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


Kelly is the Founder and CEO of the National Democratic Training Committee.

He has worked on dozens of campaigns at every level across the country. Kelly's specialty is in new campaign creation, candidate and staff training, and fundraising.

In addition to working for 18+ years in Democratic politics, he teaches a class on political campaigns at DePaul University in Chicago, where he lives with his family and dog, a large hungry blue Weimaraner named Jack Bauer. Kelly started his career in 1998 with Rep. Dennis Moore in KS-03. He's an avid basketball and poker player, though never at the same time. His wife would point out that at no time in this biography was he described as "good" at either hobby. That was a conscious decision.