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  • Maximizing Digital Channels: 4 Political Fundraising Tips

Political campaigns rely on fundraising to pay for activities like voter outreach, events, and advertising. To win your race, whether it’s at the national or local level, you need to raise enough money to cover these essentials and empower you to reach as many voters as possible.

These days, online channels are increasingly important to fundraising success. Email, social media, and your website are some of the most powerful fundraising tools available to you. Ensure you’re maximizing your campaign’s online channels by exploring our key fundraising tips and strategies.

1. Start by building your campaign’s online presence.

Online channels have become a core part of the political fundraising landscape — when potential donors (and voters) hear about your campaign, the first places they’ll go to find more information are Google and social media. Take steps now to ensure your candidate has a strong presence when people search these sites.

Develop a cohesive online presence by following these steps:

  1. Create your campaign website. Design a website to house the most important information about your campaign: your message, key stances, donation page, volunteer opportunities, and more. Keep the visual design clean and the navigation straightforward so potential supporters can easily find what they’re looking for.
  2. Make profiles for your candidate on multiple social media platforms. Facebook and  Instagram are essential, but you’ll also benefit from creating accounts on X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and TikTok if you can manage all of them successfully. Keep your profile pictures, usernames, and bios consistent across platforms to maintain professionalism and help potential supporters recognize you quickly.
  3. Add email and text sign-up forms to your website. To fundraise effectively, build lists of contacts to send fundraising texts and emails. The easiest way to do this is to add a quick and easy sign-up form or pop-up on the homepage of your website.

Once you feel that these channels represent your candidate accurately and consistently, you can begin fundraising across channels. Draft messaging for your fundraising appeals using your candidate’s core message as a foundation, then start building out emails, texts, and advertisements that align with this messaging.

2. Send personalized emails and text messages.

Use text and email marketing series to connect with potential donors and build relationships that lead to donations and votes. Through these channels, you can welcome supporters, appeal for funds, send invitations to rallies, and more.

As you build your contact lists, segment your supporters to improve outreach. For example, you might create segments for prospective major donors, volunteers who may be interested in donating, and repeat donors. These segments allow you to easily personalize emails and texts, ensuring that every message you send is relevant to the recipient.

To see this kind of personalization in action, consider this example of a fundraising email sent to someone within a segment of recent volunteers:

Ella, thanks again for all your help canvassing for Mr. Greene last weekend! It’s passionate volunteers like you who power political change. To help us reach even more voters and spread our message of unity through turbulent times, would you be willing to donate $15 to our campaign? Every little bit helps!

Follow this example by including supporters’ first names, using donor-centric language, and writing clear calls to action that inspire recipients to give.

3. Encourage social sharing.

Leverage the power of social media by encouraging your supporters to post about your campaign. Social sharing, whether via talking about the campaign in Instagram stories or reposting content, builds grassroots momentum and inspires more supporters to get involved.

To encourage social sharing, consider:

  • Adding social media integration buttons to your donation page. Add social sharing buttons to your donation page or confirmation page so donors can easily share their donations with friends and family on their favorite platforms.
  • Creating content designed to be shared. Ask followers for their opinions, post public polls, or ask supporters to tag their friends in the comment section. Simple captions like “Tag the friend you’ll be heading to the polls with!” can bring hundreds of new people to your page.
  • Sharing user-generated content. Some of your passionate supporters are bound to create their own content about your campaign. Ask them to tag you in any content they post so you can share them on the candidate’s social media pages.

All of these tactics leverage social proof to help you widen your audience. People trust their friends and acquaintances more than ads or generic posts. This means that when a prospective donor sees that someone they trust supports your campaign, they’re more likely to offer their support as well.

4. Leverage audience targeting.

Some social media sites and political campaign software solutions come with advanced audience targeting capabilities that allow you to show your ads to those most likely to donate. This goes beyond segmenting prospective donors. While segmentation is still important, audience targeting helps you get results faster and with less effort on your staff’s part.

For example, you can use the following audience targeting strategies for your campaign’s Facebook ads:

  • Retargeting: Target users who already engaged with your campaign in some way, whether by viewing your Facebook page or signing up for your email list. Showing them your ads after they’ve interacted with you once will reinforce your presence.
  • Lookalike audiences: Place your ads in front of new audiences with characteristics and behaviors similar to your existing audience. For example, you might target users who live in your area and follow other political pages.

These strategies work best if you design advertisements that speak to your audiences’ unique motivations and interests. If you’re promoting a local fundraising event, for example, write ad copy that speaks to the most pressing local concerns.

No matter which strategies you use, follow all applicable campaign finance laws and reporting guidelines. If you’re unsure of the rules for your district or election level, check with your relevant election authority. Ultimately, following these rules and leveraging your digital channels effectively will help you raise more for your campaign and connect with more voters.

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