Weathering the Storm: Political Fundraising During a Pandemic.

April 10, 2020 | NGP VAN

There is no denying that the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will have lasting effects on the economy, but where do campaigns fit in? Even the biggest campaigns are ultimately short-term organizations whose success is largely attributed to continued financial support from their followers. While businesses are making long-term plans for financial survival, how should campaigns continue to make effective fundraising asks and keep their programs afloat right now? 

In our latest webinar series, Lou Levine, General Manager of Fundraising & Compliance at NGP VAN, and Antonia Koch, Southern Federal & Gubernatorial Campaign Finance Director at EMILY’s List, break down what political fundraising will look like moving forward in 2020, including current fundraising challenges, virtual best practices, some examples of success, and tips on the best ways to adapt your program. 


Take a look at our 5 key takeaways from the webinar to get you started, then check out the full recording. 

  1. Acknowledge the situation 

The quickest way to put-off you donors is to pretend that everything is business as usual. Like you, their lives continue to be impacted daily, and it is easy to sound tone deaf by ignoring the current situation. 

  1. Try new things 

In times of crisis, our first instinct is to stick to what we know and go back to basics, but this should not be one of those times. People are more likely than ever to be sitting at home on their phone or reading their email. Take a risk or two and see if it pays off. Check out the full webinar for a few examples of how campaigns are already doing this successfully. 

  1. Expect to work more and get less 

One of the realities of acknowledging the situation is that many people are not financially in a place to donate right now. That is okay! Most likely it will mean making more asks to get the same dollar amount. 

  1. Don’t discount Call Time 

If you are struggling with logistics for Virtual Call Time and are thinking about giving up, DON’T. Right now we are seeing much higher than average contact rates on the phone. Now’s your chance to step up your Call Time game. 

  1. Virtual events 

Had you planned a high dollar dinner with your candidate for April? Maybe a surrogate speaking series? A rally with students on campus?  Take them virtual. Now is the time to leverage things like facetime with your candidate and top-tier surrogates, to get people in the door and give them the same important feeling as if they were in person. 


Above all, keep going. It is more important than ever that we win in 2020. Watch the full webinar on-demand for more detailed discussion and instruction on successful political fundraising during COVID-19.