Project Wonderful

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ask An Election Nerd: Is it Better to Donate Time or Money?

Nancy! Totally theoretical question... which is better, time or money? Like, if I'm willing to give a campaign one but not both, which would you rather have?

Great question! Of course as a campaign person my first reaction is to say "do both," but I know that's not what you were asking.

The short answer is 1) It depends how much 2)It depends when and 3) It depends on the campaign.

If you are talking about $1,000 vs. 1 door knocking shift (I am guessing not),then money. If you are talking 3 shifts vs. $10, then time. A paid canvasser gets paid about $12/hr and obviously a motivated volunteer, especially one with a little bit of experience, is even more effective so you can consider it in those terms.

Another thing to consider, Early Money Is Like Yeast (ever wonder where the name EMILY's List came from?) it helps raise the dough. Fundraising reports are often the first places high dollar donors and endorsing organizations look in order to determine viability. As you go along in the campaign, the time/money tradeoff begins to shift. If you are donating to a campaign in the last week, they are likely to spend it on some type of field activity because paid calls and canvassers can be turned around more quickly than mail or media and it's usually too late to hire an additional staff member.

Of course this all depends on a campaign's size and specific needs. For most of my state leg candidates, all things being equal, I would say money until the last 2 weeks and then I would say time.

Or you could do both and host a fundraiser...with a phonebank at it! (I'm sorry I couldn't help myself, but I hope this helped you!)

Campaign Love and Mine,


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1 comment:

  1. Yes, Nancy, I totally agree. It's so frustrating when well meaning volunteers who can actually afford to give money offer an hour or two of their time instead, thinking, I'm not sure what. All candidates should rad this so they know what to say to these folks.