PAC managers face many issues every day. After 20 years, you could say we’ve heard them all. Check out our top 20 tips to overcome everyday challenges.
1. Need to increase your average contribution per donor? Go back to your donor base with requests to increase contributions from an already reliable group.
2. Need to increase participation in general? Focus on low-level requests (i.e., a coffee challenge or dollar-a-day club) to a wide range of prospects to boost participation.
3. Not sure what your leaders are looking for or what constitutes success? When setting goals, ask questions internally to understand metrics that really resonate. Is it about the dollars raised? The number of donors involved? Something else entirely? Create performance measures that are impactful for you and check your progress regularly. At least annually, assess and revise your goals.
4. Not sure how to engage your PAC Board? Expectation-setting and accountability are powerful drivers in fundraising. The best uses for PAC Board Members include direct fundraising efforts, budget approval decisions, disbursement decisions, strategic planning, setting policies and procedures and determining PAC fundraising goals. Have a blueprint for how you plan to utilize your Board in advance and share expectations regularly.
5. Have goals but don’t know where to start? Create a written plan! A road map creates accountability and helps you measure your program, make necessary changes and share results.
6. Worried about your fundraising costs? Evaluate and use existing resources first to keep your costs down. Then prioritize what you need to add. When budgeting, keep in mind that while some projects may be more costly up front, if considered as one-time costs that can be utilized long-term, they are worthwhile investments now.
7. Not sure when to fundraise? Timing makes a difference. March through June is the best time to raise funds for a corporate PAC, and January through May is the best time to raise funds for an association PAC.
8. Unsure of other timing factors? Internal operations matter too. Assess your own organization’s individual culture and internal timeline when making final timing decisions (events, bonus periods, etc.), and focus outreach during non-peak months on engagement and information sharing.
9. Hearing objections? Transparency is an important component of PAC programming. Offering things like newsletters, regular news updates and reports on PAC disbursements, receipts and participation are all effective and easy ways to ease concerns.
10. Hearing a lot of misperceptions about your program? Make sure to regularly share 101 information about the PAC and its activities. Proactive information-sharing about PAC disbursement decisions, such as criteria for who receives support, are particularly helpful in overcoming common myths.
11. Your prospects don’t like politics? Change the conversation. Instead of focusing on Washington, D.C., competition in the political arena and elections, focus on things like the organization, people, communities and entities you represent and the difference a strong PAC makes for the things that matter to your audience.
12. Having trouble reaching your full audience? Use a multi-channel approach. Both passive and direct forms of outreach are necessary to achieve results. While email is the most efficient medium, more direct forms of outreach are more effective. Different people respond to different tactics, so you should utilize various forms of outreach to complement one another.
13. Content not resonating with your audience? Mix it up. To be effective, your audience needs a combination of education, fundraising, information sharing and engagement-focused outreach.
14. Outreach not getting through? Expand your communication frequency to ensure your message stands out and your program is recognizable. Individuals need to see a similar message between six and 12 times before it resonates.
15. Peer-to-peer efforts not getting great results? The more structured they are, the better your results will be. Formalize your program to include recruited volunteers, pre-written materials, training and a set schedule and goals.
16. Don’t have a recognizable presence for the PAC? Successful PACs make it a priority to develop and market their brand. Having a PAC tagline, mission statement and consistent message helps to create a recognizable presence for your PAC. Know your audience. Is there a high affinity for the organization? How do they feel about the political environment? Branding and imagery that focuses more on the organization and the people it represents rather than traditional political imagery is being more positively received among prospective donors.
17. Not sure what’s working and what’s not? Tracking all touches – emails, phone calls, in-person events, etc. – will help you gauge what method of outreach, messengers and messaging are most effective. You should have a communication plan in place, but make sure it’s flexible enough to allow for necessary changes.
18. Prospects unsure of how much to give? Create and share suggested levels of giving with individuals at all levels of your organization. Suggested levels should also include corresponding donor benefits to show value at each level.
19. Need to show more value to donors? Make recognition a priority. You should be working to build a long-term relationship with your donors and making them feel appreciated and engaged is important. Utilize events as a way to provide networking opportunities for your donors (capitalize on existing opportunities). Offer written updates like newsletters and host calls and webinars with special guest speakers to engage current and prospective donors (check for resources you already have).
20. Not sure how you’re doing? Annually assess your PAC. Focus on metrics like total amount of dollars raised, total number of donors, win/loss record with disbursements, donor participation rates, comparative analysis to similar PACs, average contribution per donor, number of checks distributed and email metrics like open and click rates.
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