Political Fundraiser Event Planning

Spread for a political fundraiser

When planning a political fundraising event, one needs to complete some of the same logistical steps that apply to many other events. There are also some steps that are specific to political fundraising.

Common planning activities

Plan a budget for the fundraiser itself:

  • Ticket sales mechanisms (EventBrite is popular, or a simpler PayPal setup)
  • Event marketing costs – Website creation/modification, invites, sponsorship solicitation materials, mailing costs, online advertising costs (i.e. Facebook ads) – even radio and TV spots
  • Catering
  • Venue – How many people are expected?
  • Event program design and printing costs
  • Sponsor amenities
  • VIP ticket holder amenities
  • Misc. rentals and purchases (red carpet, decor, etc.)
  • Entertainers

Volunteer coordination – Divide responsibilities up among your volunteers according to capability and availability, and check in regularly to make sure everyone is on track. Make sure all the responsibilities of your event – prior-to, day-off and follow-up – are assigned, that the volunteers understand what to do and that they have time to do it.

Schedule – As soon as you know when you would like to hold the event, contact all who are involved in putting it together – the caterer, venue and entertainers to check availability, solicit volunteers, create a volunteer schedule, marketing schedule, etc.

Activities – Create a schedule for the fundraising evening. How long will dinner take? Will you hold a silent auction, entertainment?

Theme and dress – Is the event a black tie/evening gown event, or casual? Is there a theme, i.e., “Casino Night” or “The Eighties?” How will this be reflected in your invitations, activities, food and decor?

Considerations specifically for political fundraisers

Messaging and speakers – What is the tone of your event and how does it compare to your issue/candidacy? Is it sympatico? Speakers? Getting a good keynote speaker and advertising this speaker can boost your success.

Outreach – Who are you going to solicit to sponsor, attend and host? Can anyone in your political network help with mailing lists, etc.? Is phone banking an option? Are you using social media well? Can you follow up mailings with personal phone calls?

VIP reception – Will VIPs have a special reception prior to the event, or perhaps an after-party?

Thank you notes – While important for any fundraiser, it is particularly important for a political fundraiser!

Data reuse – Can you add attendees and participants to your contact list for future use? Mailing and eblast lists? Are you collecting email and mailing addresses from registration?

Legal considerations – Are there any legal considerations you need to make, particularly in the area of how people can donate?

Some resources

Best of luck in running your successful political fundraising event!

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Patrician Catering is a full-service catering venue that can accommodate 50-900 people.

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