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Political Fundraising Software
Political Fundraising Software, often referenced as Campaign Finance Software depending on its focus upon legal disclosure according to the laws governing each election, is a type of campaign software devoted exclusively to helping campaigns efficiently organize donor data in such a way that it helps increase the productivity of staff members and candidates in raising money.
All political fundraising software applications share some common characteristics. Most all applications will import and export donor information using industry standard database programs such as excel. All will allow you to enter in routine contact information such as name, address, phone, email, and other personal data fields. Tracking pledges, receipts, and in-kind gifts along with categorizing those gifts by elections cycle or income source are also common features. Running routine reports, query features, tagging of donors in categories, and making notes specific to donors and vendors are also common place.
While almost all political fundraising software programs share many of these common features, once you get to this baseline of offerings you can see a tremendous amount of divergence in their characteristics. Some political software providers decide to go the simple, intuitive route and limit their features, focusing on ease of use for volunteer or candidate driven campaigns. Other providers take a “super user” approach and focus on political fundraising consultants and staff persons for larger campaigns. As a result, this latter group produces software applications that offer many, many features with multiple interfaces and complex navigation. Usually, this type of political software requires training for any new user and would require a devoted user to really reap all the benefits that the program has to offer.
Both types of programs are great depending on the need of your campaign. Candidates running for state and local office would usually be better suited for using simple, intuitive programs like www.MyCampaignTreasurer.com because of the quick learning curve and low price point, starting at $49/month. It is also cloud-based, which means there are no expensive, up-front licensing requirements and your data is off-site and secure. Usually, more complex programs are reserved for federal candidates because of the intense scrutiny they fall under for financial disclosure and because federal campaigns typically use expensive, seasoned financial consultants to run their campaign efforts. It is hard to find pricing on these types of software programs without contacting a sales person, but most start at around $350 per month and some have licensing fees up front of around $2000 and ongoing, monthly maintenance commitments.
The key to selecting a great political fundraising software tool for your campaign is deciding what you really need. If you pick an application that is too confusing, expensive, and cumbersome for your level of expertise and size of campaign, it will be a chore to use and can actually inhibit your ability to raise money. If you choose a software program that isn’t as robust as you need or doesn’t really meet your federal disclosure requirements, you could find yourself doing double the work in some other sort of accounting software application to keep your financial records straight. Luckily, for state and local campaigns disclosure us usually pretty straightforward and simple.
I hope this information will help you as you make decisions on what political fundraising software is right for your campaign. Please feel free to see if our simple, affordable, yet powerful solution might meet the needs of your campaign by visiting www.MyCampaignTreasurer.com
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.