The Politics Of Raising Money

Here’s an update on what the candidates were up to in email last week.

Rudy Giuliani

Tag: “Team Rudy.” 3 campaigns. Fund-Raising Type: Selling swag.

Rudy sent out three campaigns, each with a slightly different focus. He also, for the first time, started showing up on the Web traffic meter. Trying to cash in on the meet-up craze, the first campaign was designed to help people host and attend “Watching Parties” for the New Hampshire debate. The second campaign was pure fund-raising, with Rudy offering autographed copies of his book, hats that say Team Rudy, and lapel pins, for a $350 donation. Finishing out the week, Rudy introduced some reach media by embedding video clips in the email showing highlights of his recent debate answers.

Mitt Romney

Tag: “Strong. New. Leadership.” 2 Campaigns. Fund-Raising Type: Raffle.



Mitt sent out two campaigns this week. One came from his son, Tagg Romney, offering to raffle off box seats to a Major League baseball game, all expenses paid, for anyone ponying up $100 bucks. Tagg spent time ragging on Rudy and McCain for skipping the Ames Iowa Straw Poll. Campaign two was a week in review with links to contribute, video highlights and a reminder about the raffle.

Mike Huckabee

Tag: “I Like Mike.” 1 Campaign. Fund-Raising Type: Show me the money.

Mike’s campaigns continue to come from his wife, Sarah. In what seems to be a growing pattern, there were links to contribute and to video highlights. No raffles or swag from Mike’s campaign, just a “send me the money” appeal.  The Huckabee folks need to take a clue from National Public Radio. The public at least wants a tote bag!

John McCain

Tag: None. 2 Campaigns. Fund-Raising Type: Girl Scout cookies, personal appeal, selling swag.

The John McCain camp sent out two campaigns last week. The first was a personal appeal from “The Desk of John McCain” recounting his war record and making a personal appeal for money. The second was a laundry list of links to articles, video clips, analysis, etc. In what I’m calling the Girl Scout cookie method of fundraising, McCain set up a “Virtual Call Day” when people were encouraged to use their personal networks to get people to contribute. A special prize will be awarded to the person who gets the most friends and money in the door, while all donors get, hold your breath now, a free bumper sticker. And finally, you can get an autographed copy of McCain’s book for only $200.

On the Democratic side, Chris Dodd came out of nowhere to shoot up in the Web traffic race last week, even surpassing Hillary for a few days.

Chris Dodd

Tag: “Restore the Constitution. Restore America’s Moral Authority.” 1 Campaign. Fund-Raising Type: none.

Chris came out swinging in his campaign last week, driving people to a site aimed at restoring habeas corpus. Interestingly enough, no request for the greenback dollar in this email campaign; just pure position.

Barack Obama

Tag: “Obama ’08.” 4 Campaigns. Fund-Raising Type: Raffle

Barack’s campaign wasbusy on both the national and local level with its emails. Early on, both national and local emails were sent out to promote the Walk For Change, a series of canvassing walks organized in a thousand communities. Video links were sent out to train people, explaining how to canvass and how to find the walk nearest you. Later in the week, the Obama camp sent out a fund-raiser, basically a raffle to have dinner with the candidate called Dinner for Five; four lucky contributors who send in $100 or more get in on the drawing.

Hillary Clinton

Tag: “Hillary For President.” 1 Campaign. Fund-Raising Type: Big red button.

The only campaign for the candidate last week was made up mostly of YouTube links of Hillary. At the bottom of the email was a big red button saying “Contribute.”  No swag, no raffles, no personal appeal. Guess the money is rolling in.

John Edwards

Tag: “John Edwards 08.” 5 Campaigns. Fund-Raising Type: Mom’s Pie Recipe.

OK, John Edwards wins the prize for most original fund-raising campaign last week. Multiple national and local campaigns went out promoting the fact that John’s birthday was coming up on June 10. So if you contributed $6.10 to the campaign, you got a copy of his Mom’s prized pie recipe. You could also send in $54 (John was born in 1954). The campaign continued with his mom sharing videos of various luminaries trying to make her pie. 

Bill Richardson

Tag: “Bill Richardson President.” 2 Campaigns. Fund-Raising Type: Big Red Button.

Bill Richardson took a page out of both Hillary’s book and Chris Dodd’s call to action campaign. Both campaigns promoted a Stop the War type petition. At the bottom of each was a big red button saying “Contribute.”. I think Bill needs a bit more swag and humor if he’s going to get the bucks flowing his way.

So that’s the way it was, the first complete week of June, 2007.


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