Where to Start Fundraising: The Candidate’s Network - National Democratic Training Committee

Where to Start Fundraising: The Candidate’s Network

By Kelly Dietrich
1 hour 30 min

What You’ll Learn

  • How to compile and organize your candidate’s existing contacts
  • How to assess their contacts’ giving capacity
  • How to develop a solicitation strategy for each contact

Why This Is Important

Where does fundraising even start? With your candidate’s network — all their family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. This course will give you the tools you need to do your job: collect and organize all their data to allow your candidate to ask them for donations effectively and efficiently.

Key Resources

  • Guide to Compiling & Exporting Contacts
  • Template Rolodex Spreadsheet
  • Guide to Using the Campaign Rolodex Template
  • Emily Post’s Advice: Official Forms of Address
  • Rank Your Network Worksheet
  • Compile Your List Activity Self-Assessment

Related Trainings

  • Finding New Donors — Even if your candidate’s network is expansive, you’ll need to reach beyond it to finding new donors they don’t yet know and cultivating them. This course will help you identify those prospects
  • Preparing for Call Time — Once you’ve researched the potential donors in your candidate’s network, it’s time to reach out to them and solicit donations in call time
  • Managing Your Fundraising Data — This course will help you keep the contact information and notes from conversations with donors organized and up to date

Kelly Dietrich


As founder and CEO of the National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC), Kelly Dietrich brings more than 20 years of experience on dozens of Democratic campaigns across the country.

Kelly started NDTC in 2016, where at the time it was a collection of videos covering an array of campaign topics, available to campaigns and their volunteers for free. Five years later, those videos grew into a fully fledged training program with hundreds of courses, videos, and articles about running effective campaigns. Kelly’s expertise in various areas — fundraising, staff training, sci-fi (maybe not as much) — have shaped NDTC into an industry leader in Democratic politics.

Originally from Missouri, Kelly lives in Chicago, IL with his wife, daughter, and dog, Tulip, who is allegedly part cat. Beyond work, Kelly is a diehard Kansas Jayhawk and an avid poker player. Kelly also serves on the board of directors at his local park, Sheil Park. This is where he “plays” basketball, which according to his wife can only be loosely considered a hobby. Even with all these interests, Kelly remains committed to making sure high quality tools and training are available to any Democrat who steps up to run for office, work on a campaign, or make their community better.