The old saying that “money is the mother’s milk of politics” is true, but there’s a deeper truth there than just the importance of money, but rather the importance of “early money”.
Just like a mother’s milk helps a child grow, early money helps a campaign grow. And early money attracts more money, because it helps a campaign build the things that it needs in order to be viable. And people like to invest in campaigns that look like they will win.
So what does this have to do with you?
If you want to have a greater impact over which campaigns are “viable” and have a shot at winning, you can coordinate with other conservatives on which candidates should get “early money”.
There are many large groups that do this on the national level, such as the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and the pro-abortion Emily’s List, (which actually stands for “early money is like yeast”). But these are large national groups focused primarily on federal races.
What’s needed are groups of conservatives who will work together to leverage campaign contributions on the state and local levels, which get far less attention and fewer dollars.
Start a Donation Group
You don’t have to create any kind of formal group or register with any government entity. Just have a group of like-minded conservatives who decide they want to collectively seek out and raise early money for targeted candidates and encourage other conservatives to support them as well.
Adopt some rules in order to target more effectively. For example:
- Agree that you want to identify quality candidates in winnable seats – with good long-term political potential, (such as the school board candidate who could probably win a state house seat in the future).
- Agree that you will only recommend X number of races (in order to concentrate your resources rather endorsing everybody that anybody happens to like). This is critical.
- Agree on a threshold of support a candidate needs to be on the list, (like three-fourths of the group…or even unanimous support).
- Agree that everyone will at least give X to everyone on the list or to X number of candidates on the list.
After everyone has made their own contributions, promote the list to others.
Leverage Your Support
Arrange the list in such a way that it has the campaigns’ mailing addresses and website donation links to make it easy for people to contribute. Then send it to everyone’s email lists with a letter of support over all of your signatures. Post it on Facebook and/or a webpage somewhere. Promote it by linking to it in online ads (even Facebook ads). Finally, you could even give your “group” a name if you want it to look more formal.
Keep in mind that most people are too disconnected from politics to make campaign contributions. Further, of the 18% of Americans who actually do contribute, most of those dollars go to federal or state-wide races – where they have the LEAST amount of political leverage.
An effort like this can help convince people to contribute to conservative candidates that they otherwise didn’t know anything about.
Remember, contributing to good candidates is one thing. Contributing to them early is even better. But organizing an effort to get other conservatives to collectively contribute early is best.
That’s real leverage.
Talk to other conservatives you know about starting a campaign donation group and leverage your impact.