If you want to help your local Democratic get elected, you may need more than the software from NGP VAN although that is the place to start. Most Democratic campaigns are fueled by NGP VAN software, software from a company tailored for Democrats to help them with political organizing. However, in order to political organizing you should also know the nuts and bots of fundraising and how to successfully pull off a fundraising event. First, you need a Finance team to build a Finance Plan which details how much money you believe you will need to win the race you are supporting based on prior races of winning candidates from recent previous elections. Keep in mind whether you are challenging an incumbent or the race is highly competitive because then it may be more expensive. Then you will need to decide which tactics you are going to use to fundraise such as direct mail, online fundraising, fundraiser events, call time, telemarketing, finance committees, and fundraising networks. You should weigh the return on each tactic in order to figure out which tactic to use to reach your goal. The next step is to create concrete deadlines which include making a calendar of all the fundraising activities by outlining by each month each tactic that will be used.
You should also try to identify donors for your fundraising network by going through people that have a relationship to the candidate or campaign like their personal and professional contacts and make plans to contact them. NGP VAN can use Advanced Social Matching to identify your most influential supporters, Social Share Tracking to identify your most active supporters, and Facebook Events Integration to track new supporters that sign up. Be sure to form a strong finance committee which is a group of supporters who want to help the campaign by raising money through contributions from themselves and others on the candidate’s behalf. Donors typically give for many reasons starting from the most useful to least useful of being a part of the personal network of the candidate, being an ideological donor, being anti-opponent, or for power reasons. A way to get the most out of the tactic of fundraising events which everyone should know is to start planning at least six weeks before the event. Fundraising events should be RSVP events with a specific fundraising goal and a well-connected host with a committee to help them promote the event. You should also call people attending the fundraising event to follow up – especially for important invitations, send out reminders at the day right before the event, and prep the campaign, candidate, and host the day of the event. Get NGP VAN and get busy!