Every candidate and campaign is not in need of a professional fundraiser. Not every campaign is big enough to justify spending money on a fundraiser. Ultimately, the candidate for “smaller” campaigns should be responsible for fundraising. In this article, we will discuss the responsibilities that candidates have when it comes to fundraising and why a professional fundraiser might not be the best decision for certain campaigns.

One of the biggest fears and triggers for anxiety during an election is fundraising. Many candidates are asking themselves how do I raise this money? Should I hire a professional fundraiser? Many fundraisers won’t take on a client unless they are “high profile races.” In other words, if a candidate is running for State House or “lower” fundraisers will not give them the time of day. In the end, it is all about money. Those types of races aren’t the “big money” races and they feel like it is a waste of time. 

The reality of fundraisers can be upsetting, but there is a lot the candidate can do to ensure funds are raised for the election. Setting a plan should be the first step in fundraising. In this plan, establish your fundraising goal. Do research – you’ll want to base your campaign budget off of the average cost to win a similar race in your district. Planning a fundraising strategy is key to being a successful fundraiser. What tools do you have accessible? Set up online fundraising and fundraising events. This plan can also include a direct mail plan, and digital to help meet your goal. 

Developing a team to help network on the candidate’s behalf is crucial to meeting fundraising goals. Networking is about cultivating relationships – not being pushy and asking for money. The better you know someone, and the more they know you. As a result, they are more likely to contribute to your cause. Networking is not about “hunting” your desired prey, it is about farming and growing that relationship. Farming requires time, energy, patience, and commitment to the long-term process. If you put this time and energy into your cause, you will see that you reap what you sow. 

Remember, small donations add up. So don’t get discouraged when someone doesn’t give as much as you thought they were going to. Each dollar earned goes towards a greater goal. Don’t waste money on frivolous things – each dollar saved is a dollar earned. So don’t get discouraged when someone doesn’t give as much as you thought they were going to. 

If a plan is drawn out, relationships are built, and tools are utilized, fundraising does not have to be a scary thing. Put in the work, and get the job done. Don’t waste money on a fundraiser when they won’t help you with any of the work that needs to be done. When it comes to political campaigns, fieldwork is essential.