Candidates should be eager to raise money through call time. I am convinced, from my years of experience in the nonprofit sector, my own grassroots candidacy, and having supported the fundraising efforts of several candidates, that call time is the most effective and efficient way to rally voters in your district.
At this point, you know how to present a compelling “story” and your “why” that will persuade people to vote for you and give you financial support. Still, you have to be able to perfect the timing of your ask, which is where the fundraising cycle comes into play!
In the fundraising world, the donor cultivation cycle can be defined as the process by which potential donors are identified, processed, and stewarded to successfully engage in fundraising efforts. Understanding each component of the cycle is essential. A strong grasp of the cycle will help you develop an effective call time strategy. Timing you ask effectively turns potential donors into confirmed donors.
The Fundraising Cycle can be broken down into 5 major components.
Identification - Identifying Potential Donors
We’ve got you covered. We provide the lists of donors that you should call. We strategically pull lists of active voters who might be interested in learning more about you and your campaign.
Qualification - Determining Viable Prospects
You can tell which voters are likely to contribute based on their receptiveness upon your introduction. If they don’t immediately hang up, they are a viable prospect.
Cultivation - Moving Prospects Towards Solicitation
This is where you lean into your pitch. Providing a compelling story on the phone or in writing should convince the prospect that you are worth supporting. This is where you should discover which issues they care about and align yourself with what they care about the most.
Solicitation - Making the Ask
Don’t be afraid to make the ask. Remember they are donating to your campaign, not to you personally. You should always lean into the fact that their support is vital to your campaign’s success. Even those who are not able to make a large contribution, should know that they are making an impact.
Stewardship - Showing Gratitude By Thanking Donors
This is arguably the most important step in the cycle. Never underestimate the importance of thanking your donors. A personal thank you note, can turn a one-time donor into a recurring donor. Be sure to include specific details about how their donation has impacted your campaign. You should continually update your donors on your campaign’s progress throughout the election season.
In closing, you have to understand where donors lie within the fundraising cycle before you call so that you can tailor your engagement. After a call, email, or text you must re-asses if an individual (or group of individuals) is ready to move to the next phase of the cycle (continuing to push them through the cycle until through their contribution to your campaign).
To learn more about how we incorporate the fundraising cycle into your call time program, sign up for a free strategy call with us today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Terrell, the Fundraising Director here at Sole Strategies. I love the work that I do and am committed to pushing necessary change to build a more equitable and progressive nation.
Much like many first-time candidates for public office, I never imagined building a career in politics. However, our current political climate, exacerbated by the pandemic, never-ending cycle of unfolding current events propelled me to use my training and skills to impart a positive influence in the political arena. As a progressive political organizer, I have had the privilege to support the fundraising and call time programs for numerous progressives running for office in local, state, and national elections.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and left home at 17 to attend Penn State to become a first-generation college graduate when I earned my B.S. in Health Policy and Administration. My degree focus was in public policy and public health and I always envisioned myself impacting change through healthcare. Widening socioeconomic opened my eyes to the extreme importance of average citizens taking their service in the public arena a step further. I am motivated by my personal experiences as a non-profit administrator, former candidate for public office, and advocacy for marginalized and underrepresented people.
This blog is designed to provide insightful resources and proven solutions for current (and future) candidates for office who might be faced with challenges regarding raising money for their campaign.
Fundraising doesn't have to be a guessing game. Chasing pledges, soliciting donors, and tracking your progress can be quite the challenge and time consuming. Sole Strategies has your back – we support you every step of the way. Fundraising the SOLE way is the most effective way to reach voters and win your campaign!
ABOUT SOLE STRATEGIES:
Sole strategies is a woman and minority–owned organization built by a team of political experts who specialize in strengthening grassroots campaigns at the community level. Running a race is tough on a shoestring budget– but we’re here to make that possible. You shouldn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for consultants who tell you how to do the work they themselves have never done. Here at sole strategies, we know that words of guidance are empty if they’re not backed by real support and tangible results.