One of the most important tools you need for your municipal campaign is a budget.
Your election budget is going to dictate many aspects of your campaign plan including how much you need to fundraise, the number of literature prices you publish, the quantity of lawn signs you put up, the services you purchase, and the victory party that you throw.
I am not going to use this post to write about the finance rules of a municipal campaign. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing has already done that and you can find it here. The most important piece of the puzzle is determining your limit. The 2014 Councillor campaign in Ontario has a limit of $5,000 plus $0.85 per voter.
I always encourage candidates to find a way to spend close to the maximum allowable amount – because if you don’t, your competitor will. That being said, some obstacles get in the way of funding to the maximum limit so you need to be realistic about what you can spend. In some very large wards, up to 4o,ooo voters, fundraising would be too difficult to spend the max. In some smaller wards, under 10,000 voters, the maximum is not always needed to win. As you can tell by now a budget really needs to be customized to the campaign, the ward, and the candidate.
A great indicator of how much to spend is the financial returns from the last election. Look up how much the winner spent and few of their competitors. If you are an incumbent check out what the second place candidate spent. Incumbents should also look to the spend of a fellow Councillor who received more votes than you. This information is often found on the municipal website. If not, kindly ask the City Clerks office to take a look.
Once we have the total amount you are able/ would like to spend, we can establish some fundraising goals. I have worked with candidates who say they will self-fund their campaign. If you have the money that’s fine; however, putting your campaign expenses on the family Visa is not the kind of financial management your voters are looking for. People are often surprised by how easy fundraising is once they start asking. Fundraising is a post of its own so I will leave it at that.
Incumbents will agree that some election expenses are not as suspected. People often think lawn signs are cheap, but they can actually be quite costly and need to be claimed in your expenses, even if you are reusing them. Quality print products can be perceived as expensive but at the volumes you are printing, they are actually quite cost effective. Do your research on election products/services before creating your budget. For more information on election product buying see my post on election purchasing tips.
Below are some questions you must answer when crafting a municipal campaign budget:
- What does the Municipal Election Act mandate that I claim (gifts in kind, reused products, filing fees, etc.)
- How much do I have to spend?
- What is the price of the products and services that I need?
- Am I finding support and/or ID’n vote with the money I am spending?
How I can Help
At City Campaigner we can craft you a customized budget. If you are an existing member this service is free, if you are not a member it is one of our cheapest products and you may want to consider buying it. Starting off your election with a solid budget is the foundation for your success.
With so many candidates starting their campaigns right now, I would like to extend a special offer for a campaign budget for a one time cost of JUST $45. That is a $110 savings. As soon as you request the budget, I will send you a quick questionnaire about your ward and campaign. With the answers to those questions I will develop a customized budget plan for you with real election costs. The plan is detailed in a spreadsheet so you can easily change some line items if you have friends or family donate a particular service.
I will even include an “optional” section so you know what you can buy if you fundraise a little more than expected.
An added value to this plan is that you will see the real costs for essential and popular election products. This means if you go out for a quote on signs and they cost $4.00 a piece while the budget outlines a cost of $2.50, you know there is a better price out there – because I found it. At no mark-up to you.
This sale of 70% off the regular price is only offered for a limited time. The service is also 100% satisfaction guaranteed. If you do not like the product just let me know and I will fully refund your money. That is how confident I am that you will like it. If I refund your money in full I actually lose money.
Why the super low rate? Well with over 2,000 candidates registered in medium and large municipalities I am only currently assisting 1% at this point. I am busy and having a lot of fun, however I want to meet more of you on a professional and personal level. This crazy low price for a custom budget will help me achieve that goal.
To get us working on your budget now like the purchase button below. Your payment will be securely process by PayPal.
I hope you found this information helpful and you consider taking advantage of this offer.
P.S. Do you already have a budget? The $45.00 will let you compare to see where there are some opprotunities
P.S.S. Do you already have a Campaign Manager? $45.00 is a pretty cheap second opinion