For countless months you’ve campaigned, shaken hands, created a phone bill a mile long and asked supporters to donate to your campaign. Now that you’ve had about a month to settle in since Election Day, it’s time to head back into the real world so that voters can feel they made the right choice in checking the box next to your name (or the wrong choice by choosing your opponent).
The holidays are the perfect time to start reconnecting with supporters and planting the seeds that will produce a healthy crop of new supporters and donors for the next election cycle. Here are some ways to invest during this festive time of year:
Christmas cards: Many times it’s the “non-ask” that speaks louder than the ask. Just like the parent who dreads the phone call from their 22-year-old son, who only makes contact to beg for cash, so should you reach out to your donors at times beyond solicitations. A simple note of appreciation can go far in the long run. For example: “Thank you for your support this past year. We can’t help but reflect on our many blessings and the people who have stood by us. May this glorious season fill your heart with love and the hope of a bright New Year.”
Volunteer: The opportunities to connect with donors, charities and get positive media attention are abundant during the holidays. While events to lend a hand are present all year round, the outreach programs are larger and the stage grander during December. Nothing stands out more to a constituent than when a politician works hands-on towards helping the community.
Create an event: Since 1929, when former-First Lady Lou Henry Hoover decorated the first official White House Christmas tree, Washington D.C. has carried on the tradition of inviting the nation into its inner sanctum to see how the presidential family celebrates the season. Why not create a celebration of your own? A luncheon with your top supporters, an open house hosted by your office or an outdoor concert (depending on your locale) can spread some holiday cheer and instill a much-looked-forward-to tradition for years to come. It’s the personal touch that causes people to invest in you both emotionally and financially.
A glance into everyday life: In keeping with that last point, post a message on a social media platform that shares how you spend the holidays. For example, although the presidential race is over for Mitt Romney, on Thanksgiving morning he had a lovely, unpolished picture of Ann and himself with the comment, “Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Much to be thankful for this year.”
Erik currently runs sales and marketing for CMDI, the largest Republican fundraising technology platform.