7. Funding and finances


There are several different ways to raise money and a mixture of all of them will produce results:

  • Members and Social Events
  • Regular Donors
  • Major Donors
  • Internet
  • Mailing
  • Selling goods to general public

Members and Social Events

These are a good way to bring members together in a relaxed way as well as raise money. Events can be organised on a very local or wider basis.

Meals, quizzes, parties, themed meals (for instance American Barbecue on July 4th, American Independence day) are all good. A wide variety of events works best at attracting a wide group of people.

Keeping people informed through regular newsletters helps increase the success of these events.

Regular Donors

Some members and supports may be able to give a regular amount each month, preferably via their bank account. A variant of this is a ‘Supporters Club’ when half the money goes to the party and half is used as prizes for a monthly draw (a form of lottery).

Regular donations allow you to know that you have a set income every month.  Remember to show how their money is spent and to write back to them. For instance saying ‘thank you, your donation pays the salary of our organiser for one day a month’.

Major Donors

Wealthy people can, obviously, give larger amounts. They need to be targeted carefully and invited to more ‘up market’ events allowing with well known figures in the party such as MPs. Making them feel wanted and important to you is important to maximise their support.

However care needs to be taken to avoid conflicts of interest occurring.


The internet is a great way to allow a lot of people who are wider supporters to give money. Barak Obama used this approach very effectively in his campaign.

Websites should always ask for donations and should make giving easy.



Mailing people you know have supported you in the past is an excellent way of raising money. But –

  • Always ask for money for a specific election or campaign
  • Show how the money would be spent
  • Point out that very small donation counts.

Selling goods to general public

This involves having market stalls, fairs or even small shops to sell normally second-hand goods for a profit. Books are particularly successful.

The aim is to collect unwanted books etc from members and supporters for free and to then sell them on at a profit. Sometimes it is also possible to bulk buy something cheaply and make a profit selling it on. The advantage with this form of fundraising is that it gets money from people would not normally give it and do not actually support you.

Another area where you can make money is by selling spare capacity on your riso.

The disadvantage is that it is very time consuming and involves a lot of storage and administration. However in Britain it does work very well for a lot of charities.