Fundraising and Finance
Candidate Political Campaign Fundraising Plan Template
May 9, 2019
Fundraising is an integral component of any campaign. From small-scale local elections to immense congressional campaigns, every candidate must raise funds in order to run a successful campaign. You have to raise the money you need to talk to voters. But, how do you make a political campaign fundraising plan?
That’s where we come in! Our political campaign plan template includes a comprehensive fundraising plan template that details how to raise your campaign’s budget. Depending on your campaign you will decide which fundraising tactics to use (e.g., call time, events, direct mail). As well as detail the amount you plan to raise from each, and detail how you’ll achieve those goals. The template includes everything you need in order to keep yourself organized as you set out to raise your campaign’s budget.
Megan’s Campaign Fundraising Plan
To get a better idea of what our fundraising plan looks like in action we’re going to look to Megan Hammond’s sample plan.
Megan is our imaginary candidate who is running for School Board in Bear County, New Mexico.
Megan is aiming to receive 1,811 votes on Election Day. So, she has calculated that she’ll need to spend about $12,500 to earn that many votes. Megan’s goals may be higher or much lower than yours, but the concepts and planning that she has done can scale up or down. With a budget of only $6.90 to earn each vote (on average), she has to be frugal and very intentional about how she uses her resources. And she can’t afford to go any lower — she has to raise every penny of that budget goal!
So what does that look like? The plan is broken down into eight main parts
- Finance regulations and deadlines
- Call time
- Finance committee
The overview (pictured below) outlines specific amounts for quick reference followed by finance regulations and deadlines. These are listed at the beginning of her fundraising plan, as this information is incredibly important for her campaign because it’s necessary that everyone involved is aware of the rules the campaign must follow. The other six sections represent the fundraising tactics available to the campaign, detailing how Megan will raise her $12,500 goal.
(If you’re unsure of your own campaign’s financial regulations check out this resource of state-by-state financial compliance regulations that NDTC created.)
Each fundraising tactic is further broken down by campaign quarter, so has a quarterly fundraising goal for each tactic.
Breaking it Down
How does this organization look in action? Let’s look at Megan’s call time fundraising goals and budget. Megan’s campaign for School Board set $12,500 as its overall campaign goal. However, her campaign created a plan to raise $13,750 in total (to build in breathing room for when something doesn’t go quite as planned).
Her call time goal is $4,500 with a budget of $200 (reserved for thank-you letters and postage). In order to meet this goal, Megan split up the total goal ($4,500) into smaller quarter-by-quarter goals ranging from $1,000 to $1,350 per quarter
As well as her goals, Megan outlines the people responsible for meeting these goals (in this case herself).
Each section follows a similar organizational pattern. Responsibility, goals, and timeline, all broken down by quarter (or campaign finance period).
The most effective campaign fundraisers have the right mental attitude to maximize their success. This increases your odds of engaging in meaningful conversations with your donors. Congresswoman Katie Porter knows this better than most. Check out this highlight from our conversation with Rep. Porter for more details.
Learn from the Best
Even with an ironed-out fundraising plan, first-time candidates can benefit from looking at prior successful campaigns for more insights. That’s why we were glad to have Rep. Nikema Williams offer her own fundraising advice during a live conversation with NDTC learners. Below you can find highlights from our conversation.
Every campaign is different, so don’t worry if your fundraising plan doesn’t look exactly like Megan’s, Katie’s, or Nikema’s. Maybe your plan includes some PAC donations (yay!) and no direct mail. Your plan is unique to your campaign, your network, and your area!
You will adapt the template to work for you, but Megan’s fundraising plan illustrates how NDTC’s campaign templates can help you break down the work ahead in your campaign into more manageable goals.
Don’t worry if you still have questions! Campaign finances are a lot to digest, so make sure to check out our courses on fundraising and financial compliance, like Writing Your Fundraising Plan to learn more!
In the meantime, make sure to download both the full campaign plan template and sample versions of Megan’s plan, such as the fundraising plan to get started planning today!
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