Campaign Finances

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Then the expenses
After having planned the income and set a rough financial frame for the size of the campaign, your focus should shift to the expenses. Start a brainstorming phase that involves the most important people and several parts of the party.

Look again for best practices: what was successful in your most recent campaigns? How do the other parties plan and spend their expenses?

For the brainstorming phase it is very helpful if the treasurer can already present a relatively complete list of ideas and budgets. Then, new ideas can be added and the whole budget can be modified over the course of the discussion. Always try to use the experiences of past campaigns when you deal with new ideas. Where did you waste money last time? What was successful? Keep a critical eye on ‘big events’ – money is often wasted on them.

After brainstorming, the decision making starts. You should first consider the opinions of experts, and then launch a democratic decision making process in the campaign team. Those parts that you have to cut can perhaps be financed later if lots of donations come in. Everything that you can’t finance at the beginning should remain an option for later additional measures. You do not need a new additional budget for large donations if you can rely on the additional options that you already included during the planning process.

When setting the budget, please note that you should reserve lots of money (20-50%!) for the last days. A growing number of voters don’t decide until very late on, so your ads, TV spots, posters and leaflets are extremely important during the final days of the campaign.

Unfortunately, donations are unpredictable and large donations arrive late in the campaign, sometimes even once it is over. This may save your budget – but you shouldn’t count on that!

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