What is PAC Management Software?

June 19, 2023 | Brandon Blumenherst
A political action committee discusses PAC management software in their office.

PAC management software serves to meet the many needs of political action committees (also known as PACs). While PACs vary in their size and scope of activities, many of them raise substantial amounts of money to give to various campaigns and causes, organize to help get out the vote, and more. Those fundraising activities and contributions must be tracked and reported to the PAC’s relevant election authority (like the Secretary of State’s Office or the FEC). Many PACs also help mobilize voters to get out and vote and advocate for legislative change. Depending on the unique needs of your PAC, you may want to evaluate several different PAC management solutions and software with a variety of tools to determine what’s best for your organization. 

Impactful PAC Tools to Achieve Your Goals 

From fundraising to mobilizing to advocating, your PAC will have a lot of responsibilities to create the change you want to see. That’s why it’s so important to understand what tools you will need to succeed. But first, let’s define what a political action committee is.  

What is a Political Action Committee? 

PACs are organizations that form to raise money to distribute to help elect or defeat candidates or causes. PACs may represent specific organizations, causes, or interests, which then advocate for and donate to help advance toward the PAC’s goals. If you’ve started a PAC and you’re looking tools to help achieve your fundraising and organizing goals, here are a few tools and features we suggest evaluating when choosing your PAC management software. 

PAC Fundraising and Compliance Tools 

One of the most impactful activities your PAC will complete is fundraising to support or oppose candidates or causes up and down the ballot. PACs often have different fundraising rules and regulations compared to other campaigns and causes. With powerful fundraising software, you can set up various automated and personalized outreach efforts to help you raise more money. You can also set up fundraising limits to ensure you remain compliant with relevant campaign finance laws. And, after you raise money for your PAC, you will need to report on your fundraising efforts. Compliance software will help you track your fundraising efforts, flag incorrect data entries, offer audit trails for accurate reporting, and file campaign finance reports with your election authority. Because fundraising is such a critical function for your PAC, you will also want a donor management system to record valuable information and track your interactions with your donors. 

Donor Management System or Donor Database

PACs must have a donor management system (or donor database) to centralize all your valuable donor information. Some of these important data points include contact information, past contribution history, and interactions with your PAC (both online and in-person). By capturing this data, you make it easy to segment your fundraising efforts in the future to target your outreach more effectively. Without a centralized donor database or CRM, you can miss out on opportunities to raise more money through personalized outreach, pledges, and more. An impactful donor database will help you build comprehensive donor profiles and offer tools to reach out to those donors directly. 

Digital Fundraising Tools

Digital fundraising continues to swell as a prominent fundraising stream for PACs, campaigns, and other organizations. Through multiple revenue streams like email, texting, and advertising, you can quickly build a valuable fundraising operation to raise more money for your PAC. Ideally, these digital fundraising tools would be available or integrated directly with your donor database to easily sync outreach efforts with your donor profiles and collect more data to act on in the future. Some digital fundraising tools even offer automated capabilities to set up fundraising outreach series to help you raise more money for your PAC.

Insightful Metrics and Data Visualizations

Customizable dashboards, widgets, and more can help you easily display progress and analyze metrics to measure progress toward your fundraising goals. Visualizations that are easily understood can help everyone understand performance, explain trends or changes, and align on data-driven priorities to advance towards goals more effectively. Real-time reporting also allows you to quickly view the immediate impact of your outreach and communicate the progress regularly to relevant stakeholders.

Mobilizing Supporters to Get Out the Vote 

If your PAC is organizing supporters to support campaigns or causes, you will need effective and efficient volunteer management and organizing tools to help get out the vote. When you’re evaluating these PAC tools, think of the following features to understand what software is best for your PAC. 

Volunteer Management and Volunteer Recruitment Tools

In volunteer management and volunteer recruitment tools, you will want to find tools that can help you easily onboard volunteers, engage with them, and retain them. Through user-friendly sign-up forms, volunteers can easily get involved with your PAC and find upcoming events and actions. While engaging with volunteers can be time-consuming, you can find volunteer management software that helps automate specific aspects of engaging volunteers (like asking for post-event feedback or sending reminders for upcoming events). And finally, you’ll want to find software that makes it easy to continually engage with your volunteers to help retain them and potentially elevate them into other volunteer positions or leadership opportunities.

Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Tools and A Trusted Voter Database

Many PACs are involved in getting out the vote for campaigns and causes. With this in mind, you’ll want to find trusted and scalable get out the vote (GOTV) tools to help organize and drive voter turnout efforts. These GOTV activities may involve canvassing, phone banking, texting, and more, and finding software that allows you to do it all and save that data in a trusted voter database will make it easier to measure progress toward your GOTV goals and act on that data in the future.

Enhancing Advocacy and Communication for Your PAC 

PACs also work on advocacy initiatives and often need to communicate with their supporters through multiple communication channels at a moment’s notice. Advocacy often takes many forms, but some common forms of advocacy include petitions, encouraging supporters to take action by contacting their legislators, and more. As you’re evaluating PAC management software, you may want to evaluate the following features carefully to determine what software is the most effective for your PAC’s needs. 

Digital Organizing Tools for Multichannel Outreach

By offering online forms that sync directly to your donor and supporter databases, you can streamline efforts to build your contact databases. And with built-in digital organizing tools, you can efficiently and effectively engage with supporters and donors through automated email series or text messages that help you build a relationship with them. These automated series can also be used for various advocacy efforts to power the change you want to see in your community.

Using NGP VAN for Your Political Action Committee (PAC) 

Thankfully, NGP VAN can create a custom package to meet the specific needs of your PAC. As the leading technology provider to Democratic and progressive campaigns and organizations, we’ve got a variety of software that can help you achieve your fundraising and organizing goals. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help your PAC, request a demo today