Right now, it can be hard to imagine what a post-COVID world will look like. But when it comes to political fundraising for your campaign, you have to be able to think ahead.
Everyone–from the micro-donors to the major donors–is feeling Coronavirus yank on their purse strings as the US economy enters its first major recession since 2008. Stocks are plummeting, companies are closing their doors for good, and unemployment is on the rise. Big donors who may be isolated from the economic downturn are putting their donations toward supporting those on the frontlines of the pandemic.
All this to say that during and, it’s safe to assume, long after this pandemic, political fundraising is going to look very different from what we’re used to. How can you navigate these major changes? We put together a list of ideas for your mid- and post-pandemic campaign fundraising.
How to Raise Campaign Funds During and After COVID
Your first concern should be to keep your team and your voters safe and healthy. That means cancelling in-person events and setting a good example by wearing masks and maintaining social distance.
During the 2008 financial crisis, donations dropped by 6%. There’s no way to know how long the economic recession is going to last, so your best bet is to plan ahead. Strategize with your team about how you’re going to stay in contact with your voters and donor base. Make sure to collect contact info like phone numbers, emails, and home addresses so you can send out fundraising information and voting reminders.
The key to helping your political campaign survive this crisis is being able to adapt. In this day and age, that means incorporating technology and digital communication into your campaign plan. You should be able to pivot quickly and come up with creative solutions as needed. This pandemic is unprecedented in modern times, so there’s no knowing what is going to happen next. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
If your fundraising takes a hit during COVID-19, direct mail is the best budget-friendly option to keep communicating with donors. Postcards are the perfect way to increase your name recognition, highlight your message, and solicit much needed donations.
And because everyone is in “digital overload” right now, sending a physical piece of mail will help you cut through the virtual noise. If you’re having a digital fundraising event, send a direct mail invitation personalized for each donor. It’s a cost-efficient way to maximize attendance.
Telephone Town Halls
Many politicians, including former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, have taken advantage of telephone town halls and virtual town halls. Telephone town halls are the perfect way to reach older voters who may be uncomfortable with digital platforms like Zoom and Facebook Live. Whether you opt for tele-town halls, virtual town halls, or a mix of both, make sure to use this opportunity to keep voters informed and to gather contact information for further outreach.