Grassroots Fundraising Toolbox

Fundraising is one of the most important—and strategic!— things you can do to help Democrats defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020.

That’s why Swing Left is giving you the tools you need to help Democrats win. We know that after primaries, candidates are usually low on cash. And that’s when Republican-aligned dark money groups will start hammering our candidates with negative ads, hoping to define them before they even start their general election campaigns.

We want to make sure our candidates hit the ground running in the general election and don't get outspent by their Republican opponents.

When people think of fundraising, they often picture big-money events with tuxedos and champagne in sight of the U.S. Capitol. But the most effective fundraising actually happens locally, at clubs, bars, restaurants and our own homes. You and your personal network—and thousands of people like you across the country—can beat the Big Money Republicans at their own game. And we can have a lot more fun doing it!

The median donor to Swing Left Funds has given just $25. In 2018, together we raised more than $10 million to support Democratic nominees. That’s the power of our movement, which comes from grassroots fundraisers like you!

Two Ways to Raise Money Using Your Own Personal Network

1. Make Person-to-Person Asks

One of the most effective ways to fundraise is to ask people you already know to contribute, like family, friends, and co-workers. Check out our guide to making fundraising asks for more information.

2. Hold a Local Grassroots Event

Check out these tips & tricks or read the full How to Host a Fundraiser Guide.

Before your event, be sure to check out our quick guide for raising money for Swing Left Funds, and this guide on campaign finance rules and guidelines. Both of these resources will make sure you have all the information you need to be an expert fundraiser!

Finally, be sure to post your event on Swing Left's calendar so we can help you recruit attendees.

Advice for Fundraising

Tie fundraising asks to what people care about.

There’s so much at stake in 2020, it can be hard to know where to begin. So start with your audience! Progressive donors care deeply about issues. Reproductive rights, climate change, economic justice, rooting out Trump administration corruption, and more. Winning in 2020 will mean progress on all of these issues, and that means that are a lot of reasons to give. Remind people of their values and why Democrats are fighting #ForthePeople, not the powerful.

Donate yourself.

It’s hard to convince people to give money if you don’t give yourself. Ask people to follow your example. You can use your personal giving to motivate others to give. For example, tell people you will give $5 for every person who donates, up to $100 dollars. Post your fundraising challenge on social media and chime in and show support when others give! Ask your donors to use your link to host their own matching campaigns when they’re ready to give again.

Giving is contagious.

People give when they know others have given, too, their friends, neighbors and coworkers. So share information about how many people have given already and encourage others to join! And ask donors to share the great news after they’ve given. Give them a public shout out, too, in person or online. We’re all in this together and making our giving visible encourages others to join in.

Ask if people can donate, and don’t be afraid of a “No.”

Asking someone to give money to a cause can be hard! But it gets so so so much easier with time. Asking if someone “can” donate helps them realize that yes—they can. And knowing we can collectively influence an election by supporting candidates is empowering. Still, some people will say “no,” and that’s okay! Ask if they can consider giving later. If not, no worries. Getting a “no” can be disappointing, but it’s part of the process. If you don’t ask because you’re afraid of "No’s," you won’t get any "Yes’s" either!

Useful Links

Purchase anything for your event? Make sure to submit these as in-kind contributions using this form, and send it to us ASAP.

Accepting contributions by check? Each donor will need to fill out this form. Then, you’ll need to send us the form at the address posted on the form.

Become a fundraiser

You can become a fundraiser, too! Create your own fundraising page and join thousands of grassroots volunteers raising money across the country.

Create a Fundraising Page