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Are you a Bundler?

Bundling is the practice of collecting campaign contributions to give to those seeking election to office. Bundling is a regulated campaign activity under federal and state laws. So, do you collect checks and deliver them to candidates? How do you do it? Unfortunately, there are no good resources on the Internet explaining how to collect large sums of money for political candidates. Moreover, given the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, bundling may become less important.

Don’t worry; I’m here to help. Below is an outline of what I think people with the silver tongues have that enables them to be successful fundraisers and yes, I have solicited contributions myself.

What Makes a Good Fundraiser?

First and foremost, you need a good candidate for whom you will be raising money. Next, you need a good fundraising network. Your network is your clients or the members of your association. If you have a good candidate and a good network then you need a good “ask”. The “ask” is basically reasons why the member of your network should make a contribution. It could be that the candidate has been supportive or has relationships with people in your network.

The key is tailoring your ask to the person who you are soliciting. A targeted specific ask most of the time yields a commitment.

If you do not have a good network, you can still help. Candidates have donor lists. So do political parties and political action committees. No one enjoys making fundraising calls. Seriously, no one enjoys it. Anyone who is willing to pick up the phone and call people asking for money endears himself or herself to the organization that needs the fundraising help. If you spend enough time making calls, eventually people in these circles will remember you and you will start to build your own network.

Back in the day, not too long ago, corporations and individuals could contribute large sums of money to candidates for office. These were the so-called “soft money” donations. Congress outlawed them. The effect of that campaign finance reform was to make bundling more important. Since corporations and wealthy individuals could no longer directly write checks to campaigns, the need for a middleman increased.

Citizens United has legalized corporate money and large individual contributions again, although, these donations must be spent separately from the candidates campaigns. Corporations and wealthy individuals have a direct line to voters to campaign for or against candidates. I suspect that bundling once again will diminish in value. I will expand on the rise of Super Political Action Committees and the ever increasing use of 501(c)(4) organizations in campaigns in another article.”

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