Thursday, April 18, 2024

In-kind Contributions

Ways to contribute not involving money!

Most of you are asked to make contributions of some kind to just about everything on a daily basis. Your chamber of commerce, the local baseball team, the museum and even the Girl Scouts who come knocking on your door. You could go broke contributing to all of those groups needing cash.

There are ways, however, to help out someone running for office without using money.

Keep in mind that campaigns need access to your friends, families and associates. Here are some places you can provide that access and not hit the pocketbook:

Make an effort to involve the candidate in community activities with which you are associated. Naturally, right away you’re thinking about how you can get the candidate for the next meeting of your local business organization. You might even consider organizing some sort of economic conference involving the candidate in, say, an exchange of ideas about how to attract local business.

Look for other opportunities, too:

  • Are you active in a local chapter of your college alumni society?
  • Can you bring the candidate to a meeting of your fraternal organization? A church-sponsored event? An historic preservation outing? An arts performance?
  • Have you joined a local coalition to promote community awareness of a problem such as drunken driving or illiteracy?
  • Do you volunteer time to work with the elderly at local retirement homes? (Senior citizens have high voter turnout.)
  • Do you coach a little league team? (Parents who attend the games vote, you know.)
  • You can provide a forum and open up many avenues for the candidate in the community. Be creative.
  • Although you want to avoid using company resources, you may want to invite the candidate to one of your regular board of directors meetings. Remember, your board contains some of the most important people in the community, and the candidate would welcome the opportunity to talk with them.
  • Throw a barbecue or host a coffee for the candidate at your house, something that involves food and fun. Invite your neighbors and other associates. This doesn’t have to be a fund-raiser. (Dollar cost of event MUST be from personal funds – not the bank!)
  • Remember: no corporate contributions!

Having personal access to all these new people will be valuable for the candidate in itself. And, the candidate will never forget it.