Target your candidate’s idiosyncrasies, then find that rare community online
Is your candidate an avid cyclist? Maybe they’re obsessed with Tolkien. Whatever it is, the internet has a home for their interest somewhere. (It turned out my candidate’s online interest was posting in racist forums — never skimp on internal research!) .
We all have a few odd elements in our life that make us stand out. We like to geek out on things other people find ridiculous. Thankfully, we are able to find others out there who share these idiosyncrasies through message boards, Facebook groups, different listservs, etc.
With these communities, campaigns aren’t looking for votes, they’re looking for low dollar recurring donors. An individual in Des Moines may want to contribute $5 to a candidate in Arkansas if they share the same passion for bird watching. That issue may not be a major issue for the federal government or any given campaign, but there may be some small regulation on the book where an attentive Member of Congress could be an asset. If one percent of this group were to contribute an average of $100, the campaign could add $17,662 to the war chest that would have been left on the table otherwise.
Getting ambassadors in these groups is key to raising awareness and funds. Use your supporter network: someone involved in your campaign must know Kevin Bacon, who was in A Few Good Men with Demi Moore, who went to highschool with the President of the American Birding Association.
These hyper focused groups also present an opportunity for an independent expenditure to support the campaign. While small dollar amounts should be the focus, there is a possibility a deep pocketed member of this community is inspired to put significant funds behind the race of their kindred spirit.
Embrace your weird.