Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Campaign Update: General Recap

Financial Reports: LINK

Alright, a few things to talk about; this will likely be the last post before the New Year, barring any major announcements or things to come out...Or if I finally decide what to say on endorsements and produce an editorial content post regarding that. Either way, we'll see what the future brings in terms of posts prior to 2013.

Let's focus at the most recent financial reports; which deal with the month of November. For the second month is a row, Ryan Meili's campaign was the overall leader in terms of donations, taking in $18,002.53. Trent Wotherspoon came in second with $16,596.00. Cam Broten is in third with $12,659.90. And Erin Weir rounds out the pack with $8,079.00.

This also marks the first month that Ryan's campaign has spent more than it took in; though, he was well stationed from the month prior to do so without fear of running into overspending. As with the month before, however, Cam Broten is still stationed as the candidate with the most cash on hand heading into the New Year. 

It's with that in mind that I'd like to examine the fundraising tactics used by the four campaigns.

I'll start with Ryan, since his campaign has been the most 'aggressive' with fundraising (I assure you, aggressive is not used in the negative sense there). I say that because his campaign seems to have been the most engaged in promoting new fundraising approaches and putting out calls for donations and membership. Ryan's campaign saw donors over a certain amount receive a copy of Ryan's book, which I think was a good way of bringing in donations and also getting more information about Ryan out. Effectively, it was a good fundraising idea, and I think it certainly helped Ryan clinch the fundraising lead.

Trent's campaign has also been fairly active with their fundraising approach, most recently launching a 'themed' fundraising appeal. Trent's campaign has been calling for supporters to be ready for 2013 by pledging $20.13 to Trent's campaign. Last I checked, I believe the campaign was about two-thirds to their set target. It was another interesting approach, if only because it set the individual amount at a rather reasonable level that could appeal to numerous people regardless of personal financial situation. I think it was another good fundraising approach, in terms of accessibility and also affordability, and we'll see what kind of dividends it pays out.

Cam's campaign has also taken a very interesting approach to fundraising recently. As noted, Cam is currently the candidate most flushed with cash on hand, and that's put him in an interesting position. Instead of putting out a call for more donations to his campaign, Cam has instead called for supporters to donate money directly to the party. As we've talked about before, Cam's focus has been on getting the NDP's own house in order, and this appeal is only strengthening his claim to being the candidate most concerned with doing so. It's an interesting approach, though it could backfire should Cam's campaign require more financial support in the New Year which results in a direct appeal for fundraising; but given his current financial standing, I think that's likely not going to happen.

Finally, that brings us to Erin Weir. I have to say, and I could be wrong on this one (someone let me know if I am), but I haven't noticed any particularly active fundraising methods from Erin's campaign. I imagine that the campaign is taking the approach of putting forward policies that encourage people to donate, rather than actively soliciting donations; or may be focusing on securing institutional (union, business, etc) donations. I suppose Erin's campaign may also be focused on raising donations through campaign events directly, rather than through a general appeal online. And while a focus on policy to foster donation isn't a bad way to go about it, I think there is some room for growth and expansion here and I imagine we'll (or at least hope to) see a more concentrated and direct fundraising campaign in the New Year.

As for a direct analysis for what the numbers mean...Well, that might be better left to someone more qualified to look at that sort of thing, but I will throw in my own personal two cents. I'm hesitant to say that a two-month fundraising lead means that Ryan's campaign has the most momentum in the leadership race, if only because as noted his campaign has been the most aggressive when it comes to actively fundraising. It's one of those you get what you put into it sort of deals, and when you have a heavy focus on fundraising there's a good chance you're going to get a lot out of it.

Of course, I've discussed before how I don't think you can accurate predict momentum based on fundraising, so I might just be fitting my own bias towards dismissing fundraising as a leadership indicator...That's not to diminish the numbers being brought in by Ryan, or any of the other candidates, but more of a general belief that the cash game doesn't always show who is going to walk away as leader come March.

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