Grassroots Fundraising Toolbox

Fundraising is one of the most important—and strategic!— things you can do to help Democrats take back all the Houses in 2020.

That’s why Swing Left is giving you the tools you need to help Democrats win in the Super States. 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 all the way through to Election Day!

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, we together 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:

Also, be sure to check out our quick guide on FEC reporting and donation limits to make sure you have all the information you need to be an expert fundraiser!

Are you raising or spending your own money as you go about fundraising? If so, check out this guide before you get started.

Swing Left's Funds:

Advice for Fundraising:

Tie fundraising asks to what people care about. There’s so much at stake in the midterms, it can be hard to know where to start. So start with your audience! Progressive donors care deeply about issues. Women’s rights, climate change, economic justice, rooting out Trump administration corruption. Winning in 2020 would mean progress on all of these issues - and more - 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. Their neighbors. Their coworkers. Other people who care about their issues. Social knowledge is so critical to how we make decisions, whether it’s the products we buy, the movies we watch, or—yes!—what causes we give to. 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 affect an election by supporting candidates now 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!