The Hard Realities of Fundraising, Part 1: It's Your Job

This is part 1 in a five part series on fundraising. Topics covered include "fundraising is your job," "fundraising is a skill you learn," "your ability to fundraise determines your viability as a candidate," "you need to be willing to fundraise," and "tips on building a list."

This post is the first in what I think will be a five-part series on fundraising. A few weeks back I wrote about how neither the party nor the lobbyists will help you with fundraising unless you help yourself - by taking control of your own fundraising for your campaign. 

I got enough feedback on from that post I decided to go into more detail about some of the "hard realities" of fundraising. 

The first topic is about whose job it is to fundraise: as the candidate, it's your job. Candidates have two jobs when running: talking to voters and raising money. 

Over the course of your campaign, you're going to ask people to do a lot of things for you. You'll ask volunteers to go door to door and show up at parades and sign-waving events, you'll ask any paid staff to keep your schedule and accounting in order and you'll ask supporters in the party to help with the get-out-the-vote operations. 

You need volunteers and staff to do those jobs well. And they need you to fundraise. If you don't expect that of yourself, you shouldn't be asking anything of your supporters. 

Donors want to give money to the candidate, especially big donors. And while online fundraising through email, social media and the website can be a convenient way to add some extra money to the campaign, the majority of the fundraising should be done by person to person fundraising requests by the candidate. 

The candidate needs to schedule time to fundraise every week. Have your staff or volunteers put together a list of potential donors from your rolodex and from lists of prior donors you can acquire from previous candidates.

Then sit down a couple of hours a week and start dialing for dollars. 

If you would like to get more campaign tips, you can check out "Running for Officemagazine, subscribe to the blog or connect with me on twitter or LinkedInYou can also get an campaign tips emailed to you once a week by signing up to to the right of this post.