Five Tips for Fundraising Success in 2011 by Scott Dworkin

By at June 24, 2011 | 7:32 pm | Print

Five Tips for Fundraising Success in 2011 by Scott Dworkin

Friends, colleagues and even candidates that Bulldog Finance Group does not represent frequently ask me for some basic tips that can potentially help increase their fundraising effectiveness. While I am always happy to help, I remain cognizant about giving away too much information free of charge (fundraising is how I earn my living after all!)

Despite what some may think – 2011 is no political off year. In fact, four states, including Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey and Mississippi will hold critical elections this November. Not to mention – many potential 2012 candidates are well into their discovery stage and likely to start fundraising and campaigning at some capacity within the next few months.

No matter what elected office is being sought after, several universal fundraising principles exist that all campaigns should abide by.  I have briefly laid out five tips below that can help bring your campaign fundraising success in this New Year. Enjoy, and good luck!

Manage Your Messages – Fundraising success is directly correlated to the messaging and positioning of all issues. Campaigns should always avoid ambiguous and non-descriptive language and cite specific examples of the agenda and how the candidate plans to implement change whenever possible. Remember, donors need a reason to give and solid proof points are the most effective rationale a campaign can offer.

Utilize Various Communication Mediums – Call time alone is no longer sufficient. And do not expect to replicate President Obama’s 2008 online successes. It is more important than ever that campaigns be creative with how they engage with potential donors. Mix email with social media and call time with house parties, breakfast meetings, direct mail campaigns, volunteer events and more. In my opinion, there is no substitute for face-to-face communications.

Attention Candidates: Fundraising is part of the Job – Get over it, no complaining allowed! As the candidate, you are the most important and chief fundraiser. Every candidate who has ever run for office knows that fundraising tactics are overly repetitive and significantly time consuming. But those that have been successfully elected know that fundraising is simply part of the job. And unlike most professions, nobody can fire the candidate for not doing his or her fundraising job, but do not expect to win should you forsake this most important responsibility.

Start Early and Fundraise Often – It is never too early to start fundraising. Fundraising takes time, even for the most experienced of politicians. Relationships must be built and trust must be earned – none of which develops overnight. In addition, many candidates simply cannot afford to campaign full-time until Election Day nears. So as the candidate, do not put your campaign in a situation where it needs to scramble at the last minute for cash. Have you started fundraising yet?

Be Aggressive and Have Thick Skin – On average, less then 10% of people will donate to a campaign during the first point of contact. People will hang up the phone; proclaim alliance to another candidate and state that cash flow is tight (even if it is not). Those are just a few among hundreds of other excuses donors are known to give. So always try to stay positive, remain aggressive and do not let several “no’s” dampen the efforts towards achieving the greater goals. And remember, nobody wins without navigating several bumpy roads along the way.

Scott Dworkin is Founder and CEO of Bulldog Finance Group; the new breed of fundraising that has established a novel and cost-effective approach to fundraising for Democratic political campaigns and nonprofit organizations scaling local, state and national levels. Through an exclusive methodology that combines modern and proven fundraising tactics with precise communications, micro-targeted donor prospecting and resilient networking, Bulldog Finance Group provides a comprehensive value that far exceeds that of traditional Democratic political fundraisers.

Bulldog Finance Group, LLC, 1250 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036   202-263-4628


Finance & Fundraising

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