I have received several requests from regular readers, particularly those from Associations run by volunteers, to explain how we run our Summer and Christmas Draws and make so much money.
This coinsides with my role on the Kent Area Management Committee, where I have responsibility for sharing Best Practice.
Across Kent we have some incredibly talented people, and our 17 Associations all have their own strengths and weaknesses. We are often quick to criticise those who don't appear to pull their weight, but sadly we are not so fast to acknowledge and share success. This is something I am passionate about and keen to address.
Take the annual Summer and Christmas Draws. Not perhaps the most vital or exciting aspect of a political party's work, but given the profit from this will finance campaigning, we need to get it right. For example, last year one Kent Association raised £5,000 from the two draws where the neighbouring Association (with the same number of members) raised just £2,500. (I am not betraying any secrets - this information is all published on the Electoral Commission's website). A quick "back of the envelope" calculation shows that if each of our 17 Associations performed as strongly as the strongest (in %age response terms) we would generate around £25,000pa of additional income - the money required to cover three parliamentary election campaigns!
This year the newly elected Chairman of one Association asked me to review their own operation and advise how they might improve their income from the summer and Christmas draw. In fairness, I should acknowledge that this particular Association has one of the strongest branch networks in the county and raises more money from branch fundraising than anywhere else. However, their direct mail income was weak and last year their summer draw returned around £350. By following the Best Practice plan, their 2013 summer draw income has more than trebled to £1200 (with just £70 of additional costs).
For anyone interested, here is a copy of my plan which can be downloaded via the following link. I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to contact me if you would like further information.