by Ron Nehring
It turns out that not all political fundraising is the same, and the failure to understand the differences can cost a political party substantial donor support.
At last month’s International School of Fundraising in London I was asked to present on a very specific topic: what’s the difference between political party and candidate fundraising, and why does it matter? The difference is often not well understood, but the impact on the bottom line can be enormous.
Political parties and candidates are closely related – they’re both focused on elections, staff move back and forth, and there’s a level of mutual influence. But where fundraising is concerned, the similarity ends there.
Every candidate campaign is a startup: it’s formed, it wages a campaign focused on getting one person past the post on Election Day, and then it shuts down. By contrast, political parties are ongoing concerns. The party has bills to pay in December while the candidates have moved on elsewhere.