How to Raise Money for Elizabeth at an Event
Thank you so much for your interest in raising money for Elizabeth Warren!
Elizabeth doesn’t take money from special interests, federal lobbyists, or PACs of any kind — and she’s taking grassroots campaigning further than anyone by doing away with private fundraisers and call time with ultra-wealthy donors. Nobody can buy access to Elizabeth. That’s why fundraising events led by supporters like you — “friendraisers” — are so important.
You don’t need to have special skills to raise money for the campaign.
The purpose of a Friendraiser event is to rally people in your community to chip in to Elizabeth’s campaign and build our grassroots network. (Have questions about throwing a successful organizing party event? You can follow the steps in our organizing party toolkit to make your event a success.)
IMPORTANT RULES FOR RAISING MONEY FOR ELIZABETH
- All donations should be made through an online donation link and include a donor’s employer and occupation information.
- Only contributions from individuals should be accepted in connection with your event. Before accepting contributions from any other source, contact a campaign staffer.
- Each individual may contribute up to $5,600 – $2,800 for the primary election, and $2,800 for the general election.
- Federal law requires that all guests make their own individual donation to the campaign. As a host, you may not collect money from other donors or attendees and donate it under your own name. To put it differently, if Person “A” wants to contribute to the campaign, the campaign can only accept that contribution from the checking account of Person “A”. It is unlawful for Person “A” to give the money to Person “B” and have Person “B” make the contribution in Person “B’s” name.
- Donations made to the Warren for President campaign cannot come from foreign nationals unless they are permanent residents of the U.S. (often referred to as “green card” holders). Before accepting a contribution from a permanent U.S. resident, the campaign generally requires some form of proof of U.S. resident status such as a photocopy of his or her green card. Contact a campaign staffer for more information on this requirement.
- Donations made to the Warren for President campaign cannot come from “federal contractors.” While this prohibition does not prevent individuals who simply work for companies that are federal contractors from making contributions from personal funds, it does prohibit persons who themselves contract with the United States or any federal agency from making contributions.
- Warren for President cannot accept contributions from corporations (including LLCs that have chosen to be treated as corporations for tax purposes), unions, a national bank, any corporation organized by authority of any law of Congress such as a federally chartered savings and loan association.
- If a vendor (such as a restaurant or coffee shop) wants to provide food or beverages for your event at a special discount, the vendor may do so provided that (i) the vendor does not provide the food and beverages at a price below the vendor’s own costs, and (ii) the total discount provided by the vendor does not exceed $1,000 per election. This limitation applies only to discounts above and beyond the discount a vendor would ordinarily provide to any customer.
- Individuals are generally prohibited from using corporate resources, including conference rooms, office supplies, and the time of corporate employees, in connection with an event. While there are certain exceptions to these rules that apply in very limited circumstances, you must consult with a campaign staffer before using corporate resources to organize, promote, or host your event.
- A volunteer is welcome to provide entertainment for your event free of charge, but only if there are no expenses associated with their performance (like renting a sound system). Any expenses associated with the entertainment other than the performer’s time may be considered a prohibited in-kind contribution to the campaign, either from the performer, or from you if you pay for the expenses.
How to Raise Money at Your Event
Set a budget. When hosting an event in your home, recreation room, or community room, you and your spouse, partners, or roommate may spend up to a total of $1,000 per person per election on food, beverages, and invitations. This $1,000 does not count against your individual contribution limit. You should not make any expenses other than for food, beverages, or invitations. The amount of any other expenses (such as the cost of decorations) may count as a prohibited in-kind contribution to the campaign. If you are hosting an event in a location other than your home, recreation room, or community room, consult with a campaign staffer prior to incurring any expenses in connection with the event.
Decide on a fundraising goal. Your goal can be a total amount raised for Elizabeth’s campaign, or an average donation amount per guest. Goals should be ambitious but realistic. Think about how many guests are coming to your event, and how much money is appropriate to ask them for. You know your friends best — for some, $100 might be reasonable, but for others, $10 might be all that’s in their budget, and that’s okay! Example: If you have 10 guests coming to your event, you might set a goal of $25 raised per person, or $250 total. Remember, if you decide that you want to sell tickets, or charge a certain amount for your guests to attend your event, the entire purchase price of the ticket must be considered a contribution and be reported to the campaign, regardless of the cost of the event. Federal law does not allow you to deduct any expenses from the contributions before they are sent to the campaign.
Invite people to your event. First, make a list of everyone you think would be interested in contributing and attending your event, including friends, family, and neighbors. You can use all methods to invite attendees to your event - social media, email, calls, texts or face-to-face. Don’t forget to tell guests this is a fundraiser. And encourage attendees to make their contribution in advanced online.
During the event: Set up a laptop (or two) and in an incognito window and open up your special donation link (created at elizabethwarren.com/myfundraising ) so that your guests can donate online. This is the preferred method of collecting contributions at events. Please use an incognito window.
You should not accept contributions made via cash or check at your event. If a guest does not wish to contribute online, he or she can contribute via mail in accordance with these instructions: https://elizabethwarren.com/give-by-mail. Remember, the campaign can only accept cash contributions in amounts up to $100 from permissible donors.
At the end of your event as your guest to:
- Be loud and proud. Post about your support for Elizabeth on social media with the hashtag #WinWithWarren, talk to your friends about it, shout it from the rooftops.
- Stay involved. Whether that means becoming a recurring donor, hosting an event like this of your own, or becoming a volunteer.
- Donate to this grassroots movement and Elizabeth’s campaign of ideas. Whatever amount makes sense for you.
Make a hard ask. Give a 5 - 10 minute overview of how important grassroots donations are for the campaign:
- Elizabeth is running to be the best president money can’t buy, but that means she needs our help.
- Her campaign finance policy — not just refusing money from PACs, special interests and federal lobbyists, but also refusing to do private fundraisers with ultra-wealthy donors or sell access — is incredible.
- That means all of us own an equal share of this campaign. Elizabeth’s time is not for sale, so when you pitch in, you’re making an important investment and you’re treated with the same importance as any other donor.
- It also makes our donations that much more important. This campaign relies entirely on donations from grassroots supporters like us.
- Elizabeth can win. But not without us. She can’t hope to stay competitive unless supporters like us pitch in what we can, when we can.
- If you’ve donated before, please do so again. And consider making a recurring donation, so the campaign knows they can count on that money, and can make educated spending decisions — like more staff and more offices.
- Our money is going toward a campaign dedicated to investing in organizing. Our dollars are helping the campaign hire more organizers and build the biggest grassroots organizing possible, across all 50 states and the territories.
- Plus, Elizabeth carves out time this week to call and thank her grassroots donors like us — so if you pitch in whatever you can, you might just get a call from Elizabeth herself!
- Almost any event can become a fundraiser! Some great examples include barbecues, potlucks, wine nights, and debate watch parties.
- Plan how you are going to thank your donors. A thank-you email, or even individual thank-you notes, are an important nice touch.
- It’s okay if some of your friends or guests are not All In for Elizabeth yet — they can still attend your event to learn more, and they can still donate to this campaign. Let them know that their donation does not have to mean exclusive support for Elizabeth — it can simply mean support for one (or many) of Elizabeth’s policy proposals and ideas, or belief in this model of grassroots campaigning, or a want to see a woman in the White House.
- Want to give out stickers, buttons, or other Elizabeth Warren merchandise at your event? No problem! Stock up beforehand on our online shop with the host discount code in your toolkit.
Questions about spending money on your event? Read our financial guidelines FAQ.