This is part 3 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."
Candidates often tell me that if it weren't for the fundraising, they'd be a better candidate. I empathize, but it's akin to saying "if it weren't for the driving part, I'd be great at NASCAR."
The candidate has two jobs in the campaign: 1) raising money and 2) talking to voters. Fundraising is absolutely essential to running for office. Voters will never know about your resume or the ideas you have for your city if you can't tell them, and you can't tell them without spending money on ads that introduce you to the voters.
This means that your viability as a candidate is directly tied to your willingness to fundraise. When you begin a campaign, you begin to attract a following. You'll need to attract supporters from the party and the broader community, future volunteers, endorsements from relevant groups and media attention. Those groups all follow campaigns closely, and they know a candidate that can win is a candidate that can fundraise.
Because fundraising reports are public, they can also check your fundraising numbers to see how you're doing. If you can't attract supporters and media attention, you're not building much of a campaign.
If you would like to get more campaign tips, you can check out "Running for Office" magazine, subscribe to the blog or connect with me on twitter or LinkedIn. You can also get an campaign tips emailed to you once a week by signing up to to the right of this post.