By: Joseph Wendt
The 2016 elections is an excellent opportunity for Libertarians at a State and Local level to raise as much money as they can. Fresh off the State Convention in Palm Beach, we were able to raise about $6000 in profit after all the convention bills were paid. Given the mind-boggling horrible and polarizing candidates the Repub-o-crats are about to nominate for President, this is the year Libertarians can actually improve the LPF’s financial situation and, possibly, give our candidates an opportunity to actually raise enough cash to be competitive. Unfortunately, many will do the stupid thing and try some “get rich quick” scheme to raise money, instead of doing the basics.
News flash people, we don’t have to re-invent the wheel or go in blind not knowing what works. There are many who have tried, and failed miserably. First thing you need to know, T-shirts don’t make f***ing money. Think about it: first you have to come up with a design, find someone willing to produce the t-shirts at a “reasonable” price, store the damn shirts, then try to convince people to pay $40 for a product that would normally cost someone $15-$20. Seriously, how many times has the LPF produced t-shirts and end up years later trying to sell the same damn t-shirts until they’re all gone? It doesn’t work. If you want to sell t-shirts, create an account with cafepress, and let people buy them online without incurring any upfront costs or storage issues. If someone asks you or your affiliate to spend to make t-shirts, please hit them.
The second thing people need to realize, you are trying to get people to donate to the Libertarian Party (national, state, local, I don’t care, whatever floats your boat). Organize events that clearly tell people they are attending a LIBERTARIAN event. If you believe that we need to organize non-partisan events and work with other groups that don’t want to be political to bring us together for a common cause, you’re part of the problem.
Republicans & Democrats organize events to bring people into their Party; they work with organizations that benefit their Party and bring people into their Party. If you want to organize an event with groups that do not want the Libertarian brand on the event, you are not helping the Party and you are hurting its fundraising efforts. You have to work with organizations that don’t mind working with a political group and understand that we want to promote our political brand. That’s how we attract new people and bring in new donors.
Finally, just do the basics to raise money. It’s not hard to write a fundraising email or letter to ask your members to donate a small amount of money. If the LPF asked its, what, 3000 members (not registered voters, I’m using members in this example) to donate $20, potentially it would raise $60,000. That’s basic math, that’s low cost, and look at the potential result. It’s not some flashy, over-the-top plan to raise a lot of quick cash; it’s a simple, straightforward plan that costs us very little, but potentially can raise enormous sums. If you can’t find the time to do something this simple and want some flashy scheme to raise cash, please admit you are stupid and leave.
2016 is the year we can grow and change our Party for the better, and raise the money so we can develop the resources to become an effective political force in Florida, DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!!