Today is September 30th and for those of you not in the political fundraising world, this day is just another day that leads into October. For those of you in the political world today is a BIG DAY. It is a filing deadline. This means that all of the work you have been doing for the past three months gets reported to the reporting agency (FEC, CIA, FBI, Supervisor of Elections, what have you). The “agency” looks at your work, releases the data to the public, then the press tears your candidate apart based on your fundraising prowess. Needless to say, it can be a bit stressful. And crazy enough? It happens every three months!
Why, you may ask did I name this blog Dear Friend? Well, maybe it is because in the last week alone I have received 45 emails calling me a ‘dear friend’? While I understand that I may not be on a personal name basis with Barack, Michelle, Joe and Bill I still have somewhat of a relationship with them – that of a donor. And yes, maybe I am not your average donor. I have a bit more insight into the system seeing as I was and remain a political fundraiser. I know that today’s politicians meet thousands of people and in no way can they remember me. President Obama won’t remember the time I taught him how to make coffee (true story) or the time I babysat the Clinton’s nephew (another true story). I do however know that they took my money, cashed my check, filled out the required name/employer occupation card and filed me away with their regulating agency. Therefore, my dear politicians running for office, you do know me and know a bit more about me than a “dear friend” email deserves.
I am not one to post a blog just ranting and raving about a rude email or how I feel jilted because while I wished Senator Nelson a Happy Birthday by contributing to his campaign he didn’t even send a Happy Birthday email to me. No friends, I will offer some advice.
Upgrade your donor recognition software.
It is very simple. I can probably find you a good vendor who would sell it to you cheaply. Today nonprofits are getting really smart and our technology is getting smarter. You can buy a system that when you are mass emailing thousands upon thousands of emails all you have to do is insert name tab in the merge field. (If that was too technical for you, I will offer a class later). Basically friendly politicians, when you are sending a mass email asking me for money and pleading your case that my donation is going to bring you over the top, save the day, allow you to fight another fight – at least use my name.