A Fundraising Pitch

When we started Anchor Rising, we decided early on that we wouldn’t take issue positions or endorse candidates as a group. As a corollary to that, we generally don’t make pitches for campaign contributions for particular candidates. With about three weeks left in this election cycle, however, I’m going to put forth a generic campaign pitch.
Nobody who is not a professional fundraiser likes talking about money in politics. But when you need to reach thousands of people in a municipal constituency, or ten thousand people in a General Assembly district, or twenty-thousand in a State Senate district, or seven-hundred thousand in a statewide election in order to make a case for why you should be elected, going door-to-door to and meeting people face-to-face can only take you so far. Things like direct mailings and advertisements in community papers — tangible items costing tangible money — need to be a part of the process of a candidate getting his or her ideas out.
Though it seems late in the day, donations can still be meaningful in this election cycle. A little extra money might make the difference between a half-page ad and a full-page ad in a community weekly, or an extra round of mailings, or even getting an ad on to radio or TV. So if there is a candidate that you would like to see elected, but don’t think that your neighbors have heard enough about him or her, there’s a good chance that that candidate might still be able to make good use of a campaign donation. And if you are concerned that campaign money you give might not be well spent, don’t be shy about asking a candidate what the money will go towards before signing the check. Candidates with a shot at winning will have definite ideas about where they will be spending their money and what ideas they will be talking about.

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17 years ago

Thank you so much for mentioning the financial need that we face as candidates. I’m running against an opponent who has been in office for 14 years, has nearly $40,000 in her campaign fund and has all the unions throwing themselves behind her. I’ve managed to raise just over $2,000 (which, I’m told isn’t too bad for someone that nobody had ever heard of before July) and it’s been spent just about as fast as it has come in. We’re looking at a need of at least another $2,000 to complete this campaign by getting some mail out to voters. There will not be extra money for newspaper ads and we’ve accepted that–but we believe that a mailing is crucial and right now there just isn’t enough money to make that happen. I’ve been approaching friends, relatives and business associates for donations–asking if they can spare an additional $20 or so to help us get a mailing out in time for the election. So far, we haven’t even raised enough to take care of printing costs. We’re really in a crunch here, as the days are ticking by, and I urge everyone who reads this blog to look around and find a candidate they can help. Reach into your pocket and figure out if you can give $10, $25, or more to help them. Any amount you can give is greatly appreciated and it does add up. If we can get 80 donations of $25 each, then we can afford to do a mailing. If you can’t afford to give financially, donating your time would be a blessing to many of us. My campaign has been very short-staffed from the beginning and if we could even come up with enough money to print out fliers and the volunteer power to… Read more »

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