“Thars Gold In Dem Hills!”
The difference between prospecting for precious metals during the Gold Rush days of the 1800s and today is technology and science. Most of the guess-work involved in the old days have been replaced by technology that allows mining companies to know exactly where to dig to find what they are looking for.
Campaign donations should be the same thing. You don’t want to be randomly running around town trying to find donors to help fund your campaign. You need an organized system so you will know exactly where to go to get your funding.
First, you can use technologies like Facebook and Crowdpac.com to help fund your campaign. Just remember that these are tools, not complete solutions, to getting funding. At the end of the day, the most effective fundraising will be done by hitting the streets and asking for donations.
The single best thing you can do to ensure a steady source of funding is to build the party. 80% of all funds for political campaigns comes directly from the candidate’s party. They come from either the party itself or from wealthy (and not so wealthy) members of the party who support their candidates by helping them fund their campaign. Helping to grow the Constitution Party is the single most important thing you can do to ensure your success in a campaign. Not only does it provide for a steady flow of donors, but it also provides you with the volunteers and voters that you are going to need to win.
Do you want to have some fun on your campaign, build your funding, and dramatically hurt your opponent all at the same time? (“Then it be time that you go a piratin’, matey. Aye, lad, we be pirates and we be raidin’ our opponent’s donors.”)
Thanks to the Campaign Finance Reform Law, there is plenty of information out there about people who have donated to any political group, party, or candidate. Since we are targeting conservatives, it only makes sense that we want to raid the GOP’s donors (“Besides, the GOP has lots more ships filled with booty than them thar Democrats, me bucko”). You can go to the government sites (www.fec.gov) or try other websites like http://www.opensecrets.org or http://www.followthemoney.org to find the donors that you want to talk to. The GOP is also a great party to raid because they are very vulnerable now. Most of their conservative base is dissatisfied with the direction that the party is going and they would be willing to listen to another voice if you can show them that your principles are aligned with theirs. Remember to also look for donations to conservative political groups. These will actually be better sources because there may be non-GOP conservatives donating to them that are looking for a new home.
Finally, two of the three pillars that we are using for our marketing campaign are directed specifically at small business owners. Reducing the size of government and working to get government out of over-taxing and over-regulating small businesses will make you popular with small business owners.
Note: Be careful with dealing with your local Chamber of Commerce. There is a sympathetic relationship between the GOP and the COC. They help fund GOP candidates and, once elected, the politicians ensure that the COC gets city/county money for fairs, events, etc. You don’t need the COC’s endorsement to get donations from small business owners. Very few business owners blindly follow the COCs endorsements.
Here is the most important thing to know, however, when it comes to getting donations:
DONORS WILL ONLY BACK WINNERS
They are less interested in your principles, your promises, and your platforms than they are interested in whether or not you can win the election. Even if you have the best intentions and the best platform, it does no good if you cannot win the election. At the end of the day, they want to back someone who is going to get elected and start promoting their goals and beliefs. Even if you are the better candidate, they will support the 2nd best candidate if they feel that he/she has a better chance of winning. More than anything else, you need to convince your donors that you can win the election.
In this regard, I have an important advice to give to CP candidates:
Do not let the following words (or anything like it) ever leave your lips: "My reason for running for office is to mainly educate the public about the Constitution Party and what we stand for".
Here is the way your donors interpret that: “I know I am going to lose this election, so I just want to use this opportunity to waste everyone’s time talking about what is important to me. Please don’t donate to me because I am a pathetic loser”
Every word, every action, and every effort must show that you are in the race to win. That you are dedicated to getting into office and making the changes that are needed.
This is where all the other articles that I have written come into play. If you can show them that you have strong backing, that you have a strong organization, and that you are serious about winning, then they will back you. Otherwise, you better hope that you and your relatives have enough to fund the campaign.
We need good men and women to run for office. More importantly, however, we need them to win. We need to get rid of this loser mentality that the role of our candidates is to get exposure to the party. The role of our candidates is to win elections and restore constitutional principles to government. It is the responsibility of the party (and party leaders) to educate and recruit new members, not the candidates. Their only goal (and only focus) needs to be winning the election. The only way to win is to have enough funds and enough support to ensure that your message gets out.
Please comment and discuss