Saving Money on Small Campaigns by Sarah Baker

By at June 24, 2014 | 1:11 pm | Print

Saving Money on Small Campaigns by Sarah Baker

Sarah Baker 2014

If you’re running a small campaign or organization, there’s probably not a lot of wiggle room in your budget. Here are a few places small campaigns can save money:

  • Office supplies. In the beginning, have the kitchen cabinet (or just the candidate and some super vols) reach out to their local contacts asking for donations of office supplies — things they might have lying around the house like pens, post-it notes, computer paper, and even bigger items like printers and old computers. (Those old computers come in handy later to have interns use to enter data.
  • Fundraising events. Don’t pay for space or refreshments. Most bars usually have at least one slow night a week and welcome the opportunity for you to bring in a bunch of people who will buy drinks. Bar events with $20 suggested donations can raise a decent amount of money if there’s a cash bar and you don’t pay to use the space. And it’s even nicer if you can even get a donor or local business to sponsor a round of appetizers as well.
  • Campaign office. This is another opportunity to reach out to your supporters and local contacts for help. A small campaign doesn’t need a fancy office. All you really need is a place where you can train and deploy volunteers, and store some of your materials. If your candidate has relationships with local business owners or realtors, see if they have any space that they can donate in-kind. If not, get more creative — in some instances, even a garage can be a perfect HQ for a local campaign.

The long and short of it is this: don’t spend money if you don’t need to. Before you spend money on something, ask yourself, “Can someone I know help me get this for free?”

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Sarah Baker, Creative Director at the New Organizing Institute (NOI) and a former staffer for local, grassroots campaigns. NOI trains organizers to build and manage effective movements by integrating tried-and-true community organizing, cutting-edge digital strategy, and data-driven decision making. NOI provide free access to revolutionary tools, technologies, and research to help campaigns reach the next level.

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Finance & Fundraising

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