How has political fundraising changed the last few months?
The past few months have been challenging for everyone involved. While some people thought the COVID-19 pandemic would never get this bad, it looks like a second wave is already in full force. Some states are seeing cases at higher rates than they did a few months ago, leading many to believe that the pandemic will still be in full swing when the election rolls around. While the election might not be until November, this who work in politics are already feeling the sting. Right now, most people would have been flying around the country, holding rallies, and raising money the old-fashioned way. Now, political fundraising is taking a different approach. It is important to highlight some of the major changes that have taken place in this area.
It should come as no surprise that people who are trying to raise money for a particular campaign have had to adjust their strategies. Sure, there are some parts of fundraising that have remained the same. For example, TV commercials are just as big as they have been in the past; however, some of the most lucrative events when it comes to politics have always been in-person gatherings. These are not happening anymore, so campaigns have had to find other ways to raise money. This is where technology has come in handy.
Without a doubt, the biggest shift when it comes to political fundraising during the past few months has had to do with technology. Zoom has garnered a lot of attention for its online video conferencing capabilities. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that this had played a big role in fundraising. This is a great way to have conference calls with people who would otherwise have been attending in-person events. In addition, technology has also played a role with respect to social media. In the era of social distancing social media has been bigger than ever before. This is one of the few ways that people can remain connected. Therefore, many political campaigns have been stepping up their game when it comes to social media as well. This is a great way for fundraising specialists to raise money. Finally, with a lot of people out of work, many campaigns are running on promises to create jobs. This has been a consistent theme of numerous ads that have already taken place this election season. It has become clear where the attention is going to be focused as the election season continues to heat up.
There are a few specific ways that political fundraising groups have made some changes to fundraise successfully even during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:
- EMILY’s List, which is one of the largest resources for women in politics, has been hosting virtual training sessions which include Facebook Live events to help women who are considering running for office raise money through virtual town halls during the pandemic
- The LGBTQ Victory Fund has heavily invested in virtual events and digital content to raise the visibility of their candidates and elected officials, including moving their signature Campaign & Campaign Trainings to an online platform for a three-day, virtual session
- Annie’s List, which is an organization from Texas that tries to get more women elected, is hosting a round of virtual conversations using video conferencing to try to get more people involved
These are just a few of the specific ways that political groups have adapted their strategies to help with visibility, training, and fundraising during the pandemic.
These are just a few of the major trends that are taking place in the world of political fundraising this cycle. While the election is still a few months away, it is clear that the pandemic is not going anywhere any time soon. Therefore, campaigns will be forced to adapt their fundraising strategies to meet the current climate.