The Hard Realities of Fundraising, Part 2: It's A Skill You Learn

This is part 2 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."

One of the most common excuses I hear from candidates who don't want to fundraise is "I tried that already" or "I'm not very good at fundraising." 

Fundraising is a skill you learn, not something you're born to do. "I'm not very good at fundraising" is just the beginning of your excursion into raising money, not the end. Not if you want to run for office.

Few candidates start out comfortable with asking someone for money, but the best candidates press on and get better. 

The simplest way to learn is to start with the people you know will give: your closest friends and family. It's good practice because you should ask them rather than assume they'll give. You should be able to put together a list of 50-100 friends and family you can ask, and that ought to be enough calls to help you shake off the initial awkwardness of learning to ask for money.

That's the simplest way - no way is easy. It will probably be uncomfortable at times, but learning how to fundraise is the cost of running for public office. 

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