Political donations are some of the most controversial and trending topics during the election season. There’s little doubt that once the 2016 election cycle is complete, the media and watchdog groups will pour over the contributions made in every election. From the local city council race to an expensive run for congress, exposing political donor data is a favorite topic of the media.
Winter and end of the year holidays are an unforgiving time for candidates and campaigns. Time and money, the backbone of any strong campaign, obviously suffer due to cold weather and an abundance of holidays. Thinking of asking people to volunteer around Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve? Forget it. Fundraise around Black Friday or Christmas? Good luck.
Have you ever given a campaign speech and felt the response was a little...off? Then you know how important avoiding assumptions and truly understanding your voters is for getting you elected or re-elected. Before messaging, tactics, or anything else is discussed, your campaign has to figure out what your voters care about so you can address those issues with them.
To get a solid picture, your campaign will need a mix of quantitative and qualitative data. Here are some tips for each:
The presidential campaign season is now in full swing, and there won’t be any rest for the weary until the election is complete in 2016. This is both an exciting and stressful time for thousands of people working in politics across the country. We know that fundraising is always a hot topic ahead of an election year, so we wanted to shed some light on tools to help your candidate raise more money.
Looking back at the three types of data, we'll remember that first-party data is all that information you collect from someone directly. It is seen as the most accurate and reliable type of data. If first-party data truly is “the best stuff”, then campaigns should place a high priority on its collection. Remember, first-party data is the data that your campaign will be collecting directly. Information obtained directly from a voter is going to be much more accurate, reliable, and pertinent to your campaign than data you obtain from any other source. Candidates and campaign managers need to understand how and when to proceed with the collection of first-party data. This can be a daunting challenge, not just for someone with little experience in campaigning, but even to seasoned incumbents and candidates as well. Let’s take a look at some of the activities, and tools you can use to collect viable first-party data.
It's not a secret: the key to a successful campaign is accurate, actionable data. Knowing who voters are and what they want gives you the ability to deliver a direct, targeted, and effective message. You can increase the efficiency and productivity of your campaign by acquiring and managing good, organized data. This leads to the problem of data collection: how and where should you be getting your data?
Canvassing is both one of the most time-consuming parts of a campaign and one of the most effective ways of reaching voters on a personal level.
And the good, old-fashioned walk book is still one of the most useful tools for effective canvassing.
Except, the it isn't all that old-fashioned anymore. It's gone through quite a transformation in the 21st century, even though its ability to quickly and helpfully guide volunteers and campaign workers through neighborhoods to talk with potential voters, or leave literature when no one's home, remains the same.
It's the equipment available — whether paper or a downloadable app — and the technology behind the "books" that have changed the most. Understanding how they differ and the essentials they should have in common will make all the difference in your canvassing efforts.
Former U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick during a tele-townhall
Imagine you had a reasonably inexpensive and effective way to reach thousands — if not tens or hundreds of thousands — of voters interested in hearing your message and sharing their thoughts. Would you jump up and yell, "Sign me up!"
Of course you would. Efficiently engaging with and helping the public are the very reasons you're in politics, or are campaigning for office.
We're not talking about Twitter, Facebook, or email blasts here, important as they are in getting messages out.
A Real Conversation, with Real Results
We are talking about a real-time, live conversation with your supporters and potential supporters — the interested public who want to interact with you without being limited to 140 characters or a response box. The people willing to ask questions, take part in polls, sign up for emails, and possibly volunteer or otherwise offer to assist your campaign.
Raising money, lots of money, is essential to running a successful political campaign. And raising money online is a key component of a broader fundraising strategy.
You know this already.
You probably also know that national campaigns cost billions of dollars, with prices rising year by election year. In fact, for the 2012 congressional campaigns, candidates went through a total $3.66 billion, an increase of almost 68 percent since 2002, when $2.18 billion was spent, OpenSecrets.com reports.
When broken down into fundraising, the numbers are even more impressive. Successful House members of the 113th Congress raised on average $1.69 million, or about $2,315 per day, and winning Senators averaged $10.48 million, or $14,351 in daily donations, according to the research group Maplight.org.
Social media was never really “free.” It always took an immense investment in time and talent to put together quality content like blogs, posts and videos, and to market them well across social channels.
Now, add money to the mix. The social stage is becoming more crowded, so the cost of playing there is going up.