One of the initiatives we’re most proud to have been part of in 2006 was the Secretary of State Project, which used ActBlue to raise $415,000 for seven Democratic candidates for Secretary of State in 2008 presidential battlegrounds.
The result: Democratic victories in Ohio, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, and Iowa, and with them hope for fair 2008 presidential elections in these states. (One of the project’s common refrains was “No more Ken Blackwells!”)
The Secretary of State Project is a great example of how you can use ActBlue to bring national attention to local candidates.
Normally, raising money for a down-ballot candidate in another state is
a hard sell. But by simultaneously fundraising for candidates across
the country around a related theme, you create a national cause whose
importance will be readily apparent to your prospective donors.
The SoS project is also a great case study because it
exemplifies one of the most important concepts for using ActBlue effectively:
Make a single, simple pitch
In any fundraising situation, it’s important to keep your pitch simple:
you need one overarching, compelling reason why the person you’re
asking should support your cause. If you’re just fundraising for a
single campaign this is comparatively straightforward, but when you’re
fundraising for multiple campaigns at once it’s all too easy to fall
into the trap of just talking about each of the different candidates as
if they were unrelated (other than your belief that they are each
worthy of support).
In the case of the SoS project, their pitch was simple: “Support
Secretaries of State in 2006 who will protect voter rights in 2008″.
This one statement made the argument for supporting all of the
candidates all at once. Of course they had details about each
candidate on the SoS project home page (the big banner at the top rotates through each of the candidates) and also on the main SoS ActBlue page) but think of this as “supporting evidence” that these are actually good folks rather than the main argument.
So what does this mean in practice for your own fundraising effort on ActBlue?