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Blogs by Mark Grayer

The Race Is on for Political Campaign Donors

Capitol Bldg - Small Political Post 1.2016With both parties’ presidential races breaking all the old paradigms and confounding the pundits, it’s 24/7 politics these days.

Media coverage is rising and voters are starting to pay attention. So if you’re a political fundraiser, make sure your campaign is doing everything it can to capture the data and donors you need to maximize revenue down the critical home stretch.

Creating a robust political donor base is a thoughtful, painstaking process, but it’s never too late to start. The key to successful prospecting is to prioritize and maximize the many ways you find potential donors.

In addition to prospecting through multiple channels — direct mail, email, website conversion, SEO/SEM, Facebook targeting, and site remarketing — make sure your campaign is fully leveraging existing supporters. This includes targeting lapsed donors from past cycles, volunteers, people who request yard signs or buy campaign merch online, event attendees, petition signers, and donors to other state officeholders, for starters. Test these supporters through direct marketing. If one segmentation variable alone does not yield enough revenue, consider enhanced modeling or even simply overlaying multiple action-takers into “super supporter” segments to build a more responsive target audience from myriad sources.

Does your campaign have a larger scale and budget? If so, try modeling the voter file. This allows you to leverage voting history, demographics, and other key variables to expand your target audience. Two Avalon clients saw amazing results with voter file modeling. One U.S. Senate campaign acquired new donors at a strong net profit–and that’s not even getting into the resolicitation value of these donors, which continued yielding revenue right up to the election.

With presidential candidates ratcheting up the rhetoric and early Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina primaries looming, your donors will want to make a political statement by supporting their own statewide and congressional candidates.

How to Fire Up Your Progressive Donors

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After much posturing and positioning, the 2016 presidential primary season just kicked off, with Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio entering the Republican field.

Hearing these candidates’ positions on issues that matter to progressives—like increasing the minimum wage, addressing climate change, and promoting equality—can be upsetting to your donors, because far-right positions are so contrary to progressive sensibilities.

The good news is that, when these candidates describe their platforms, they draw a sharp and focused contrast between their views and those of progressive candidates and nonprofits. Making sure that contrast stays top of mind for donors can boost progressive fundraising.

Progressive donors and voters are easily fired up by Cruz, Paul, and Rubio…other presidential hopefuls like Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, and Carly Fiorina…not to mention GOP talking heads like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly. As the candidates jockey for position, consider how you can make sure your donors hear exactly what they’re saying. Their words will light a fire under progressives who see where the GOP wants to lead this country.

So how should fundraisers respond to the parade of GOP candidates?

Use the power of the GOP’s platform and soapbox to your advantage. Draw the contrast and ignite the progressive base. The more GOP candidates explain their stances, the more they validate progressive cases for support.

Growing the Political Donor Base

markg-new-copyCongratulations to Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) for winning re-election in November!  Avalon was thrilled to manage the campaign’s direct marketing fundraising program.  This case study outlines our strategic fundraising approach, combining targeting, analytics, and messaging to help the Warner campaign to re-engage past donors and attract new donors.  We are very excited to see the Senator return to Washington to continue his groundbreaking, bipartisan work.