Needs-Based Fundraising

Let’s rake in the dough for FCRC …

You bet FCRC can raise funds. Through constant messaging of inspiring GOP positions on local issues, persistent work by experienced fundraisers, insightful understanding of who are the potential large and small donors, and implementation of specific fundraising campaigns for specific purposes, FCRC can raise sufficient funds to cover required and desired operating expenses.

We all know funding is the indispensable lifeblood of any organization. Without money, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, for an organization to meet its financial obligations and procure needed campaign supplies and services.

FCRC is not exempt from such dependence on funding. It must pay the costs of office utilities, political campaign material and support, payroll, communications systems, event support, administrative supplies, and a broad range of normal operating expenses.

Moreover, local Supervisor and School Board candidates would certainly welcome contributions from FCRC for their short-lived, but often quite expensive political campaigns.

Without funding, FCRC will have to curtail or forego the use of such campaign supplies and services. Money talks in politics as in most walks of life.

So how do we raise funds?

First, FCRC must offer a service that excites potential donors to want to give to the overall organization. That starts with establishing smart, voter resonating messaging of FCRC positions on local and state issues and then communicating them relentlessly so county residents, including potential donors, know what the Republican Party stands for. Donors open their wallets to inspiring messages, fights for good causes, and good prospects for wins. When our messages inspire the public, they’ll also induce donors to contribute.

Second, inspiring messaging, coupled with aggressive recruiting and professional management of our volunteers, will also stimulate more county Republicans to join FCRC. Increased FCRC membership yields increased funds for FCRC.

Third, we must identify a team of people, preferably with fund-raising experience, to work aggressively at raising funds year-round. Good results are seldom achieved from lackluster performance. We live in an area where professional fundraising is a major industry unto its own. We need to leverage that pool of fundraising talent to help FCRC’s Chairman to “close the deal.”

Fourth, we must understand where the money is in Fairfax County. Fortunately, we live in one of the most prosperous counties in the country so there’s a plentiful supply of potential funds. We need to identify which organizations and individuals have money, how much, what is their track record for making donations, and what might be their likelihood for future donations. Donor databases are available to help FCRC find money sources both locally and beyond.

Fifth, I propose FCRC adopt a needs-based approach to raising funds. By that I mean we should build our fundraising efforts around a prioritized list of required and desired expenses. Such a list should not only prioritize our spending needs but will help us articulate to ourselves and potential donors why we need funding.

Nothing annoys me more than being pestered every day to contribute to one cause or another without being informed about what my contribution will actually buy. Will my money cover general administration and overhead costs? Payroll for an unidentified workforce? Information systems support? An organization’s mission essential work? Most of the requests I receive provide little information about the use of my money so I inevitably trash them.

With a prioritized list of FCRC’s needs, I propose we mount fund-raising campaigns focused on raising funds for specific purposes. For example, if we want to procure a volunteer data management system, then let’s estimate the cost of such a system and build a fundraising campaign around the necessity of owning such a system and the concrete contributions it will make to FCRC operations and Republican electoral success.

Many potential FCRC fundraising drives come to mind to help procure such goods and services as:  professional administrative support, especially during election campaign periods; voter data for year-over-year use by District Chairmen and Precinct Captains; campaign materials for use by local candidates; information technology and audiovisual equipment that support FCRC activities and events; event support; etc.

Let’s go raise some money!

More to follow.