I forgot to mention that yesterday was my 50th blog post AND marked only 50 days left in the campaign. Coincidence? (I don’t actually know what I’m trying to say with that one, but felt it needed to be said). Anyway, onto day 30 of the campaign!
While we all know that door-knocking is the number one campaign activity, there comes a close second – raising money. Everything costs money: election signs, brochures, buttons, t-shirts, campaign office, electricity and internet are just a few of the costs. How do you pay for these things? You raise money. Lots of money.
With the election campaign being 78 days long, costs are double what they have been in previous campaigns. Lots of local candidates now have almost $200,000 to spend as their limit, compared to the $90,000 during a 37 day campaign. (This can be kind of confusing, but basically Elections Canada sets limits on how much a campaign can spend. There are penalties for going over – see Dean Del Mastro for an example!) So while it’s great that you have this extra room to spend to help get your message out, it also means that you have to work twice as hard to get that money you need. One way to do that is to hold an event.
There’s the one rule you have to remember about fundraisers: they exist to help you make money. If you don’t raise money at the end of it? You’ve wasted your time and efforts. And when you only have a short period of time, that’s about the worst thing you can do. (Yes I know I said 78 days was a long time for a campaign, but in event planning it’s not that long.)
I had an opportunity to talk to an events manager at LPC headquarters when I was in Ottawa in July; it was an incredible experience. She highlighted the difference between two types of events, and really made this clear: you go to a Liberal fundraiser to help fund the party or candidate. You go because you believe in the principles of the party. You go because you know that it takes financial support to make this happen. All activities that come out of a political party are because of donations. It’s as simple as that.
There are two types of events you can hold:
- Events to raise money
- Events to raise awareness or thank people
Know the difference between the two. There’s nothing wrong with holding an event to thank you volunteers or to get your name out there, but don’t call it a fundraiser. If at the end of the day the amount of hours you’ve expended on planning and executing the event would cost more than the money you’re bringing in? You’re not doing it right. Bring in more money than you’re spending. It’s as simple as that.
Now that we’re in an election campaign, you might see and increase in events or requests to give money. Trust me, candidates and their teams understand if you are tapped out for funds. If you can donate, please do so. Regardless of the amount, every bit helps. Click to donate to the Liberal Party and the riding of your choice here: