Five Post Primary Fundraising To-Do’s

Posted: Aug 21st, 2017 Updated: Dec 17, 2020

Win or lose the primary these are things everyone can do.

Running for office is hard work, and you’ve put in the time and energy to make it through your primary. Congratulations on your well-earned win! Maybe things didn't go well and you got knocked down this round, no worries, this blog can still apply to you!

After a primary election, it is always good to take a deep breath, rethink your campaign, and develop a strategy to win your general election or your next run for office.

Here is a quick checklist, along with a few templates, on what you can and should do to raise the money you need to win your race.


1. Recognize and thank your volunteers and donors

These are the people that helped you get to where you are.

The volunteers that went door-to-door. Your colleagues that donated money. Your neighbors that put up lawn signs. They helped you win your primary, and you’re going to need them even more to win your General election. Send them a note and/or email and say thank you.


2. Call your major and mid-level donors

Take this “down-time” (if you can call it that) to call your major supporters and say thank you.

The people most likely to donate to your campaign are the people who have already supported you - and if someone donated to you during the primary, they are likely to give to you again before your general election.

Using this time to call your supporters and express your appreciation builds a stronger connection. That way, when you reach back out for another contribution, you’ve at least touched them once without asking them for money.


3. Review and update your budget

Take a few minutes to look at your budget vs. actuals and see how you did.

You’ve been busy and sometimes budgets get out of control in the heat of the moment. Did you over or underspend in certain categories? What expenses do you think were the most effective? What changes do you need to make for the general election?

Don’t have a budget or need tips on drafting one? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Check out our blog post on creating a simple campaign budget. Template budget included!


4. Draft your a general election fundraising letter and email

What better time to update your supporters than when your campaign just had a major win!?

You have momentum behind you, and the people who helped get you to this point want to see a win in November. Send them a letter and/or email, thanking them for their past support and asking for their financial support again.

Need help getting inspired? Read our post and download sample fundraising letters here.


5. Reconvene your kitchen cabinet

This is your core, the people that believe in you no matter what.

Often meetings with this group fall by the wayside when doors need to be knocked, volunteers recruited, and lawn signs delivered. It’s time to reconvene them, get their two cents on the race, and brainstorm ways they can help you get engaged.

Don’t have a kitchen cabinet yet? Check out this post.


Once again, congrats on taking a huge step forward in your campaign. Good luck over the next few months. We’re here if you need us.

Matt Lyon

Matt has over 12 years of political fundraising experience. Matt’s experience includes overseeing up to fourteen staff members, administering budgets exceeding $1.1 million annually, directing million dollar paid media programs, raising over $5 million for various causes and organizations, and developing and implementing communications strategies that led to dozens of stories in local and national outlets, including the New York Times and Washington Post. Matt is an experienced and campaign veteran always willing to help the next candidate make a difference.