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Friday, November 02, 2007

Who's On Your Email List?

Via Donor Power Blog:

... almost 80% of the over 50 age group does not respond to email marketing, preferring to use email to communicate with friends.... However ... 36% of this age group are happy to communicate with brands online once initial contact has been made using other media.

Most donors (by a large margin) are over 50.

This is why it's critically important to segment your lists, whether they be email or direct mail, not everyone responds to the same stimulus.

For DECs, who have memberships largely over age 50, it's important to realize that pushing fundraising via your email lists isn't always the exact way to go. People have to be slowly but surely persuaded. My suggestion is to use your email list to send informational emails (like newsletters and event signups) to get your constituencies to recognize the value of opening that message from the local DEC. Over time, you'll develop the loyalty that's required to finally send a fundraising email.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When DECs Get It Right

Most of my life, I've had a pretty negative opinion of DECs. The image I had -- based on some evidence, but probably not enough -- was that they were simply a collection of entrenched good old boys who cared more about their own fiefdom than actually winning elections or changing society for the better. The more I get involved in politics, the less accurate I find this stereotype to be. For example, I've recently joined the Leon County DEC because I really, really like what they've been doing. A lot of people are contributing to the success of the Leon Democrats, but as people from commissioners John Dailey and Andrew Gillum to Congressman Allen Boyd to Senator Barack Obama has publicly said, the key to the great things happening in Tallahassee is Chair Rick Minor. Here's what is going on under his supervision:

1. 2006 elections were a rousing success in Tallahassee. If I remember correctly, no Republican defeated any Democrat in local elections. Most of the statewide elections were significantly more in favor of the Democratic candidate than the Republican.

2. Barack Obama appeared at the annual Collins-Steele fundraiser. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, but Obama only appeared at two fund-raising events in Florida -- Tallahassee and Miami. Miami is much more of a swing district has a lot more donors for presidential campaigns and has a lot more voters. And yet we got Obama too. And he helped Leon Dems raise a whole heck of a lot of money -- Enough money to impress even Ray Seaman. ;)

3. The DEC is pursing policy proposals. Instead of passively waiting for things to happen, the Leon Dems are actively seeking to push the local policy agenda. After a campaign finance scandal with a county commissioner, the DEC has stepped up to push for non-partisan lobbying reform. In addition to pursuing an actual policy proposal with the help of Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, we also spent the last meeting with a diverse panel of speakers who not only gave us the run-down on the issue, but answered the exhaustive questions of the large audience. It would be difficult for anyone who attended that meeting to not have a good grip on the issue.

4. The Takin' It to the Streets program is a great idea. What is happening is that each month at the DEC meeting, instead of having the meeting at the same old stuffy city commission chamber, the meetings are rotating to different locations in each district. This not only benefits those people who don't want to drive across town every month, it has brought out tons of new people to each meeting, the last of which was standing room only (in my district).

5. Rick is great at community outreach. My theory is that no public event in a county should go without a Democratic Party presence. I don't go to every event out there, but I couldn't tell you the last time I went to something in the community when our DEC chair wasn't present and actively talking to people to promote our agenda and learn what the people are saying and thinking.

6. We're also trying to improve outreach to African-Americans in the community by focusing on No Party Affiliation voters. Leon County is like a lot of the state where African-American turnout in elections is lower than we would like it to be. By reaching out to the NPA voters and letting them know about Florida's closed primary rules, we have a chance to change that.

And all of this is just in the three months I've been actively participating in the organization. I hear talk of numerous other things that I don't even know enough about to get into. The point is that this is exactly the type of activity I think a DEC should be engaged in and the activity and excitement you see around here is impressive. A lot of that has to do with Rick Minor.

Like I said before, Minor didn't do any of this alone, but that's one of the keys to why he (and we) have had so much success lately -- he recognizes others, regardless of race, gender, age or personality, who want to help and can help and he gives them the trust and responsibility to succeed and they, and he, do succeed. That helps all of us.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Addressing Latinos at Univision DEM Debate. Miami-Dade DEC Shines Tonight

Tonight is the first ever Univision debate. DEM presidential candiates will be on the air at 7pm. The GOP will not participate in a debate.
Joe Garcia, chairman of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party, believes the telecast will be a landmark event in the Latino world, drawing millions of viewers who have felt left out of American politics: "I believe more eyeballs will be watching this one than any other so far."
Take a look around the Democratic Executive Committee site . Many ideas.
Goals of the Democratic Executive Committee.

To promote individual freedom within the framework of a just society, and political freedom within the framework of meaningful participation by all citizens.
To elect Democrats as our representatives on the County, State, and National levels.
To strengthen the base of the Democratic Party through community outreach and visibility.
To further Democratic causes and initiatives that will benefit all demographic areas and groups.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Marion Democrats Launch New Website

After several months and a lot of learning and hard work, the Marion DEC has launched their new website:

I have to say that despite all of the work and some hard lessons, this project was a lot of fun for me and my two nerdy compatriots: Peter Manon and Mr. X.

We still have some bugs to fix, but most elements are working just fine. The site combines Drupal and CiviCRM into a very good package.

We also launched the Marion County Democratic Party Facebook group at the same time. You can check that out here. If you're on Facebook, anyone can join our group!

Update: Did I mention we have a blog, too? Bookmark and link to us as much as you can!

Monday, August 27, 2007

State Democratic Convention: Netroots Panels

A group of us are helping the Florida Democratic Party organize a series of Netroots panels at the state convention.

By Netroots, we're referring to bloggers and other online activist who use the Internet for such things as organizing, fundraising, and getting out the Democratic messsage.

We will be having three panels:

Netroots 101 - this would cover basics like what is a blog, what to write about, building your readership and using stuff like MySpace, Facebook and beyond.

Netroots Tools - discuss the more advanced online tools and digital media one can use in blogging, campaigning, or party building.

Working with the Netroots - discuss how the party and the netroots can work together from the DEC's perspective, a candidate's perspective, state party perspective and the national party perspective.

I'd appreciate it if you would take this survey and give us some feedback on the kind of things you'd like to learn more about at these panels. There are only 5 questions and you don't have to answer them all - just the ones where you have an opinion. The survey ends on September 7th at Noon.