a Fundraiser for a Candidate
Why should you
host a fundraiser? Fundraisers are a fundamental part of the electoral
process and are essential for a candidate if he or she wants to
win elected office. Hosting fundraisers allows you, your friends
and colleagues to develop and enhance personal relationships with
your state and federal representatives and senators. A fundraiser
is also a unique opportunity to give support to a candidate for
office in a casual and friendly setting. It is inevitable that candidates
need the help of supporters in their local community to win an election.
Elected officials recognize supporters of their campaigns, and fundraisers
help to ensure that physician-supported candidates are the ones
making the decisions.
do you choose for whom to host a fundraiser?
Usually, a physician
would host a fundraiser for a candidate running for office in his
or her district. We recommend that you contact us to find out whether
the candidate is inclined to support physician issues, and is supported
by the Illinois State Medical Society Political Action Committee
do you invite a candidate to a political fundraiser?
Step one should be to
contact the candidate’s campaign office and express your interest
in conducting a fundraiser. This can be done via a telephone call
or letter to the campaign. During the initial correspondence with
the campaign, you should first check on the candidate’s availability
and, second, inquire how much money needs to be raised for the candidate
to attend the event. Remember, the nearer to an election you want
to hold a fundraiser, the more difficult it will be to get the candidate
to attend. Early and strong support is always the best. Two to three
months before an election is usually the best time to hold an event in honor of a candidate.
do you plan the actual event?
It is highly recommended
that you have several of your colleagues join a small event committee
to develop a potential donor list and help with the logistical and
planning issues involved in the event. IMPAC will also be more than
happy to lead you in the right direction and give you advice in
these aspects as well. Most, if not all, of your event committee
meetings can be held by conference call. You should also remember
to keep open the communication lines with the campaign during all
aspects of the planning.
should you invite to the fundraiser?
Invite your colleagues,
other medical doctors who share your views, your neighbors, friends
and business associates who support your views on medical issues.
The candidate will appreciate a well-informed, respectable turnout
(40 to 50 guests is a good size for a fundraiser).
should you host the fundraiser?
The best place to hold
a fundraiser is at someone’s private home. Federal and state
election laws are very strict on spending money to rent places such
as banquet halls. However, the location largely depends on the size
of the event and the environment you want to create.
have formal invitations printed?
Even though you could probably just use the telephone and e-mail
to persuade friends and colleagues to attend the event, formal invitations
add prestige. Be sure to include the names of all members of the
host committee. Be sure to also follow up your invitations with
a phone call to prospective donors. This follow-up is very effective in terms of fundraising.
is a typical timetable for planning an event?
You should probably
allow four to six weeks to plan the event.
actually happens at a fundraiser?
A fundraiser is a simple
reception in honor of a candidate. You should allow ample time for
guests to arrive before the candidate appears. Once the candidate
arrives, introduce him or her to your guests and encourage everyone
to mix and mingle. Provide time for the candidate to address the
group as a whole and possibly take questions. Typically, the event
should last no more than 90 minutes.
should you do after the fundraiser?
Write a thank you letter
to each donor and to the candidate for attending. Follow up on any
outstanding commitments and prepare an accounting of the event.
Deliver the outstanding commitments that you collected to the candidate’s