Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Training Tuesday with the DFA: The Big Scary Budget

Every political campaign and organization must spend money to maintain serious levels of activity. Increasingly, campaigns must raise significant amounts of money to become and remain competitive. Although we can protest the growing costs of campaigning, the reality for any campaign is that without these funds, there can be no staff, no office, no phones, no computers, no signs, no media coverage - no campaign.
-From the Democracy for America Campaign Academy Training Manual
Consider the list of things you need to run a campaign. The quote above touched on some of them. From a birds eye view, a full campaign budget is alike to a vast stretch of canyons, almost too much to take in at once. In these videos, Selene Hoffer-Shall will share some insight on how to break the budget down, how to make it manageable, and how to meet the goals. Selene's advice comes from experience:
A former crisis counselor, Selene joined the Dean for America Operations Team in 2003, helping to compile the largest FEC reports in Presidential Campaign History. Selene was one of the 12 original staffers of Democracy for America working as the assistant to the Finance Director. She left DFA to become Finance Director for Peter Welch in his successful race for Congress in a race where she broke all previous fundraising records for the district. Following the 2006 election, Selene worked in San Antonio, TX as the Finance Director for Ciro Rodriguez in the TX-23 run-off election, raising over $600,000 in less than three weeks to successfully oust an 7-term Republican incumbent. Selene currently works as freelance finance consultant.
We join the training just after the group compiled an enormous list of what you need to run a campaign. In this first video, the group takes a large weight off the back of campaign finance directors by establishing what things can be donated:

After you have built the list of thins you can get contributed, you are, sadly, still left with a lot of money to raise. You will need a plan to raise this money, and no, you cannot rely on your opponent to make a fool of himself and raise you one million dollars. But there are tested strategies at your disposal to raise funds. In this next video, Selene breaks down some metrics for us:

So now you have your big scary list of things you need, and you have a reasonable basis to understand the tactics you are going to use to get all this stuff. Now it is time to set your benchmarks:

With benchmarks in front of you, this next video will go over meeting your first month goal:

That is all for today. Next week we will have round two of The Big Scary Budget, where Selene will talk about your campaign's three budgets, the importance of the Union Bug, and more! So check back next Tuesday at 6:00pm (Eastern Standard Time) or sign up to receive email alerts from Sum of Change.
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