COVID-19 changed everything, including how people give.
At the height of the global pandemic, online giving rose by 21%. This uptick in digital donations has set the stage for virtual fundraisers to become a mainstream tool for political action committees and aspiring candidates.
As with all new tools, however, there’s a learning curve associated with virtual fundraisers. The good news is you can soften this process and quickly make an impact on your political campaigns using some established digital fund-generation strategies.
Here are five of our favorites.
1. Host a Virtual Town Hall
For decades, town halls have been foundational to political campaigns. During a town hall, constituents have an opportunity to ask tough questions, share their concerns about important political issues, and get to know candidates.
That said, campaign managers have long viewed town halls as a double-edged sword.
Why? Because there was never any way to know what sort of questions would be directed at their candidates. Playing it too safe could negatively impact a candidate’s standing with voters, while fumbling a difficult question could have lasting implications that span far beyond the current election cycle.
Virtual town halls give campaign managers more control over which questions a candidate answers. As an added benefit, virtual town halls allow candidates to connect with a wider audience. Instead of meeting with a small group of local voters, candidates can reach constituents across the country.
From a logistics standpoint, virtual town halls are far simpler and more cost-effective to organize. Campaign managers don’t have to make travel plans or devote multiple days to attending a single event. Instead, they can block out a few hours on the candidate’s schedule and promote the digital event on top social channels to maximize attendance.
2. Create an NFT
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a digital identifier that’s tracked and managed on a blockchain. These existing tokens can represent real items, such as real estate, or digital goods, such as a piece of virtual art.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, NFTs aren’t interchangeable with other NFTs — each one is truly unique.
Consider creating a few NFTs and auctioning them off to donors. You can use your NFTs to transfer ownership of digital art, like a photograph of the candidate during one of the most memorable moments in their career.
While you can certainly produce more than one NFT depicting the same image, it’s important not to make too many, as doing so will make them less exclusive and therefore less desirable.
3. Auction Off Mentoring Sessions
Candidates running for state or federal office have amassed an abundance of knowledge throughout their careers. However, aspiring politicians and business leaders rarely get the opportunity to tap into this knowledge.
You can change that while simultaneously raising campaign funds by auctioning mentoring sessions. This approach will help you target wealthy and politically active party members seeking some one-on-one time with your candidate.
You might structure these sessions in a variety of ways. One approach involves auctioning off a private Zoom call, which allows you to keep the entire experience digital. Alternatively, you can sell in-person lunch meetings, which allow donors to connect with candidates in a more relaxed environment.
4. Sell Merchandise
Naturally, voters and donors become quite passionate about the issues and candidates they support. You can help them express this passion and generate funding by selling merchandise via a digital store.
Some items you can sell include hats, cups, travel mugs, bumper stickers, and, of course, T-shirts. Consider offering larger items like tote bags and backpacks as well.
Before you start selling merchandise, make sure your organization is properly registered with the Federal Election Commission so you can do right by your candidate and donors. Track all purchases, and don’t forget to report them to the appropriate regulatory authority.
5. Get Active on Social Media
Social media channels such as TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram are some of the most powerful and effective fundraising tools on the world wide web, bar none. Using a combination of platforms will allow you to expand your reach and generate funds for your candidate.
When raising funds on social media, you should use a variety of paid ads and organic content to drive traffic to your site. Strive to acquire as many followers for your candidate as possible. Building a broad following will maximize the impact of paid content and allow you to connect with new donors.
If you’re unsure which social media channels to target, do some additional research on your core audience. Find out which channels are most popular among the voter group you’re trying to reach and prioritize those mediums.
Support Your Digital Fundraising Efforts with Aristotle
Every digital activity is powered by data, and virtual fundraisers are no exception.
With access to the right voter and consumer data, you can create impactful virtual fundraisers directed at the ideal audiences. You can mobilize voters on Facebook, generate funding through merchandise sales, and let everyone get to know your candidate during a digital town hall.
How do you get access to timely and relevant voter data? Aristotle is the answer.
As the premier purveyor of political data, Aristotle connects clients with raw, actionable intelligence they can rely on to achieve their political goals. Aristotle partners with a broad spectrum of political data customers, including:
- Grassroots advocacy groups
- Political action committees (PACs)
- Nonprofit organizations
- Trade associations
Contact us today to schedule your demo and explore our campaign solutions.