The libertarian party of indiana modelof fundraising


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The libertarian party of indiana modelof fundraising

  1. 1. How 100 Hoosier Libertarians raised $40,000 in one day The Libertarian Party of Indiana Modei By Sara Chambers,.r<; executive director 98-00 Set your partys fundraising goal one to three months before your state convention. Earlier is better so you can articulate your goals to your members and shift their attitudes to align with yours. Determine Your Need 1. What are you currently doing that requires funding? a. newsletter b. telephone/fax/photocopying c. candidate or initiative promotion d. 2. What would you like to do that requires funding? a. open a state party office b. hire full- or part-time staff c. provide matching funds for candidates d. bankroll a targeted race or ballot drive e. Assess Your Assets 1. What is your monthly UMP income? 2. What is currently in the checking account? a. Is it an average baseline amount? b. Do you want to convert it to an interest-bearing account? c. Convert it to a monthly figure for budgetary consistency. 3. What are additional assets that can replace or enhance budgeted items? a. Donation of goods or services, such as office space, equipment, photocopying, refreshments at meetings, etc. b. Regular financial support of members, such as state officer donations at each committee meeting (offertory) Set Your Budget ...then Set Your Goal 1. How much must you raise each month to pay the bills? 2. How much must you raise each month to sustain one or more of the projects on your "wish list"? 3. What is your targeted monthly fundraising goal? __ Determin.e-and-&xecute-y-ou.r- strateg·iG- plan-fer-ra-is·j·ng -the- furrds: - Ftanwen fo- - maximize your effectiveness. Articulate the partys goals 1. Focus on one or two dedicated goals from the "wish list." 2. Incorporate these goals and why they are important to the future of your party in every newsletter. 3. If you dont send regular fundraising letters to your members, prospects, and friends, start now by promoting a monthly pledge from each member. Begin Your Monthly Pledge Program 1. Use these goals as the rationale for starting the new tradition. 2. Show what the party has done to reach the goal and what you are committed to do in the short- and long-term. 3. Always include the tools for fulfillment: A letter, a card, and a pre-printed (not necessarily pre-stamped or business reply) return envelope. 1
  2. 2. 4. Be specific in your request. If $30 each month is what you have budgeted as a need, then say exactly what $30 will buy the party. Your pledge card should include higher and lower giving levels since each members financial situation is different. 5. Send your letter in the national partys "off months" so the two appeals do not compete with each other. 6. Agree on who will record, track, and process monthly pledges. Also, designate who will send monthly check invoices and follow up on bad credit cards or delinquent check pledgers. 7. Be sure your merchant account is working since you will want to encourage credit/check card pledges over any others. (Sending monthly check invoices almost always have a decreasing rate of return.)Plan the Convention Strategy 1. Choose five to seven people to serve on the ad-hoc fundraising committee. a. The state chair b. The director (especially if a paid staffer) c. The three biggest donors d. Include the convention chair, the treasurer, and any other prominent and respected leaders in your organization e. Do not include anyone who is not donating above the minimum (except the director) 2. Vvork with your convention chair so you each understand the goal and strategies to reach it. Be sure your ticket costs allow you to break even, but dont set them too high if you are going to aggressively fundraise during the event. 3. Determine the current monthly pledge of each committee member and ask each to consider a matching pledge at the convention a. Joe is donating $50 each month. b. Ask Joe to match pledges: "If we raise $100 in monthly pledges within the next ten minutes, Ill pledge $100 each month." c. Or, if Joe has the means: "Ill match each individual monthly pledge over $100 if it is made before dinner tonight." 4. If your pledge program began a few months before convention, have the state chair call each and ask for an increase. a. Use a giving ladder. Ask them to double their amount, then increase by 50%, then 20%, then any amount at all. b. Be armed with facts. Tell them what good things the party has done and will do with their hard-earned money. c. Offer an incentive, too. You could offer these pledgers a special table at dinner, an exclusive reception with an honored guest, a lapel pin, or other way to say thanks. d. Be thankful for their support during the call. You dont want to lose the existing pledge! 5. Line up fundraising speakers (see "Raising Money At the Convention," below) -6-.·-Articulate-th-e-gO"attn"thtn:omTention-tneme or other prfnteamaterials." -LeT spe~lkers-k-now your goal so they can work it into their presentations, as well. 7. Print three times as many pledge cards as you have attendees. 8. Consider creating a foamboard "thermometer" to gauge the giving progress. a. The United Way usually uses one during their annual campaign. b. The Statue of Liberty can be "hash marked" down one side and progressively colored-in with success. She can even travel from room to room so the fundraising reminder is ever-present. c. Color in the amount already raised from pledgers and UMP income as visual "seed money."Raise Money at the Convention. Every LP convention has the potential to raise at least$1000 a month in pledges. Youve created the plan, now put it into action.Distribute pledge cards so they are ever-present and accessible. 1. In each goody bag or attendee packet 2
  3. 3. 2. At each place during the business meeting 3. At each place setting at lunch and at dinner 4. In stacks in the hospitality suite or reception area Before the convention begins, have a quick fund raising committee meeting. 1. Decide who is taking up the pledge cards, and be sure each fundraising speaker knows to point donors in that direction. 2. The state treasurer should tally the monthly pledges as they are received so the chair can announce the progress (and mark the "thermometer") after each break. 3. If the goal is to raise money for paid staff, existing staff should not be a visible part of the convention fundraising efforts. Staff should not ask for money or take up the pledge cards unless first approached by the pledger. 4. Make copies of the attendee list at the hotel desk and divide it among the committee members. Be sure current pledgers are quickly identified so they are not insulted when asked to pledge. Line up your fundraising speakers so they "turn up the heat" as the convention progresses (see attached example from the 1999 LPIN convention or watch the video) 1. The opening or "State of the State" address by state chair or convention chair mentions the partys goal but should not mention fundraising 2. Place your director or other "meat and potatoes" party producer early on the agenda. 3. Paid staff treats the convention as a board of directors meeting, offering proof of the partys accomplishments under her watch and promoting the strategies to reach set goals. Essentially, she is justifying their pledges. Charts and graphs dont hurt. 4. Before each break, line up a two-minute "testimonial" from a fundraising committee member. He briefly says why he was inspired to pledge and why others should, too. Two or three testimonials spaced throughout the day is plenty. 5. During each break, committee members circulate to nicely ask people on their list to pledge. (They do not expose the list or alert attendees to the fact that this is highly orchestrated!) They thank existing pledgers and, politely encourage them to consider an~ increase. (Remember, existing pledgers have already been called.) 6. After the luncheon speaker, the state chair or other respected designate makes a five- to ten-minute presentation about the goal and offers the first serious pressure to pledge. Cards are already on tables, and the speaker will remind the attendees to whom to give them. 7. Pressure mounts with each subsequent pre-break testimonial. 8. Depending on how the fundraising is going, all the stops are pulled out at dinner. a. Cards are again at each place. b. The "thermometer" is at the front of the room. c. The state chair readies himself for an all-out, shameless pitch after the dinner speaker concludes. d. Several pitches may have to be given, depending on the energy and frequency of pledges. Always reinforce the goal. e. The designated "collector" gathers each card and returns it to the treasurer for tallying and addition to the "thermometer." f. Auctions or other methods of bidding can be incorporated to increase excitement. 9. The chair will need to know when to end the evening-preferably on a high note, before people tire and begin having an unpleasant time. 10. Always thank the attendees. a. Never make those who didnt pledge feel as if they havent contributed. b. Always appreciate pledgers, and reinforce the fact that they have made reaching the goal possible (or one step closer, depending on how much was raised). Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. Entropy will set in if you do not nurture your pledgers, members, and party leaders. 1. Follow through with any incentives or prizes that were part of the convention fundraising effort. Do this immediately so you are taken seriously. 3
  4. 4. 2. Send a special fundraising letter to every member and friend who did not attend the convention. They may not have been able to attend, but they may be able to give. (The LP of Michigan has had tremendous success in this area.)3. Continue sending fundraising letters like the ones previously discussed to your list. Existing pledgers may give more, and you will always more than break even if done well and "layered" with additional reinforcement of the goal in other areas (newsletter, state events, e-mail lists, etc.).4. Prospects may not have joined yet (or they may not intend to sign the pledge); however, they may be very interested in pledging or making a donation. Keep them on your fund raising list for a few months ... even longer if they respond.5. Keep a tight ship: a. Promptly process credit card pledges the same week each month. b. Call the donor immediately if the card is declined. It is probably a simple problem that can be fixed with a friendly call. c. Send professional monthly invoices to those who pledged by check. d. Give check pledgers a friendly call if they do not fulfill their pledge on time. Encourage them to switch to credit or check card. It will save the LP a lot of money and time, which will mean a lot to the member.e. Make fundraising an integral part of your party activities. a. Always ask for money at every meeting of the LP, even at the county level. b. Many churches do this every week with great success, and freedom is more important than religion for some people. c. People give because they believe in the goal, because they are used to being asked, and because they know financial support is expected of them. d. Remember: "If not you, then who?" Do we expect Republicans and Democrats to give us money? e. Keep it in perspective: "If you say you would die for liberty, then why wont you give $30 each month?" This is Indianas goal for each member ... and is the same cost as one soft drink a day, one decent round of golf, two pizzas, or one daily Twinkie from the vending machine at work. 4
  5. 5. From theory to reality: How 100 Hoosier Libertarians raised $40,000 in one dayr=-; The Libertarian Party of Indiana Model "* June 1998: The LP of Indiana set the goal to hire an executive director to manage the partys headquarters and facilitate activities surrounding that falls Secretary of State ballot access race. "* Summer 1998: In-kind donors of goods were lined up, and the party negotiated a salary with the potential director. The SOS candidate agreed to split the salary with the LPIN. "* August 1998: The executive director was hired, and the headquarters opened. "* Campaign 1998: From August until November, the focus was on the SOS candidate and maintaining ballot access. The director was an essential part of the campaign effort, mostly serving as a media/activist/communications hub. "* November 1998 to April 1999: After the successful election, the goal we articulated to members before and during the convention shifted to "See what we did with an executive director? Lets keep her so we can do it again ... and do more." Everything revolved around that goal, which included articulating everything the director accomplished, since that was the point. Indianas LP publications alternated monthly between a Progress Report (to raise money) and a newsletter (to talk about the great things we did with the money, like increase media hits, run campaign training, manage the activity of the headquarters, support a record number of candidates, etc.). A bi-weekly e-mail missive called the Liberty Beacon was sent from the director to all e-mail addresses we had on file. It was an update of state- and county-level activity in the LPIN and helped subconsciously reinforce the idea that a director was important to the party. "* April 1999: Convention. All the steps listed in this guide were followed and raised ... well, see the title. The players (see the accompanying video): Joe Hauptmann, state chair, led the build-up of excitement and closed, as Steve Dasbach, national director, says: "shamelessly." Joes vision and eloquence added the necessary emotional element to encourage people to want to give. Sara Chambers (nee Cotham), executive director, showed the accomplishments, strategies, facts, and figures to the members. She also served as convention chair, persuading guest speaker and Jesse Venturas campaign manager Doug Friedline to auction off a Ventura baseball cap to raise money for the LPIN. Mark Rutherford, fundraising director, and Mike Runnebohm, state treasurer, coordinated the convention fundraising efforts with Chambers. Rutherford gave testimony and worked the crowd. Runnebohm kept track of the pledges. Brad Klopfenstein, county activist, and Andy Horning, high-profile candidate, testified about the need for a director and how having one had benefited their areas of Libertarian activism. Erin Hollinden, LP activist and professional fundraiser, helped members of the state Central Committee work the crowd for new pledges. *: February 2000: Chambers resigns because she has moved out of Indianapolis and feels the new experiment is not the most productive arrangement for the party. She seeks a position making more than $25, 000 and aids in the search for a replacement. *: March 2000: The LPIN hires Brad Klopfenstein, who is highly qualified and energetic ... and who also hopes the salary will increase. *: February 2001: Having slowed fundraising in 2000 to focus on campaign moneymaking activities, the LPIN leadership holds a day of strategic planning and gears up for a successful year of raising money and preparing for 2002s ballot access race. S