Political candidates in today’s America require a strong financial backbone to even consider running for office. As campaigning gets increasingly competitive, not only is it important to have a good candidate but also great campaign managers.
“A well-planned fundraising and marketing strategy is crucial to winning elections,” says experienced campaign manager, Natasha McKenzie. She started her political career working for the DC Democratic Party and went on to work with the DSCC. Moreover, in her short yet illustrious career, Natasha McKenzie has raised over $14.5 million for political campaigns across the United States.
According to her, there are a lot of new, creative methods of political fundraising that can be utilized by campaign managers to boost their chances of electoral victory.
“We are seeing new technologies prop up at a rate faster than most campaigns can tap into. This leaves for a lot of opportunities for creative political fundraising campaign managers to gain an edge,” opines Natasha McKenzie.
She thinks that crowdfunding can be a cost-effective way for a campaign to raise money. It is easy to set up crowdfunding over countless platforms across the internet at minimal cost, usually due at the end of the crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunds can attract small amounts from a large pool of people that can add up to considerable amounts.
“At no upfront cost, a crowdfund is an inventive method to raise capital from donors online,” she adds.
She advises campaigners to make sure to use the crowdfund as an educational opportunity to inform their donors about the platform they espouse as well as include images and videos to make it interactive.
“Social media integration will give a campaign’s crowdfunding the best shot at success,” adds Natasha McKenzie.
A creative non-digital approach can be taken in the form of chain fundraising letters. These go beyond the usual direct mail letters asking for donations but also give supporters the opportunity to forward the letter to their own friends with personal notes encouraging them to donate.
“Chain fundraising is a P2P method that reaches folks who cannot be reached digitally,” says McKenzie.
Campaign T-Shirts are a time-tested method.
“Campaign T-Shirts give your supporters something tangible in exchange for their donations and serve as an excellent form of marketing. Most importantly, they foster pride in your voter base and can-do wonders for moral,” adds McKenzie.
Campaigning usually runs most intensively a few weeks prior to polling. Therefore, organizing parades through a constituency with all the pomp and fanfare of floats, signs, and balloons can not only help to raise money but also increase the visibility of a candidate.
Email Marketing is one of the most cost-effective methods for political fundraising. While it is easy to use, McKenzie thinks that campaigns should make sure to grow their emailing list organically to not spam voters. Adding sign-up sheets at events as well as forms online can help generate traction for this method.
“Quality over quantity is important to remember when it comes to emailing voters,” she says.