When corporate and union political donations were banned and individual contributions were capped, our party failed to pivot or to plan. The last two campaigns were significantly funded by election subsidies that are set to expire on December 31, 2024.
Depending on local factors, most PLAs will need to raise between $60,000 and $100,000 in order to fund a winning campaign in their ridings. Yet almost every dollar a campaign spends is raised in the final six months before an election. We need to stop leaving money on the table.
We need a fundamental change in our party culture towards sustainable monthly fundraising in order to build up election-ready bank accounts in all 124 ridings.
As President, I’ll work to make sure every local campaign team has access to the Riding Fundraising Manager at Party headquarters and has a four-year sustainable fundraising plan in place - built through the Liberal Future Fund monthly donor program.
If you’re not familiar with the Liberal Future Fund, let me explain how it works. Through the program, supporters can make a monthly donation of $5 to your PLA and $5 to the province-wide campaign. If a donor chooses to give more, they get to choose where the additional money goes – including giving every extra dollar to their PLA. Most importantly, they only need to sign up once. It’s a ‘set it and forget it’ style donation that is automatically withdrawn every month.
It may not sound like a lot of money on its own, but it can really add up. If a riding can attract 100 donors who give $20 every month for four years, that riding will raise $96,000 by the time voters head to the polls again. Your riding can fund its entire campaign with the support of monthly donors.
But it’s not just about the money. It’s also about making better use of limited volunteer time that could be put to other uses. Chasing one-time donations can take up a lot of volunteer hours on the phone or organizing ticketed events. Once a one-time donation is received, the work of earning the next donation begins again.
An automatic monthly donation requires some up-front effort to convince a supporter to enroll. But once they do, the donations continue on their own as long as we continue to show appreciation for this support. That’s the other thing that sustainable monthly fundraising plans help make possible: a better relationship with our donors.
There’s a saying in fundraising circles that “past donors are your best donors” because you’ve already built a relationship with them. This is true of monthly donors. Automatic monthly donations will help free up volunteers to show donors appreciation instead of selling them on why they should give again.
Instead of unending requests to help fund the next campaign, the bulk of our outreach to members can focus on the issues our Caucus members are tackling in the Legislature, what the Executive Council and party staff are working on at party headquarters, and the best practices volunteers like you are honing in ridings across the province.
I know it can be tempting to skip four years of hard work attracting monthly donors and just ask for the maximum donation once from the few who can afford it. That’s how Doug Ford funded his last two campaigns and it’s how he’ll fund the next one. I don’t believe that’s the way to grow our movement.
I believe we need grassroots donors to be just as invested in our campaign as our volunteers and our voters. I’ve seen the effect that can have in my own riding where we built up our monthly fundraising list into a dedicated team of consistent donors. We had lost twice in a row when that team funded the campaign that finally saw me elected as our first Liberal MPP in 71 years. If I’m elected President, I’ll work hard to help you do the same in your riding.
When our supporters have an ongoing stake in our success, they’re more likely to stand with us on Election Day. And we need every single one of them to win in 2026.
Let me know what you think about this idea. Reach out on social media or send me an email at [email protected] to share your thoughts and other ideas you have about how we can grow our donor base in every riding across Ontario.