Create a Budget & Plan Activities

Fundraising Plan: View, copy or download the template

Budget Comparison

A first step in developing your campaign fundraising plan is to create a high-level campaign budget in order to establish fundraising target.

Campaign financial disclosures from past elections are public information. In order to ensure your campaign is able to compete, you will want to ensure you're planning to raise an amount comparable to campaigns that have had success in your ward or comparable jurisdictions.

For the past couple of elections, look up the financial disclosures of campaigns that have won or have been top challengers. Using the templates provided, develop a high-level campaign budget based on your analysis of comparable campaigns.

It's important not to simply adopt an average of comparable campaign expenses as your campaign budget. You may make adjustments based on your unique strategy. However, if you're going to be competitive in a rase, it's likely you'll need to raise and spend an amount comparable to your top competitor(s).

Brainstorm your fundraising activities

What will you do to prepare for launch? How will you solicit individuals? What events are you planning?

Using the fundraising workplan template, work with your team to brainstorm your fundraising activities. Remember to consider compliance -- how you will ensure both your campaign and your donors are compliant with relevant election laws.

Additional planning notes

Some fundraising terminology to be aware of:

Personal solicitation: Personal solicitation is making the ask of an individual either in person or over the phone to garner their support to the campaign. 

Email or direct mail solicitation: Asking a donor to contribute to a campaign through a written request.

Fundraising events: receptions, dinners, coffee parties, etc. used to collect support from donors by way of buying a ticket.

In order to put together your plan, you must decide how to best use all three of these approaches. To decide how to use the different methods of “asking” best, you must have an idea of your team strengths - who do you have on your team and what are their skills? Do you have a lot of help from people interested in hosting events? Let this help to guide your strategy. One caveat is that many people like to organize events instead of making cold calls or personal asks. It is important that you take this into account and let the calling and personal asks outweigh the other types of fundraising. Treat personal solicitations like your lowest hanging fruit.