Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fill Those Coffers

Plenty of positive indicators, that the Liberals are getting back in the game on the fundraising front. Taber details what amounts to a mega fundraiser, that could well add close to 1 million to the Liberal coffers. We also get the first indication, although not surprising, that this quarter's fundraising will be "significantly" improved, relative to past efforts. Taber puts her usual gossipy spin on the efforts, but all I see are dollar signs, which translate into a formidable counter to the Conservatives:
For $1,100, you can talk to Michael Ignatieff at a cocktail reception and then sit really close to him at the dinner that follows. Pay $500 and all you get is the rubber chicken.

This latest Grit tactic is being employed for the Leader's Dinner, a major Liberal Party fundraiser being held at the swank Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto on April 1. More than 1,000 people are expected.

Taking the middle ground, you're looking at around 750 thousand minimum for this type of fundraiser, a staggering figure by Liberal standards.

We also get some indication from Rossi, that this quarter has been a good one for the Liberals:
Mr. Rossi, the party's national director whose background is fundraising, predicted yesterday that total donations for the first quarter of 2009 "will be significantly better than the first quarter last year, despite the recession ...The Liberals raised $846,000 in the first quarter last year"

There are two important factors to consider here. Obviously, the aforementioned CASH, what that means to a party, desperate to compete with the Conservative machine. However, maybe just as important, in terms of free media and positive frames, this idea that the Liberals are on the move under Ignatieff. We've all seen how previous fundraising numbers have been used to promote negative storylines, cementing the sense of a weak alternative to the Conservatives. Robust fundraising, relative improvement, creates more buzz for the party, it keeps a fickle media onside. As an extension of that sentiment, packed rooms validate the sense of a reinvigorated party. In addition, improved fortunes can spook the Conservatives, who see a more formidable opponent, capable of counter. We don't have to match the Conservatives at this point, just demonstrate a positive trend. Hard not to be cautiously optimistic.


RuralSandi said...

Tories won't like this. Let me guess, Janke will be on this to look for something wrong.

Gayle said...

He already has Sandi.

Steve V said...

Why do I have this visual, of a room full of old Hardy Boy novels?

marie said...

Good for them if they can find the right people to attend. The average Canadian will not be attending due to next to nothing funds. It is a little rich for ordinary people. But I would assume they already know that. If Mr. Harpoon can do it, why can't the LIbs? Yep Janke is already on this. Didn't he have a request for aid himself recently for a court case? Seems he hasn't clued in about slander yet and willing to give it another shot. Dumb or dumber?.

Steve V said...


They had an event in Montreal, that was only 10 dollars to attend, great turnout, so I think it's different venues. As long as we have different types, with different levels, I'm good. If you can get big donations, go for it :)

Anonymous said...

Well, for the first time ever, I actually received a phone call about the upcoming event here in Vancouver, which sounds like a very similar event (including calling it a leadership dinner).

Of important note is I can't afford it right now either, and based on my track record in the past year it would have been a stretch to suggest I could ;).

However, the fact that they even called - and left vm - prompted me to go online and give what I could. I was just so happy to see them back in the game, so to speak.

The cardinal rule of selling is you have to ask for the business (so to speak). So kudos for being organized to reach out.

It is true that many people can't give as much as some events might cost, but being willing and able to host such events can serve as an incentive to those willing to do what they can.

In the US, the Democrats have perfected "matching" programs where some donors who can still donate funds (are not at their maximum amount of giving) agree to use their remaining allowance to match funds of other - usually new - donors.

So you would periodically receive a request touting that any donation you make will be matched to further the support.

Obama even took that one step further and would electronically link you to the name of the individual who matched your funds . Not enough detail to stalk them ; ), but they did allow you a means to send them a "thank you" for matching your donation if you wished. Very sophisticated operation, but again a very smart way of really investing the donor in the process.

I'm not even sure something like that would be allowed in Canada, but that type of innovation is needed to match the conservatives. Keep in mind the Republicans in the US, and later the conservatives in Canada, were both taught by the "masters" of fundraising - evangelical churches - who learned that fear and prejudice was a winning formula for loosening the purse-strings. I don't mean that to sound nasty. The reality is its the truth. Some of the folks brought into the Republican fold in the 80s and 90s were from evangelical churches, and they essentially did adapt their mega-church fundraising techniques to the political realm. They were quite proud of their success actually.

I'm not saying that fear and pettiness is the way to go, but to counter the conservative fundraising does call for coming up with some winning innovations to counter it. It took US Democrats a while to learn new techniques to build an effective counter. That is what the Liberals in Canada are going to need to do. Glad to see they are starting that process.

Steve V said...

Good stuff Joseph :)

RuralSandi said...

I have a dumb thought. I watched some of QP - Members Statements today and again the Cons tried the partisan nonsense, Kinsella, Elizabeth May, etc.

Perhaps we should start a group. Everytime the Cons do this crap on our taxpayer funded time we give $5.00 or $10.00 to the Liberals.

Steve V said...

Given what bottom feeders we're talking about here, we might not be able to afford that Sandi ;)

Anonymous said...

"Hard not to be cautiously optimistic."

There are disgruntled Grits lurking wanting to see Iggy fail

"It is apparent that the Liberal Party of Canada is on the road to self-destruction," states the document, whose authors identify themselves only as "concerned Liberals." It says the party "has been wounded by years of internal division. The wound cannot heal by itself, it needs to be honestly addressed …

"The longer the truth remains hidden and unspoken, the more the wound festers and the infection spreads," it continues. It says that for the well-being of the party "we need to break the silence about the perversity of eroding democratic decision making, particularly in the policy process" and "the impropriety of ignoring the LPC Constitution whenever that document becomes inconvenient."

Note also that the Grits let the 3 billion dollar stimulus fund through. So Layton has some ammo to fire at us in the short term.

Steve V said...

"There are disgruntled Grits lurking wanting to see Iggy fail"

If that is true, in any mainstream sense, why is fundraising up, attendance to events up, organization growing, talk of "unity" at every turn, no more "anonymous" Liberals, etc, etc. Mushroom, that comment seems more about personal bias, than accurate read of the situation. If you can't be optimistic with these indicators, then I don't know what would satisfy.