Dialing for Dollars

Dialing for Dollars


Developing a comprehensive plan for high-dollar fundraising through “Dialing for Dollars” is critical for political candidates and their campaigns. This activity, typically reserved for the candidates, involves directly contacting potential donors to solicit significant financial contributions. Here’s a detailed plan outlining the approach, from identifying high-dollar donors to making the ask.

1. Identify High-Dollar Donors

a. Leverage Existing Networks:

  • Start with your personal and professional networks. Identify individuals who have expressed support for your platform or have contributed to similar causes or candidates in the past.
  • Utilize the networks of your campaign team, close supporters, and any affiliated organizations.

b. Research and Prospect:

  • Use public records and databases to find individuals who have made significant contributions to political campaigns, PACs (Political Action Committees), or causes aligned with your campaign’s values and objectives.
  • Employ fundraising software and tools to pinpoint potential donors based on past giving patterns, political alignment, and financial capacity.

c. Segment and Prioritize:

  • Categorize potential donors based on their capacity to give, past giving history, and engagement level with the campaign or similar causes.
  • Prioritize contacts based on the likelihood of their support and the potential size of their contributions.

2. Prepare for Outreach

a. Personalize Your Approach:

  • For each potential donor, prepare a brief that includes their past political contributions, interests, and any personal or professional connections to your campaign.
  • Tailor your pitch to resonate with their interests and values, highlighting specific policy positions or campaign initiatives that align with their priorities.

b. Set Clear Goals:

  • Determine a clear fundraising goal for your “Dialing for Dollars” campaign. This should be based on your campaign’s financial targets and the estimated contribution capacity of your donor list.
  • Define specific ask amounts for each call, tailored to the donor’s capacity and past giving history. These can range significantly but might start at $1,000 and go up to $5,000 or more for high-dollar donors.

3. Making the Call

a. Build a Connection:

  • Start the conversation by building rapport. Mention any mutual connections, express genuine interest in their opinions, and thank them for any past support they’ve provided to related causes or campaigns.
  • Clearly articulate your vision, campaign goals, and how their support can make a difference.

b. The Ask:

  • After setting the context, transition to your ask. Be direct but respectful in requesting their support, specifying the amount you are asking for based on your prior research.
  • Explain their contribution’s impact and offer specific examples of what it will enable your campaign to accomplish.

c. Handle Objections Gracefully:

  • Be prepared for objections or hesitations. Listen actively, address concerns directly, and if necessary, offer alternative ways they can support your campaign, including lower donation amounts, in-kind contributions, or volunteering.

d. Follow-Up:

  • Thank every potential donor for their time, regardless of the outcome. If they request more information or time to decide, schedule a follow-up contact.
  • For those who have committed to donating, provide clear instructions on making the contribution and promptly confirm receipt and acknowledgment of their donation.

4. Maintain the Relationship

a. Donor Stewardship:

  • Develop a plan for ongoing engagement with high-dollar donors. This includes regular updates on the campaign’s progress, exclusive briefings, and invitations to events.
  • Personalize communication and ensure that donors feel valued and informed about the impact of their contributions.

b. Compliance and Transparency:

  • Ensure that all contributions are processed in accordance with campaign finance laws and regulations.
  • Maintain transparent records of all donations and donor interactions.

Implementing a structured and personalized “Dialing for Dollars” plan is essential for securing high-dollar contributions. It requires thorough preparation, a tailored approach for each donor, and diligent follow-up to build and maintain strong relationships with your campaign’s key supporters.

Sample Phone Script for making high-dollar fundraising calls

A strong relationship with potential high-dollar donors is essential before making any financial request. Here is a sample script for an initial call to a potential high-dollar donor, focusing on relationship-building rather than an immediate ask for money:


Candidate: Hello [Donor’s Name], this is [Your Name], and I’m reaching out today not just as a candidate in the upcoming [election type] for [position], but as someone deeply committed to [briefly state your core campaign issue or value]. I’ve been following your contributions to our community, especially your support for [mention any specific cause, project, or previous political support they’ve given that aligns with your campaign]. Your impact is truly inspiring.

Donor: Thank you, [Your Name]. I appreciate your kind words and I’m aware of your campaign. What can I do for you today?

Candidate: I wanted to personally connect with you to discuss our shared vision for [mention a broad goal or value, e.g., educational reform, community safety, etc.]. It’s clear that we both believe in [mention a specific outcome or value you both support], and I’m eager to hear your thoughts on what changes or improvements you’d like to see in our [community/state/country].

[Allow the donor to speak and share their thoughts. Listen actively and engage with what they say, showing genuine interest.]

Candidate: Those are insightful points, [Donor’s Name]. I share your concerns about [mention a specific point they brought up], and it’s a key focus of my campaign. We’re currently exploring strategies like [briefly outline a policy or initiative], and I believe that together, we can make a significant impact.

Donor: That sounds interesting, [Your Name]. I’m glad to hear that those issues are a priority for your campaign.

Candidate: Absolutely, [Donor’s Name]. And it’s conversations like this that are invaluable. They help shape a more informed and effective campaign that truly reflects our community’s needs and aspirations. While today’s call is just to start our conversation and get to know each other better, I would love the opportunity to keep you updated on our progress and discuss further how we can collaboratively work towards [campaign goal].

Donor: I’d like that. Keeping in touch sounds good.

Candidate: Thank you, [Donor’s Name]. I’ll make sure to send you some information on our latest initiatives and perhaps we can schedule a time to meet and discuss further. Your guidance and support could be transformative for our campaign. Before I let you go, is there any advice you’d like to share with me or any other areas you think our campaign should focus on?

[After listening to their advice or suggestions]

Candidate: Your advice is incredibly valuable, and I’ll certainly take it to heart. Thank you again for your time today, [Donor’s Name]. I look forward to our next conversation and hopefully, working closely together for the betterment of our [community/state/country]. Have a wonderful day!


This script focuses on building rapport and showing genuine interest in the donor’s perspectives and contributions, laying the groundwork for a strong relationship before any financial solicitation occurs.

A diligent candidate understands the pivotal role of personal outreach in a successful campaign, committing to no less than 14 calls per week to connect with potential high-dollar donors. This discipline not only reflects their dedication but serves as a cornerstone in building the financial foundation necessary to propel their vision forward.

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