Fundraising and Sponsoring

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Fundraising – who and how
Successful fundraising will always start with the members. When you send out a mailing to your members you should always ask for money and support for a specified purpose not just “for the party”. You could e.g. tell your members that you need a certain amount of money in order to finance a campaign event or a campaign newspaper. You can also offer the opportunity to donate for a specific political cause (e.g. “for the campaign against the new waste disposal site”).

Some parties give certain incentives to donors: If you spend 50 € you get a T-shirt or a cap, if you spend 100 € you get a bathing towel, if you spend 1000 € you’ll be invited to a dinner with the top candidate. Until they’ve actually tried it, some party officials fear this will not work with their members. Think about incentives that are really attractive for your members. Perhaps you’ll promise an iPod Shuffle for giving 500 € or an invitation to an eco leisure centre?

To build up and nourish a good relationship with donors, you should think about fundraising dinners and other fundraising events. Don’t expect too much from just one event! It is necessary to build up ties that last. A fundraising dinner should always include a speech by a prominent and popular representative of the party like the top candidate, a minister, the party leader or at least the campaign manager. The location shouldn’t be too big – it should always look well attended. At each table there should be interesting hosts from the party not just potential donors. Never forget during a fundraising event to ask people for a donation. This does not have to be made in cash of course – but don’t forget to ask!

The most effective fundraisers usually are the top candidates. They have to call people and enterprises they know and ask for support. A fundraising assistant should sit down with the top candidate and should check her or his address book in order to identify potential donors. In a list you should put down when and how this person should be reached. The fundraising assistant has the task to ask: “Did you manage to call your aunt Esther last week and ask her for support?” This continuous monitoring of the top candidates’ fundraising activities is very important because she or he will have plenty of other duties.

Some people may be easier to convince if you offer them to pay just half of the intended amount now and the rest later. Others will be impressed by a Campaign Finance Committee full of honourable and trustworthy citizens who really try hard to raise money for your party.

Start early! Those who give once will often give several times. But don’t just ask for money for your candidate or your party – you should always try to sell hope, green solutions and ideas.

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