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Choosing a Campaign Treasurer
A very important choice you will have to make in your campaign is choosing a campaign treasurer. Your campaign treasurer will be responsible for making certain that all of your campaign’s finance disclosures are turned in accurately and on time. Here are a few quick things to consider when choosing that individual:
Detail Oriented – You want someone working on your campaign that can pay attention to details. Often, choosing someone with an accounting or business background will make sense. They must note every expenditure and every contribution, making sure that the corresponding data is correct.Versed in the Law – All campaigns have laws that govern how money is raised and how it must be spent. These laws will vary from state to state and sometimes even in specific localities according to city or county charters. Make sure that your campaign treasurer understands these laws. Usually, election commissions and state ethics boards are very helpful if you’ll just call and ask them about specific situations, but do your homework in advance and have the basics under your belt.
Work Ethic – Your treasurer will need to have a work ethic that can keep pace with the inflow of transactions that will come into his inbox. Also, it isn’t wise to wait until the last minute to deal with transactions. Depending on the volume of transactions your political campaign produces, your campaign treasurer may need to produce monthly, weekly, or even daily reports.
The Proper Tools – Make sure that your campaign treasurer has political fundraising software, also called campaign finance software, so that they have the tools that will allow them to easily track transactions. Depending on the size of your campaign, you may choose to use an accounting program like QuickBooks or Quicken to keep up with detailed transactions over campaign software – but these systems usually aren’t geared for campaigns and you may find that you have produced more work than it’s worth forcing them to fit your needs. But, in a pinch anything is better than no organization at all.
Notoriety – In some states, you are required to list your campaign treasurer’s name on all campaign literature. Usually, in these cases, campaigns will choose someone who is known throughout the state or district for being honest, well-liked, and/or influential. If this is the case, choose someone who fits this description; they may or may not also be the one doing the heavy lifting of compliance for your campaign. If they are not, hire an accounting firm or otherwise put an individual in charge of these activities to work in tandem with the official campaign treasurer.
Choosing a campaign treasurer for your political fundraising efforts is important. I hope this blog will help aid you in making the right decision for your campaign.
Brandon Lewis has worked as a political fundraising consultant and staff member for U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, State Senate, State Representative, and local political campaigns. Lewis has also worked in the non-profit arena on projects ranging from capital campaigns to grassroots fundraising. Founder of www.MyCampaignTreasuer.com, Lewis’ web-based fundraising application allows candidates to raise more money for their federal, state, and local campaigns through a simplified, focused approach.
Lewis is also author of How to Raise Money for Political Office; The Original Guide to Winning Elections Through Aggressive, Organized Fundraising. It offers a comprehensive, practical approach on how campaigns can raise more money for their campaigns in an efficient and effective manner.