Here’s today’s tip: Nobody is a better fundraiser than the candidate.
Do you like begging for money? Probably not. I sure don’t. And at the beginning of my work fundraising, that’s exactly how it felt. It wasn’t until I had a change in the way I perceived the work that I started feeling differently about raising money.
What happened was that I stopped viewing fundraising as a zero sum game. This isn’t just about me taking money from one person and putting it in my campaign account. If my candidate or cause is actually serious about the difference we’re saying we’ll make, then it’s an investment. It’s a positive sum game.
With that outlook, it became much easier for me to pitch donors on supporting my cause or candidate. Because of a shared set of beliefs, I’m asking them to join me in a cause. To invest in a mission that we both believe in. From there, I need to make a clear ask for a discrete cause and give a specific deadline. That’s the ask!
Even with the right mindset though, nobody is more effective at asking for money than the candidate. Their presence and the fact that the candidate is the one making the ask makes it more likely that they’ll say yes. Plus, nobody is as good at sharing the candidate’s passion or beliefs than themselves.
Put these two lessons together and you should be off to a great start as a fundraising candidate. Practice is all that remains!
At the end of the day, the fact is that you can’t win a political campaign without raising money. You may not need as much or more than your opponent, but you’re going to need a decent amount. If as the candidate you’re not willing to make fundraising a major part of your work, you shouldn’t run.
So get out there and start sharing your passion with your voters. Then bring them into the cause with you and ask for their investment. There are three ways they can invest: Time, Treasure and Endorsement. I’d be willing to bet that you don’t have a problem asking for the investment of time or endorsements, so change the way you view asking for treasure and go raise some money!