Magic, money-filled, no-work donor lists are as big of a fantasy as unicorns.
No one. And I mean no one has a magic list of donors dying to throw their money at any candidate who calls them.
Even one of the most prolific fundraisers in history is always looking for more people to contact.
There is a myth out there that a fundraising consultant with a list will be your way to a blockbuster fundraising campaign. I wish it were true, but it isn’t. Just because there is a donor list that you are calling it doesn’t mean that those donors will also automatically donate to you.
You must always prove your worthiness as a candidate to every donor that you speak with. You must show that you will be the representative/senator/congresswoman etc that they want.
If you are working off of an existing list then you are one step ahead of others who are curating their own list, but it still doesn’t mean that those donors will just hand their money over without asking questions of you or wanting to know where you stand on issues that are important to them.
As I’ve said before:
Fundraising is hard, grueling work, slogging in the mud sometimes.
I do not care what donor list you have, numbers go bad, people move, change their numbers, quit (retire) from their jobs and sadly they die.
Know that your list will not be perfect and just hang up and dial the next down the line. Don’t waste time getting upset about a busy tone or a disconnect and call the next number.
Just like Dory says, “Just keep swimming.” Some days it may feel like you are crossing the Pacific Ocean, but it will pay off if you just go through the process and make your calls.
I was in a Call Time Training just last week and we were working off of the candidate’s personal list from her cell phone. She had two numbers that were disconnected. It happens. She moved on and didn’t think about it again. She ended her day with a very successful fundraising day and probably did not give those numbers a second thought.
I wish that unicorns were real and I wish that magic donor lists existed. It would make my job and life a whole lot easier. If I ever find that unicorn or perfect donor list. This will be the first place that I alert the world to its existence.
So … do the work, work the process. But always keep going. Your campaign’s success depends on it.