How To Guide: 24 Hr Fundraising Blitz

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How-to Guide: 24 Hr Fundraising Blitz












With Zoom burnout from 2020 and 2021, a 24 hr fundraising blitz is a great way to raise money for candidates through email, social media, and texting. In 2021, teams built matching donation pools and used the urgency of matching dollars to engage small-dollar donors and quickly raise funds in a 24 hour period.

Ten teams participated in matching donation blitzes for the 2021 cycle, raising over $37,000 for candidates. Follow this guide to plan your own matching blitz and check out the blitz case studies from our CA-3 and Portland teams. 

Hosting a 24 hr Fundraising Blitz:

  1. Choose a date and set a fundraising goal. Consider days with significance to the election (ex. 100 days to election day, voter registration deadline, the first day of early voting, one month from election day, etc.)
  2. Create ActBlue link refcodes for matching pool and blitz day donations 
  3. Solicit matching donations from leaders, networks, and past donors to create a matching pool
    • CA-3 had two anonymous donors pledge $1,000 each
    • Portland and Chicago gathered donations from leaders and leaders’ networks to create large matching pools
    • Brooklyn, Wisconsin, and Bronx/Westchester teams called past $100+ dollar donors to build their matching pools. 
  4. Prep email and Hustle notifications. Work with your Org Dept staffer to develop language, load Hustle texts, and schedule emails.  Check out the Action Network Guide and the Hustle Guide.  Find examples in the CA-3 and Portland case studies.
  5. Send or schedule send emails, texts, and social media posts. Suggested schedule:
    • Pre-Blitz: Email alert 2-3 days prior to blitz day
    • Blitz day:
      • 8am: Email announcing the start of the blitz
      • 10am: Hustle texts 
      • 2pm: Email Boost
      • 6pm: Last chance email
      • Throughout the day: social media updates, respond to texts
    • Post-blitz
      • 10am: Thank you and final amount raised update
  6. Optional: Didn’t hit goal? Pull a list of past donors and have leaders call each donor to encourage them to participate. Follow up with personal texts and email. 
  7. Thank donors!

Be creative! Each 24-hr Fundraising Blitz looked a little different in 2021. Check out some of the creative approaches teams took this year:

  • CA-3: Used their active Facebook and Instagram pages to update their team on blitz progress every few hours. Read the full case study here
  • Portland: Portland leader John solicited matching donations of $300-$500 from his friends and network to create a $3,000 matching pool. Read the full case study here
  • Chicago: An anonymous donor gave an additional $1,000 to the matching pool during the blitz for an exciting mid-day bump, increasing the match from $3,500 to $4,500! The team advertised the increase over email and a second round of texts
  • Brooklyn: Didn’t hit the match on blitz day, but extended the match through the following week to make calls, send texts, and email past donors to increase participation 
  • Wisconsin: Created their matching dollars by pooling small-dollar donations from past-year donors

Hosting a Multi-Team Fundraising Blitz:

In August 2022, Sister District DC/VA/MD and Sister District MA-RI teamed up on the first multi-team fundraising blitz. Over the course of 72 hours, the two teams used their shared pool of matching dollars to encourage donations from both lists.  Together they raised over $11,500!

Below are a few of the top tips from team leaders:

Preparing for the blitz

  1. Use the Sister District Directory to see other teams supporting the same candidate(s)
  2. Extending the 24 hours into 72, leaders were able to send multiple rounds of fundraising emails to donors within their networks
  3. Utilize urgency messaging in the follow up emails such as “it’s not too late!” and “your last chance”
  4. Pooling donations from both teams increases the available matching dollars and adds more opportunities to “unlock” additional funds
  5. Working with another team adds a sense of camaraderie and builds the idea that “this is part of something bigger and more widespread than just us alone”
  6. Sister District MA-RI had a donor who pledged a large amount and postponed using the second half of the pledge for the second candidate. This increased fundraising for the second candidate when many donors have already been tapped.

During the blitz

  1. Chapters should seek matching-funds right up to the eve of a blitz and should not hesitate to re-approach those who didn’t provide matching dollars. Those donors can instead make a contribution during the blitz itself.
  2. At least two announcements should be sent per day by email and social media to remind folks of the blitz and the opportunity to support the candidate.
  3. Announcements should contain progress to goal. On the final day, emails should ask people to dig deeper to reach goal.
  4. Last-day announcements should include news of last-minute matching challenges—those having been held in reserve until then to maximize their impact. If approved by the donor, those announcements can mention the donor’s name and the amount offered as a challenge.

After the blitz

  1. Send an email as soon as possible after the blitz to celebrate success! Mention how much was raised and what impact the funds may have had.
  2. Thank donors! Send a thank you to all those who donated and include the ActBlue link in case they wish to donate a little extra.
  3. Include a message in the follow ups to encourage any final donations