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5 Fundraising Mistakes I Made (So You Don't Have To)

Raising money for your campaign as a first-time candidate can be a bit like trying to herd cats - chaotic and frustrating. But don't worry, I've been there and I've made all the mistakes so you don't have to. Here are the top 5 fundraising faux pas to avoid:

1. Not setting a fundraising goal.

You need to know how much money you need to raise in order to run a successful campaign. Without a goal, you won't know if you're on track and you'll have a hard time measuring your progress.

2. Not building a solid donor list.

A strong donor list is like a good wingman, always got your back. Your donor list is your lifeline when it comes to raising money. You need to start building it as early as possible and make sure it includes a diverse group of people who are likely to support your campaign.

3. Not asking for enough.

Only asking for small donations is like trying to fill a swimming pool with a straw, it's gonna take forever. A lot of first-time candidates are hesitant to ask for large donations, but let me tell you, most people are able to give more than they initially offer. You need to be prepared to ask for larger donations and not be afraid to ask for what you need to run a successful campaign.

4. Not following up with donors.

Donors are like goldfish, they have a short memory. If you don't remind them, they'll forget they even gave you money. Once someone has donated to your campaign, you need to keep them in the loop. You should always thank them for their contributions and keep them updated on your progress.

5. Not doing call time.

Skipping call time is like trying to catch a fish without bait, you're not gonna catch anything. Call time is the process of reaching out to potential donors, primarily by phone, to ask for financial support for your campaign. It's one of the most important things you can do, and you need to allocate time in your schedule for it.

Now that you know what not to do, you'll be well on your way to raising the money you need to run a successful campaign. And remember, if all else fails, you can always try selling campaign-themed t-shirts or hats on street corners. If you want to learn more about where to start with fundraising and other campaign strategies, download our Campaign Readiness Checklist.

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