Fundraising online is easy, cheap and quick: you can raise cash to make your next campaign your best ever. While it’s easy, fundraising should never be casual or an afterthought - with every appeal you’re winning support, increasing your vote, telling the opposition exactly what you’re doing, and probably annoying quite a lot of people.
So make it rewarding and productive. Good fundraising is about pitching a compelling vision and winning people over. Take time out to think about your big ambitions as a local party and what it will cost to achieve them. It’s not the winning, it’s not the leaflets, it’s the impact of the win that counts.
A MESSAGE THAT STICKS
Think of an advert, email or tweet that’s instantly forgotten. Exactly, you can’t. A memorable appeal must do three things: upturn expectations, prompt immediate action and bring your contact into the fold.
- Upturn expectations with a disarming statement - ‘imagine if all the trees in Sheffield got up and walked to Leeds tomorrow.’ Your reader isn’t going to forget that.
- Prompt immediate action - ‘your pound given today doubles to £2 to help get Janice Green elected thanks to our Tuesday Special match fund.’
- Bring your prospective donor closer - ‘your part in our winning story means a Lib Dem voice for Belton is within grasp.’ Take care with the use of ‘us’ and ‘you’ - you helping us is not good.
REACHING OUT TO MEMBERS and SUPPORTERS
Members are a great starting point for fundraising as we know their concerns and giving patterns. Using your message, segment members into groups so each appeal is tailored and feels personal in terms of interests and scale. A standard appeal inspires no-one. Important: New data protection rules from May 2018 mean all sourcing and holding of personal information, and marketing and appeals to individuals will be subject to rigorous control by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Active consent is needed to gather and retain personal information, and to make approaches to individuals, members or not. Guidance will come out to every local party.
Millions of people out there are liberal-thinking yet not party members, they could provide half your income so are equally crucial. Many would donate if inspired by your message that sticks so assume nothing.
Instead, think about who you know, and who everyone around the party knows in their family, workplace and social group, who’d welcome an invitation or a newsy email. Steer them through stepping stones, once people take one positive action they’re more likely to take the next - to a stage where you know who’s still on board - now you can pitch your fundraising message, tailored for them. ‘I’m writing to 30 local people who care about our street trees to support my campaign for the Council. I need to raise £400 to reach every voter. Would you consider contributing £25?’
THAT’S ALL FOLKS
That’s all it takes to increase your income and maximise your result. If you do it, you will. If you don’t, you won’t. Good luck!