For too many people in the party, fundraising is a dirty word- we are the giving party, not the asking and taking party. But elections can’t be won on shoe leather and doorknocks alone. For us to become a modern, effective party, we need to change the mindset around fundraising. And we need to get over the mindset that fundraising should only happen at a central level – all leaders at all levels, and indeed all members, within the party should see it as their responsibility to raise funds.
– Is there a role for regional fundraising officers?
– Could we have local and central targets to spur on fundraising?
– Can we move away from a reliance on emails, and move to a more personalised, one to one approach?
– Can we use targeted e-mails that speak to people about funding campaigns on the issues that matter to them, rather than scattergun “one size fits all” campaigns?
We can, and we should.
Ultimately successful fundraising relies on building relationships of mutual self-interest. Money is more likely to be given if people see that the party works for them and their interests, this is human nature, but equally those who do not give cannot ask. Local Labour Parties must give to their communities, and feel comfortable asking for something in return.
And most importantly – better funded parties win elections. At the moment Labour is a “shoestring” party – as long as that continues, we’ll run “shoestring” campaigns.