Crypto for Political Campaigns and NFTs: Should My Campaign Accept Cryptocurrency or NFTs?
Is crypto for political campaigns something my campaign should spend time on? For most campaigns, the answer is no. Few folks understand crypto but there is pressure in the world of campaigning when it comes to crypto and NFTs. My focus on NFTs and crypto has mainly been on the non-profit space (501c3s and 501c4s). I think in those instances there are clearer lines on how nonprofits can benefit from them. There are real incentives for donors to donate crypto to 501c3s. You can learn more about that here.
Big Picture: For campaigns, it is still in the very early stages when it comes to crypto and NFTs. Yes, there are some regulations (Read on), but it is unclear if currently, the benefits outweigh the risk and time investment for most campaigns. Could an NFT replace a campaign button, sure but it is not top of mind for most people. I think the awareness and understanding of crypto and NFTs vary greatly depending on the audience. Some voters know a little bit about crypto and even fewer know what an NFT is - but for the ones who do understand NFTs and crypto - there is a novelty and even an affinity for candidates who connect with them on crypto.
Who could use NFTs and accept crypto donations?: Accepting crypto donations for political campaigns and using NFTs to raise money is not on the top of my list as far as fundraising tactics and for most cases in 2022 not on the list at all, but like any tactic understanding and testing it is key.
Among those donors that do understand and care about crypto, there is a novelty and affinity for candidates that also understand NFTs and crypto - and yes, there could be an opportunity there. If you have a tie-in or message that speaks to the world of crypto or you are into tech and want to show that you are tech-savvy - NFTs could be worth testing - but crypto in general has some negative baggage and you need to make sure that the positive will outweigh the negative.
What campaigns should not accept crypto donations or use NFTs?: Short answer - most campaigns should not try this. Crypto has some negative baggage and among many, NFTs are seen as scams. The smaller the campaign the less likely you should try it. There are going to be compliance issues with crypto and NFTs that you need to work out before you even test it.
From a time management perspective most campaigns are not maximizing call time and their traditional fundraising tactics. Make sure you have a real fundraising program. Do not think crypto and NFTs will save your campaign and allow you to stop doing call time.
Legal issues: Stay focused on your primary fundraising tactics, if you think you have an opportunity for NFTs check compliance and legal issues first. Compliance for state and local campaigns is different than federal so do your research. Some states have clearer regulations than others but the time and money it takes to get up to speed may not be worth it, especially for a state campaign.
Ways a campaign could use crypto and NFTs:
Engage with an audience - Have it speak to your audience - NFTs can speak to a candidate's narrative about being innovative.
Test, Test, Test - Do it as a test and understand the risk.
Make it fun - NFTs are collectables so if you are going to do it, make sure you have something that is creative.
Have questions about crypto donations for campaigns and NFTs for politics?
Talk to your lawyer and compliance expert first.
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