Fundraising is one of the most important—and strategic!— things you can do to help Democrats take back the House in 2018.
That’s why Swing Left created District Funds—pots of money that we’re raising now for the eventual Democratic nominee in each district. 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 general election. And that means handing them a big check at a critical moment in their campaigns!
When people think of fundraising, they often picture large events with tuxedo-clad oil magnates and food service trays with fancy cheeses. It’s true that catering to the 1% is one way to raise money, but the most effective ways actually happen locally. You and your personal network—and thousands of people like you across the country—can beat the billionaires at their own game. And we can have a lot more fun doing it!
The median donor to Swing Left District Funds has given just $25. Together, more than 40,000 people like you have already given over $2 million to support Democratic nominees. That’s the power of our movement, which comes from grassroots fundraisers like you!
Three Ways to Raise Money Using Your Own Personal Network:
- 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. See our Tips & Tricks. And watch this webinar from the experts at ActBlue.
- Hold a Local Grassroots Event. See Tips & Tricks and the Longform Guide.
- By Crowdfunding with Swing Left’s new Personal Fundraising Page—Click here to create your page and here for tips to be successsful!
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!
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. There are so many ways a Democratic House can fight for us and that means that are a lot of reasons to give. Remind people of their values and #WhyTheHouse matters.
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!