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4 Questions Every Candidate Needs to Ask About Money

Often candidates run for office because they want to help people and lend a hand in solving problems in their community. But such well meaning candidates don’t always realize that the bulk of their time will be spent asking people for money. There are five questions a candidate who is going to make a serious run for office must ask — and answer.

1: How much money will it take to win?

The answer to this is crucial and you must be able to answer it. Come up with a realistic sum. You can accomplish this by looking at reports from previously successful campaigns.

2: Who will be raising this money?

Do you see yourself as the primary fundraiser, or do you see yourself as the candidate who goes to functions and rallies, while your dedicated staff produces miracles? The tough reality: you will need to raise most of the money yourself. Of course, you can always hire staff to help you, but you need to be prepared to make most of the asks.

3: Are you prepared to invest the time to fundraise?

Many candidates aren’t interested in fundraising. If you are unwilling to sit down and ask almost everyone you have ever met for a contribution to your campaign, then you should seriously reconsider running for office. You must be willing and able to spend multiple hours every day doing nothing but fundraising, and then spending several of your weeknights attending small fundraising events.

4: Why should people give to your campaign?

Can you convince people to give to your campaign? You need to ask yourself what motivates people to give to a campaign, and can I motivate people? People in your community want to know why they should give to you. You need to know what kind of information they want to know before they let go of their hard-earned cash.