunteers who set-up, clean-up, and work the registration tables. The primary goal of your host committee is fundraising – pure and simple.

No matter how large or small your fundraising event is, start putting together the host committee early, and make sure that everyone in the group is committed to making asks and personally raising funds for the event.

Use Tiers to Raise More

Events take lots of time and energy to pull together. I advise campaigns to leverage the time they spend preparing for an event by using event tiers to reach more donors for the same event.

Tiers allow you to reach different groups of donors with the same amount of work.

Tiers are different pricing levels for different event components or benefits. For example, you may be holding an event that costs $500 per person for the VIP reception and dinner, or $100 for guests to attend only dinner (with no VIP reception). These are called event tiers.

Think of it this way… if you spend 30 man hours preparing for a $100 event, you reach a certain group of donors. If you spend 30 man hours preparing for a $500 event, you reach a different group of donors. On the other hand, if you spend the same amount of time prepping for an event with both a $100 and a $500 tier, you reach both groups of donors with the same amount of work.

Accept Credit Cards

If you are allowed by law to accept credit card for campaign donations in your area, be sure to offer a way for guests to purchase tickets for your event via credit card.

Far too many campaigns send out invitations to events that require donors to send a check back in top the campaign office. While some donors will always want to pay by check, many would prefer to be able to either send back in the reply card with a credit card number, or to hop online and purchase tickets on your website.

Make donating to your campaign and attending your events as easy as possible by allowing your donors to send in a check, send in a credit card number, or pay online for your next event.

Follow Up On Invitations with a Phone Call

This one tactic can double or triple the amount of money you raise at your next political fundraising event.

The next time you hold an event where you send out printed or e-mailed invitations, wait two days and then have a team of staff or volunteers follow up with a phone call to every person who received an invite that you have a phone number for. The calls don’t have to be a hard sell. They can be as simple as this…

Hi Jim, this is Steve from the Murphy for Mayor Campaign. I’m calling to make sure that you received the invitation to our fundraising picnic next month. Did you get your copy in the mail?

[If No] I’m sorry to hear that. I’d love to send you another copy by e-mail. What is the best e-mail address to send it to?

[If Yes] Great! Do you know if you will be able to attend?

That’s it. Easy and effective. Follow up on your invitations with a short phone call, and you’ll raise more money, every time.

Photo Credit: NWABR