Campaigns have to create their own metrics. After all, we don’t make widgets, we elect (or defeat) candidates. And like any business or professional venture, campaigns must be constantly measuring their progress and pushing the candidate to succeed.
If you aren’t holding yourself and your candidate accountable with objective metrics, you’re setting yourself up to slack off. In fact, you may already be slacking off.
Many people think the only metric that counts towards your success is dollars received. After all, fundraising is objective – you’re either raising or you’re not, right? Wrong.
Fundraising is a temperamental business and just because you have a good week doesn’t mean that next week is going to be equally good. It’s important to keep the heat up and the pressure on until you hit or surpass your goals. If you aren’t tracking your efforts, it’s impossible to hold yourself accountable.
What’s a candidate or campaign staffer to do?
I recommend establishing clear, measurable goals each week and making these goals well known. For example, you may give a candidate the following goals for the week:
Events Booked: 3
These goals should be slightly uncomfortable but not totally impossible. Just like any new skill, fundraising requires discipline and a bit of personal growth. You want to push the candidate to go out of their comfort zone and allow them to succeed — and then keep going.
From a fundraising perspective, the “calls made” goal is a great stat to measure. I’ve found that most candidates will increase the amount of money they raise simply by ramping up the quantity of calls they make — provided, of course they’re making the ask effectively.
Other helpful metrics include measuring events booked, pledges received, meetings attended and, of course, monies raised.
Remember, if you aren’t setting goals and keeping track, you’re probably slacking off. And there’s a good chance your opponent isn’t making the same mistake.
Kirsten Borman is a nationally recognized Republican fundraiser and founder of KB Strategic Group, a Washington, D.C.-based firm specializing in personalized fundraising consulting. Her clients have included several members of Congress, candidates for federal office, PACs, committees and gubernatorial candidates.
A version of this post was also published on Kirsten’s blog.