Fundraising Presentations? Father Knows Best

family silhouettePolitical candidates spend millions of dollars on advisers, media training, speech coaching, and advertising campaigns. They curry favor with influential movers and shakers to get them to speak on their behalf. But the best political strategy is rarely utilized. Robert F. Kennedy used it. George W. Bush used it. Even Andrew Cuomo used it. A political candidate's best bet is often a public speaker in his or her own backyard. When Robert F. Kennedy's campaign was floundering, he brought in Rose Kennedy who quickly took the mic. Jenna and Barbara Bush both spoke on behalf of their dad, George W. Bush. Andrew Cuomo had his younger daughter speak about his softer side (kids are often the best fundraisers). All three candidates won.

You don't need professional speakers. Have your family speak on your behalf.

Public speaking is not simply about good rhetoric. The messenger is as important as the message. I was reminded of this when I received this fundraising email from a candidate's father. While this is by no means a political endorsement, I do admire and commend the approach and the message. This is more powerful than any other kind of presentation, whether spoken or written. It's all about family.


I’m just a few moments away from boarding a plane bound for Uganda. This is the first time my family will set foot in this country since we were expelled in 1972.My daughter, Reshma, can’t be with us today because she’s in New York fighting for people like me, like us.

I came here as a political refugee. I had to change my name from Mukund to Mike, so I could find work. It wasn’t easy for us.

Reshma saw us struggle, and she learned to fight to create better opportunities for families like ours.

Now, Reshma’s opponent has launched the first attack in the Public Advocate campaign. She’s saying that Reshma is out of touch with working people.

Out of touch? Not my daughter.

Reshma is a former Deputy Public Advocate, and the founder of Girls Who Code. Reshma has spent her life fighting to create better opportunities for underserved and disadvantaged people.

She needs your help right now to fight back. Will you help her out?

Sign up now and tell your family, friends, and neighbors that Reshma is committed to fighting for opportunities for all New Yorkers.

If you can’t volunteer, will you please donate $19.72 now to help her out?

Thank you for supporting my daughter.

Best, Mukund Saujani

Is Confusion Bringing You To A Standstill?

Situation: Marjorie, an owner of a coaching practice, was feeling stuck. Her dilemma: she needed to bring in money by developing her own coaching clients. At the same time she was a facilitator for a small business think tank and was expected to recruit a certain number of members to coach. She also had recruiting responsibilities for a woman's organization for which she was paid an honorarium. If she didn't meet her quota for the think tank she wouldn't be able to continue. But if she devoted her primary efforts to it, she would continue to have cash flow problems.

Solution: It was clear that Marjorie was putting herself last. We talked about setting priorities and the importance of putting herself first. Marjorie came to realize that her first priority had to be her own business, the small business think tank would be second, and the women's group would come last because it didn't bring in much money. We developed a strategy for Marjorie to sell her coaching services as a priority and then up-sell the think tank membership as a means of ongoing group support. We then worked on an elevator speech to help her position that message.

Result: Marjorie is no longer confused and has a strategy that supports her best interests and will increase her cash flow from now on. She said, "This is the best coaching I've ever experienced."