Political Fundraising and the Power of the Word “No”

Definitive answers increase ability to target potential donors

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Nobody likes to hear “no,” especially in political fundraising. In and out of politics, too many people take rejection personally. But “no” is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it can be quite helpful.

I know it may sound counterintuitive, but when a voter or donor says “no,” this is a good response.

“No” tells you exactly where the individual stands in terms of your request.

Three Outcomes in Political Fundraising

In political fundraising, it often takes many, many, many, many…many calls before you reach your donor target.

Once you finally get him or her on the phone, there are usually three different outcomes from the call:

  1. The donor gives on the phone. This is the best of all possible outcomes. Everyone’s happy. Well done.
  2. The donor says he/she will think about making a contribution or send it later. This is both good and bad. It means the campaign must spend more time and resources to track down a check that may or may not arrive. Hopefully, your campaign’s collection rate is high.
  3. The donor says, “No.”

The third option is perfectly fine. It is a clear resolution. It means you’re finished and do not have to spend any more time to get a contribution that will never come. Make a note in the database (with the reason why) and move on to the next call.

The Power of the Word “No”

With “no,” there is no need for fruitless follow-up calls, letters, or even emails that will go unanswered.

“No” tells you there is no reason to waste anymore time or money on this person.

The same holds true to your voter outreach efforts. If a potential voter can be identified as a “no” it means you know exactly where they stand and can focus your resources elsewhere.

Of course, if you get are getting lot of “no” you may need to review why you are constantly being turned down.

Maybe it’s your message?

Maybe it’s who you target?

Regardless, it might be time to reassess and revise your tactics — or even your overall campaign plan.

Keep in mind though, without this feedback, you would not know your strategy isn’t working. With this information, you can adjust your plan and move forward more effectively. No matter what feedback you get, be certain to listen to what it means.

Hearing “no” is not as bad as it seems.

Originally published at www.traindemocrats.org.

  Fundraising