Campaign budget examples

Small town: Gardiner, New York

The 2006 Gardiner Bond Campaign set a budget of $5,000; the committee actually raised and spent $7,848, which paid for four different direct mail pieces, mailed in waves, as well as buttons, bumper stickers, and lawn signs. Getting letters to the editor published provided independent points of view for readers to consider.

Mid-sized county: Forsyth County, Georgia

The 2008 “Envision Green Forsyth” campaign anticipated a budget of $58,000, but was able to raise only $12,000 with just weeks to go before the election. When it became clear that the committee would fall well short of its goal, it switched to a grassroots effort relying on email messages distributed to the personal networks of a group of volunteers active in local sports leagues. Campaign members also published numerous letters to the editor in the local paper, obtained discounted newspaper ads and a donated billboard advertisement, and handed out informational push cards at well-attended sports events.

Mid-sized county: Hawaii County, Hawaii

Hawaii County’s 2006 ‘Save our Land’ campaign raised $13,000, which was spent on 34,000 direct mail pieces and radio ads. Opinion pieces in local papers and appearances by campaign leaders on call-in radio shows also helped reach the 91,600 registered voters in the area and combat opposition from the mayor.

Statewide campaign: Maine

The 2007 “Save Maine’s Heritage” campaign had a budget of $255,000. The money paid for one wave of direct mail and a television ad that ran the week before the election. In-kind donations reduced mail printing; volunteer work helped reduce their costs.