Today’s political campaigns are much more dynamic, are faster paced, and often have more riding on them than at any other time in American history. One fundamental has not changed: without money, the campaign will fail.
Raising money is often the biggest challenge a campaign faces, in fact, and generally always has been. From the bootstrap candidate who self-funds to the grassroots candidate who funds entirely through $5 and $10 checks from supporters to the well-connected lobbyist who can convince the well-heeled to donate large sums, the fundamentals of fund raising are still the same. What’s changed is how candidates and campaigns can access people to source their funds.
In today’s political climate, raising money from your own efforts is essential to winning, no matter the office being sought. Voters want a candidate to be “of the people” and the best way to do that is to have those people fund your campaign. Even if only in part. This requires more grassroots effort than most campaigns have had in the past.
Luckily, that grassroots effort is far more viable and easily done than ever before. Thanks to the Internet.
A well-run campaign can attract an audience locally, but a powerful campaign can attract an audience that’s national. Even if the office isn’t. From presidential candidates down to town council runs, fund raising from the grassroots is more essential than ever before.
In 2008, candidates for president included John McCain, Barack Obama, and Ron Paul. Of the three, Ron Paul had the least support in terms of money raised for campaigning, but he had two things the other two candidates did not: an extremely supportive corps of volunteers and one of the most powerful online presences ever seen in political history. While he didn’t win, Ron Paul’s campaign thrust the American political system into the Internet Age.
In 2012, when candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney faced off, the changes from 2008 were seen everywhere. Suddenly, online marketing spending for both candidates and their parties were hundreds of percentage points higher than they had ever been before.
More importantly, though, individual donations to the presidential race, especially donations from individuals capping out their legal donation limits through smaller single donations made over time, were at unprecedented levels. Between all of the candidates on the ballot for President that year, more than $200 million in donations of that type were made. Out of an estimated $1.3 billion in total campaign spending for the same office.
Imagine tapping into that kind of grassroots credibility and revenue. It’s possible and we can show you how.