Call Time Tips: Better Campaign Fundraising

Hate Call Time? No Excuses, Call Like a Champion

Lets face it campaign call time is hard. Every candidate I have ever worked for or with has universally hated campaign call time.  They all give the same reason why; “I just hate asking people for money!”  I’ll tell you a secret:  I don’t hate  campaign call time, and you shouldn’t either.  Here are some tips to get you calling like a champ in no time. Or, at least hating campaign call time just a little bit less…

  1. Asking for money isn’t shameful. Most people you call, especially at first, will know you and think that you are a worthy investment.  Start acting like it.
  2. Set aside time for call time every single day.  Just do it.  If you only do it a couple of times of week you will dread it and put it off and then it won’t happen.  Get into the habit of doing it every single day.  It’s like the gym: you just have to do it until it becomes habit.
  3. Have someone do it with you.  In another post we talk about the importance of hiring a campaign manager, and whether it’s them, a dedicated campaign call time manager/ fundraiser or a supportive partner or friend, don’t do it alone.  You need someone to both hold your feet to the fire to get your calls done, and to commiserate with on the boring ones.
  4. Take some time to create call sheets with information about each person you call.  You or a call time manager can create these directly from your address book—if you sent them a holiday card, you should hit them up for money. Your call time manager can jot down notes as you talk about what you discuss on the call so you’ll have them for next time, and what amount they have given before for reference.
  5. Don’t ask everyone for the same amount of money.  Your Aunt Ida isn’t going to be able to give you the same amount as your old college roommate Brad Pitt.  Don’t low ball Brad, and don’t ask for all of Ida’s social security check.  Think about these amounts and write them on your call sheets before you start calling.
  6. Remember to follow the RAT method: Reason, Amount, Time.  For example,  “Hey Brad, good to talk to you again.  How’s Angie? Anyway, I called to update you on the campaign.  I have a critical fundraising deadline, it’s the last one before the primary election, and I want to close out strong.  I know you’ve given me $1,000 already, but I could really use another $1,000 to show my opponents that I mean business when I say we are going to fight for better schools and jobs.  Can you overnight me a check today?”

You may never come to love call time, and that’s okay.  You just have to do it. Have questions about campaign call time? Ask them here:


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Campaign Tips, Campaign Fundraising

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