How to Ask for Money

Your campaign likely isn't raising enough money simply because you aren't asking for it

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The Dirty Secret to Raising Money

You have to ask people to give.

I know. Shocking, but true. Very few people send you money without asking.

Raising money in politics is not rocket science.

Making the Ask

When candidates complain about how little they raise, I usually ask how many people did they ask for a contribution from today?

Did they ask one person? Five people? Ten? 100? You can guess what the answer usually is.

If they say they’ve asked dozens of people today, I ask them to tell me how. Specifically, what words did they use?

Pretend I am the donor and ask me for a contribution. Did they create urgency and ask for a specific amount? Did they give a deadline?

Usually, the answer is no.

To be successful at fundraising, you have to ask for what you want. Your goal is to make the most effective ask possible, as often as possible.

This isn’t something that happens overnight. It is a skill and it takes practice.

Making the Ask Is a Skill

We understand making an ask can be uncomfortable. That’s ok, but it is a skill you need to become comfortable with if you want to win.

Asking people to invest in your campaign is simply a part of running for office.

To get votes, you need to communicate with voters; to communicate with voters, you need money; to get money, you need ask donors. It really is that simple.

The NDTC lesson on Building a Finance Plan lays out how to start raising money for your campaign. We’ve also created a whole course to show you how to Make the Ask.

Remember, raising money for your campaign is not a bad thing. It isn’t immoral or shady. Don’t apologize for what you need to do to win.

Does the system need changing? We think so. But until then, these are the rules we all have to play by. If you want to change the system, do it from within after you win.

In the meantime, get over your fears and start asking people to give.