What We Can Do About Our Fundraising Troubles

As Kos recently discussed, our party is not doing too well in raising money. To be fair, the DNC is doing a lot better than it used to, and state parties are beginning to recover.

However, at the local level, and with our candidates, we are failing to raise the kind of cash we need. After the flip, I'll discuss one major way we can turn this around.

One major way that local Democratic Parties and candidates at all levels can raise serious cash is through what are technically called "automatic monthly recurring donations." This is exactly what the Democracy Bonds program is at the DNC.

You agree to give a certain amount of money a month (say, $20) to the DNC, your state party, your local party, and/or your favorite candidates. At a certain date every month, $20 is automatically deducted from your bank account, which is then immediately deposited into the account of the political party entity or candidate.

The best part is, you won't get a phone call, or get nagged all the time by the party or the candidate. Its completely hassle free. Even in small numbers, this money can provide a nice flow of BADLY needed cash to the various levels of the party and needy candidates.

THIS is the way to rebuild the Democratic Party financially,  which will allow it to rebuild structurally.

Of course, this would mean strategic financial management in every local Democratic Party - but that's a story for another post.

Tags: 2006, 2006 elections, Democratic Party, Democrats, Fundraising (all tags)



Re: What We Can Do About Our Fundraising Troubles

In Oregon, we have a Grassroots Democrat monthly autodonation program for the state party.  To get more donors and involve county parties, we ask county organizations to sign folks up. If they do, the state party collects the money, handles the administration, and sends 25% of those donations back to the county.

The sustaining program has really helped because it provides the stable funds to pay the rent, lights, payroll, etc. It's grown over the past few years and is now a significant part of the budget.

I certainly don't notice the $15/month very much.

This does not mean you won't get hit up for contributions, however. People who have donated are the most likely to donate again. It's just a fact of fundraising life....

by Jenny Greenleaf 2006-01-31 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: What We Can Do About Our Fundraising Troubles

I have donated to DNC and to individual candidates, but I cannot commit myself to a monthly donation even if it's just $20 a month -- this is the reason why I do not participate in the DNC's bond program.  However, purely as an idea, I think it's great -- it's just that the commitment may be too much to some.

There aught to be other alternatives, for example:

1. Quarterly bonds -- so that the commitment doesn't seem as large.
2. Better online/offline out reach programs to grassroots members to encourage us/them to organize small amount fundraising parties.

by bedobe 2006-01-31 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: What We Can Do About Our Fundraising Troubles

I'm sure you are right about $20 a month being too much for many possible donors. But you actually don't have to do $20. For myself, I signed up as a counterbalance to dropping the Indianapolis Star. I was paying about $15 a month for that Republican rag and when I cancelled my subscription there I used the money from that to sign up for a Democracy Bond.

There is an amount box for "Other" and it works, I can verify that.

I don't want to speak for the DNC but even $2 a month probably helps. Although that may only barely cover the amount they'll spend trying to persuade you to give more it does add another body to the total of people who have signed up. A large number of individual small donors sends the message that there is support for the DNC among grassroots party members.

by Curt Matlock 2006-02-01 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: What We Can Do About Our Fundraising Troubles

Thanks for the response.  Yeah, $20 a month isn't much and I'm sure that one can cut back on certain purchases and redirect that money to Democracy Bonds.  However, what I inarticulately meant to write had more to do with "commitment" aspect, as in a perceived obligation of having to give every month -- personal commitment.  Yeah, I know, it's flaky -- but there are many flaky potential contributors that may feel less of a commitment burden if they only had sign up to given on a quarterly basis, or semiannual basis.  My point is that contributors should be presented with wider commitment options (from dollar amounts to frequency) -- and, frankly, I don't know if those options already exist.

by bedobe 2006-02-01 08:00AM | 0 recs


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