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Never just ask for the amount you think a donor can give. Always ask for more.

Never just ask for the amount you think a donor can give. Always ask for more.

Figuring out how much money to ask a potential donor for is a difficult proposition. Even with lots of information about their past giving, current financial position and interest in your race, you’re still making a guess.

If you do a good job of pairing why you’re running and what you will fight to accomplish with the solutions they want to see enacted, there is a good chance that they’ll be generous towards your campaign.

So how much do we ask for? Your research and needs will give you an idea, but I recommend asking at the high end of the range you’ve established. The reason is simple: The likelihood that they’ll give more than you ask for is Zero.

Campaigns are full of stress. Know the negative ways you respond to stress and how to rebound.

Campaigns are full of stress. Know the negative ways you respond to stress and how to rebound.

Under pressure, we ALL react differently. Hopefully, we’re not talking about anger and losing your temper, but it probably doesn’t take much consideration for you to remember specific ways that stress alters your normal responses.

In my case, when stress and pressure mount, I put on blinders and go head down, feet forward. This is a great asset in focusing my energy and overcoming obstacles. But it also has downsides. I’ve found that I’m less likely to empathize effectively with others or recognize when I’m being overly callous. Over years of working in politics, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to deal well and poorly with stress…and I’ve done plenty of both.

I’ve also learned that the best way for me to dump stress is a one-two punch: briefly disconnect to get by myself and then get in some kind of physical exercise. The combination of peace, silence and endorphins from physical exertion do wonders for my attitude and outlook.

Knowing these potential weak points helps me avoid them though. If I hadn’t made and identified those traps, I wouldn’t be nearly as effective at combating them in the future.

How to Win Locally for Taxpayers – James Quintero

How to Win Locally for Taxpayers

The object of any campaign is to get elected and make a difference. Our guest this week does the hard work to make sure citizens, elected leaders and stakeholders can effectively achieve that goal.

I hope y’all are doing well and surviving what is now the final month of the 2018 election cycle!

This week we’re talking to somebody that’s outside the campaign world but has a job that heavily influences local governments and elected leaders. If you’re wanting to work in politics, outside of lobbying, chances are, you’ll fall into one of three categories: campaigns, staff or policy research. That last category is where this week’s guest comes from.

Now, real quick, before you turn to skip to another podcast, give me a chance to explain why we’re talking about policy today. The truth is that if you chained me to a desk and made me do policy research, I’d quickly start filing paper cuts into instruments of deadly force. Campaigns are what excite me.

But even though I don’t want to be the one doing the research, I can’t overstate the value of having people like our guests and his institution doing this hard work. As a candidate, staffer or legislative official, the work that think tanks do can be critical ammunition in the battle of ideas that you fight on the campaign trail.

James Quintero of the Texas Public Policy Foundation is our guest. He leads the Think Local Liberty project at TPPF, one of America’s premier conservative think tanks.

Never walk into a meeting or interview without knowing the Who, What and Why.

Never walk into a meeting or interview without knowing the Who, What and Why.

When you’re running for office, you’ve got to meet a lot of people. Donors, voters, interest groups, volunteers, the media and more. It’s really easy to fall into a pattern of taking meetings without a specific purpose in mind. Or without knowing what the other party’s purpose is.

Depending on the profile of your office and available time, it’s likely not going to be possible to write up a briefing sheet for every single meeting. But at the very least, you should take a few minutes to consider who you’re meeting with as well as ask “What” and “Why” for yourself and your counterpart.

What and Why relate to what each party wants to accomplish in that situation. When thinking about a donor, you’re clearly hoping that they’ll donate a specific amount of money for a discrete cause. From their perspective, however, they want to see certain solutions, ones you ostensibly also care about, be enacted.

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