KB’s Top 5 Fundraising Mantras: #2 – There are two types of people in this world…

Today I continue to count down my top five fundraising “mantras,” highlighting the five tips that I find absolutely essential to fundraising success.  While working with candidates and fundraising staffs, I often find myself repeating these five tips so often that they have become ‘mantra’-like. Though there are certainly many tips that are important to remember, these are the few I find myself accentuating most frequently.

(In case you missed it, check out last week’s #3: There is no Magic Fix)


#2: There are Two Types of People in This World…. 

I’m pretty sure this mantra will ruffle a few feathers — or at least I’ll have a few people tweeting, emailing and calling me to argue with me about it. Fine, bring it. I can handle it… please just don’t throw any more rotten fruit. That gets messy.

Here’s the bottomline:

There are two types of people in this world — people who give money politically and people who don’t.

Don’t waste your time trying to force the latter to become the former.

It will raise very little money, frustrate the living daylights out of you, and may cause you to become so cranky that no one wants to hang out with you. (Who, me? Experience with this? Naaahhh.) Plus, no matter where you live and what your issue is… there are probably plenty of people around you who belong to the “give money politically” group. Our task is to find them, and find the ones that want to invest in YOU.

I know what you (and the angry aforementioned fruit-throwing people) are going to say: “But… But… what about that guy who I talked to on the corner outside the Monroe County Strawberry Festival for 30 minutes who told me he’d never given to anyone before and then he handed me a check for $500?!” or “What about all those ladies at my church who gave to my last campaign…. I bet they never give to anyone else!”


And, you may be right.

However, in the long run of an entire campaign, it will behoove you to rely not on those experiences as you strategically target potential donors, but to look to those who have a proven history of giving. Many times, elected officials – or those hoping to become an elected offical – believe they can “win over” just about anyone, if they only have the chance. This may be true — but earning someone’s vote is very different than winning your way into their pocketbook.

The donors that will fuel your campaign are the ones who understand the power of giving and feel led to invest in a campaign and candidate they believe in.

How do you find them? Thanks to the advent of online technology and many recent campaign finance transparency laws, its extremely easy to find who is giving in your area. Check out your home state’s Secretary of State or Division of Elections website – or your local county or municipality. So get researching! And, if you want help finding those high-giving targets, contact me to start a conversation about how I may be able to help you find fundraising success. 

Side Note: Did you know that WOMEN make up only 21% of all federal contributions? And, in my experience, many of these contributions from women included in this figure come from couples contributing jointly — that is, their husbands probably intiated the gift from a joint bank account. I hope that by the time I retire from this industry, we change THIS imbalance. It pains me to know that women don’t understand the power that comes from investing in the candidates, issues and groups they support. 

And don’t forget to check back next week for my #1 Tip!

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