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3 Things Nonprofits Can Learn from Political Fundraising

Production Solutions

Angela Struebing – President of CDR Fundraising Group – wrote an insightful blog for The Huffington Post earlier this year comparing nonprofit and political fundraising. In it she wrote:

Campaign buttons were the original premium item. Door-to-door get-out-the-vote efforts were the first generation of peer-to-peer fundraising. And FEC filing deadlines were the original #GivingTuesday goal. The main difference between political campaigns and nonprofits is their longevity, which leads to different fundraising tactics.

It is in the overlap of these tactics where the best nonprofit fundraising opportunities lie.

Boards & “Bundlers”

“Bundler” is a campaign term for someone who bundles together multiple financial gifts. Board members have the capacity and influence to serve as the nonprofit equivalent. In an article for, Jim Berigan explored several ways to turn board members into bundlers, including “giving them a uniform to put on, both literally and figuratively.” More than a t-shirt and lapel pin, giving your board members a uniform includes outfitting them with the right vocabulary.

Key stats, service numbers, and specific campaign talking points can assist board members in navigating their networks to bundle the best group of funding partners together.

The Urgency of Now

Campaigns, unlike nonprofit missions, have a finite end date. Any money raised after election day won’t help the campaign’s ultimate goal. That makes campaign fundraisers masters at leveraging the urgency of now. The more deadline-driven your fundraising campaign is, the more urgency it inspires in potential donors.

Tip: Leverage your newly-equipped bundlers to source multiple deadline-driven donations that make a huge campaign impact.


Nonprofits and politicians alike are looking for ways to effectively leverage the ever-increasing amount of available donor data. We know that the more you learn about your potential donors, the more targeted your interactions with them can be.

Nonprofits can leverage the benefits of this microtargeting through Co-ops.

By leveraging data aggregated across all participating co-op organizations, nonprofit members gain insight on giving behaviors, and as Angela Struebing wrote in an August DMAW blog:

No longer do nonprofits have to settle for generic list rentals, but rather they can get down to the individual donor level to select targeted individuals and adjust their messaging accordingly.

Though vast fundraising differences still exist between nonprofit and political campaigns, monitoring successful tactics from across the aisle can position nonprofits to maximize their next fundraising efforts.

Read Angela’s full DMAW Blog: Lessons Nonprofits Can Learn from Political Campaigns