The Hard Realities of Fundraising, Part 4: Be Willing to Fundraise, Or Don't Run

This is part 4 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."

I think this is the most difficult issue to address with candidates. Many folks choose to run for office because they have great ideas for their city, but too many go into their campaign without the correct attitude towards fundraising. 

Attitudes that are all too common:

  • "Someone else will do my fundraising for me."
  • "The party should give me money to run my campaign."
  • "The lobbyists should support me because I'm the better candidate and my opponent is the worst elected since Richard Nixon."
  • I can't fundraise because...[insert anything here]

I've addressed the idea that the lobbyists and the party will give you money here

There are no tricks or tips I can offer for this one - the fact of the matter is candidates need to take ownership of the fundraising for their campaigns. Nobody else will do it for you, and you are capable of it - you just have to put some effort into it.

The best encouragement I can provide is a bit of a challenge - if you're going to ask your campaign manager to put in 12 hour days, if you're going to ask volunteers to sacrifice their weekends and if you're going to ask your family to endure you being away from the home for six months, you need to do your job too. And your job is to fundraise. 

If you don't want to do that, you shouldn't be running.

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