Funding Specifics To Get Shift Started
Friday, August 23, 2019
The Shift the Country PAC is raising funds... to help win the heart of rural America. The goal is to help the left win the Senate & the White House, & to hold the US House in 2020.
The idea with this work is something like what Indivisible (no affiliation) has created – to put out a set of tools people can use where they are, to create influence and change. Shift the Country work is about leveraging the power of community and connection to create tipping points at every level. It’s action + personal connection in the smallest towns... to cities... to social networks... to viral online phenomena to reach voters everywhere.
We start in rural places & go out from there. People can use tools we’re developing to build coalitions with shared priorities, work locally on implementing projects + priorities, & advocate together to politicians who could help. People seeing real-world activity happening nearby that will impact their lives can experience a shift – to become more engaged, & more invested in the stakes.
Contributions will help Shift the Country PAC grow in influence, effectiveness, capability, impact, and reach. A separate post gets into the specific methodology for What We're Here To Do. This page outlines planned estimated operating expenses for the first six months of operation to assist with fundraising strategy and planning, and to provide detail to potential contributors.
Funds may be received through:
- One-time or monthly contributions online at ActBlue
- Checks mailed one-time or on any regular schedule to Shift the Country PAC, PO Box 1093, Ames, IA 50014.
Monthly contributions can help with long-term planning, effectiveness, and organizational continuity. ActBlue provides a recurring donation capability for contributors, or checks can be mailed regularly to the address above.
Fundraising "Big Picture"
Fundraising solicitation efforts will begin with individuals to bring in baseline funding, and expand to include the range of available donors as time and money allow.
Per the FEC, "Political committees that make only independent expenditures (Super PACs) may solicit and accept unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor organizations and other political committees. They may not accept contributions from foreign nationals, federal contractors, national banks or federally chartered corporations” (emphasis added).
Shift the Country PAC can build funding support from thousands of people, businesses, and organizations already invested across America, willing to invest further to make shift happen in 2020… everyone from agricultural businesses to farmers to technology startups to micro-city business owners to entrepreneurs to main street business owners to public servants to academics to you.
As a Super PAC, we can build a very expansive funding coalition. The nature of the work we are doing to foster the creation of tipping points via connection and community means that investment acts a force multiplier. We can do great things.
Monthly Operating Estimates
The monthly operating goal of the Shift the Country PAC is to provide a robust capability to build and grow the elements to create and expand a movement to Shift the Country – through technology, writing, publishing, fundraising, social media, marketing, and strategy to expand capacity and reach.
Monthly planned expenditures are estimated below. Basic operations are between $10,000-15,000/mo., plus up to $10,000/mo. for marketing, amplifying, & influence online -- for a total of $25,000/mo. to be optimally effective. That budget funds a tiny staff and some serious social media influence.
Total monthly expenditures will be lower in the initial months as fundraising increases. PAC operations will expand as certain fundraising thresholds are met to facilitate continuity. As operations are funded and implemented, monthly expense estimates will be refined and updated. Operations may expand beyond the initial estimate range once the organization is well funded and well established –- to increase content, permeation, influence, & reach.
The Super PAC launched August 9 with initial funding of $0. Fundraising is the top priority for August & September 2019.
Independent expenditures (IEs - more info in the next section) are the core of the operation; there are administrative, fundraising, filing, management, and other expenses as well.
- Up to $ 8,000 / mo. – IE – CORE OPERATIONS (will increase over time). Operations are the core work for Shift the Country PAC. Most operations will be conducted under contracts or sub-contracts with appropriate specialized freelancers on an as-needed basis. Operations work will include project planning & management; database & data management; & business process analysis of data, metrics, fundraising, marketing, reach, etc. & corresponding recommendations to evolve & update operations accordingly. Initial operations work will involve development, posting, publishing, & sharing of tools (71 pages outlined in the proposal) in text or video format, & related curriculum & other planning – so that leaders, volunteers, activists, boundary spanners, & country shifters everywhere can start using the tools at scale by late fall 2019 to begin creating shifts now to help create tipping points by November 2020. Other initial operations will include development & design of a standalone website (at www.shiftthecountry.com) with a robust content management system (CMS) & moving existing content to the new site. Operations will include continued tool development & publishing; website & social media content creation including blog posts; news monitoring; social media audience development; marketing & advertising coordination & planning; graphic design work. Operations to plan, edit, product, & conduct webinars, live video events, conference calls, & podcasts can increase visibility & reach as the movement expands. Operations include addressing organizational cybersecurity & other security risks as they arise, including from hostile foreign adversaries & domestic actors, to include troll management or harassment (this may or may not be covered as an IE depending on context). Operations will address & create action to support the various teams & work people sign up for when they subscribe. Operations may include building a platform for public community & conversation (i.e., a public member forum) to facilitate team work & coordination within movement & at scale. Other services will emerge & clarify as the movement grows.
- $ 1,000 / mo. – IE – EVENT COORDINATION, SCHEDULING, & TRAVEL (will increase over time). Online & in-person event coordination, logistics, & scheduling – including related travel around the US. Likely to expand as operations, amplifying, reach, & capacity expand.
- $ 100 / mo. – IE – PRINTED MATERIALS. Flyers, program materials for events, business cards, postcards, or other similar items.
- $ 1,100 / mo. – TECH, HOSTING, HARDWARE, SOFTWARE, SUBSCRIPTIONS. Acquire, access, & use technology strategically for amplification & for the creating of tipping points, including for a digital presence, outreach, & marketing. Capabilities include support for the website; website hosting; email hosting; email & newsletter broadcast services; internal databases; access to voter data; membership services for amplifying such as LinkedIn; video, webinar, & conference call services; video & podcast production & hosting; hardware; news subscriptions for social media updates, awareness, & research; & software.
- $ 300 / mo. – OFFICE SPACE & SUPPLIES. Includes co-working space, meeting rooms when needed, mailing address, miscellaneous office supplies.
- $ 3,500 / mo. – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. Executive with a full-time commitment to ramping up PAC operations, setting up contracts for operations, building and expanding capabilities, initial fundraising, initial content development, initial social media content, initial marketing and amplifying work, and all other activities. Work to coordinate compliance with FEC regulations. Build a coalition of partners and organizations to help make shift happen. As additional PAC capacity is put in place, responsibilities will shift.
- $ 500 / mo. – ADMIN / VIRTUAL ASSISTANT / TECH INTEGRATION. Technical systems integration & administration; could expand as operation grows. Could include processes or support for managing/sending email, content management, & event coordination.
- $ 500 / mo. – FEC FILING, BOOKKEEPING, & LEGAL EXPENSES. Capability for required bookkeeping, for accounting, for meeting FEC and IRS filing and reporting requirements, & for other related legal and similar expenses.
- BASIC OPERATIONS SUB-TOTAL = $10,000 - $15,000 / mo.
- Up to $ 10,000 / mo. – IE – MARKETING, AMPLIFYING, & INFLUENCE (will increase over time). Promote Shift the country work, vision, & progress to win the heart of rural America. Promote the awareness & spread of tools to Shift the Country. Amplify application & use of tools underway in locations around the US. Build social media / digital influence & strategy to help foster & push tipping points via Shift the Country PAC content, platforms, channels, & activities to expand over time; related research & testing to create viral content. Other related actions to grow the movement. Counter foreign election influence intended to sow discord & division through Shift the Country work that builds connection, community, & resilience where we live; work that disarms contempt. Promote events & activities; & messaging & tools related to language, values, & framing from relevant sections in the Proposal to Shift the Country.
- TOTAL = $25,000 / mo. FOR OPTIMAL EFFECTIVENESS
With an estimate of $25,000 / month in total planned operating expenses to be most effective, Shift the Country PAC will need to raise $150,000 to fully fund the first six months of operations, for continuity and for maximum impact and reach. Operations will begin slowly and expand as funding becomes available.
The breakdown below shows generally how many contributors would be needed to raise $25,000 per month. This is for easy reference only - to show that many contributors giving small amounts can make a big difference:
- $5 / mo. x 5000 donors = $25000
- $10 / mo. x 2500 donors = $25,000
- $20 / mo. x 1000 donors = $25,000
- $50 / mo. x 500 donors = $25,000
- $100 / mo. x 250 donors = $25,000
- $1000 / mo. x 25 donors = $25,000
The mission of Shift the Country PAC is to help democrats get enough electoral college votes to win the White House in 2020, to win the US Senate, and to hold the US House.
As such, core operations for this Super PAC are “independent expenditures,” or “IEs," defined by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as “an expenditure for a communication, such as a website, newspaper, TV or direct mail advertisement that: expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate; and is not made in consultation or cooperation with, or at the request or suggestion of a candidate, candidate’s committee, party committee or their agents.” Shift the Country PAC is a federal Super PAC working to influence federal elections only.
While many PACs focus on television and other traditional media advertising and marketing, the Shift the Country PAC is not planning major television or other traditional media expenditures at this time. This nascent organization intends to work with a combination of digital and on-the-ground organizing methodologies for engagement, persuasion, and amplification. Money invested in this Super PAC has the potential for a wider reach and/or for more measurable metrics in some cases than that of traditional media channels pursued by other PACs. We are innovating, problem-solving, and blazing a trail for doing campaign work differently.
People are looking for ways to do some good. Our plan is to offer ways to engage, persuade, and amplify - and to get tools out to people across the country so we create shift everywhere in time for the 2020.
We're planning to win rural America's heart. Thank you so much for all the ways you are helping - here and everywhere.
"We do it together. That's how we get it done." - Michonne, in The Walking Dead
This post is a fundraising solicitation for the Shift the Country PAC, a federal Super PAC working on the 2020 election based in rural America. Not authorized by any party, candidate, or candidate’s committee.
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