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If you are running for office this year or plan to some day, you’ll be doing campaign fundraisers. Today, a few words about how to have a successful cocktail party.

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1. Find a host. Someone who is a stout supporter, who has made a substantial contribution to your campaign. Set a goal of what you want to raise at the event.

2. Pick a venue. Preferably the home of your host, or a facility that your host owns.

3. Put together an invitation list. The initial list should come from your host. Repeat. You want your host to invite their friends, relatives, business and professional associates. Then supplement their list with yours.


4. Decide the price, time, date & theme. Make sure you include an RSVP, and a way for people to pay in advance, preferably by credit card, or pay pal. What you charge depends on what your host tells you their friends are capable of giving. I’ve seen parties that cost $1,000. And those that cost $25.

5. Mail the invitations 2-3 weeks before the event, followed by email reminders, and if need be, phone calls.

6. Make sure you monitor the response rate. One of the principal jobs of the host is getting people to the party. It is the job of your staff to take care of the food and beverages. It is your job as a candidate to make sure the host is getting people to the event.

If you follow the steps I just mentioned you will have a successful event. One note of caution. Keep an eye on guests and their drinking. If someone has had too much, give them a ride home.

I’ll be doing more videos in the coming weeks on time honored ways to raise money.

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running for office

Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.

How to win an election:

Running for office and knowing how to win an election is a challenge, especially for first time political candidates just learning how to run for office. Discerning the fine points of how to campaign, raise political contributions, and execute a political campaign strategy often requires the help of someone who has served as a political strategist or who has experience as a political consultant.

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