Innovative & Strategic Fundraising - CFG War Stories


Campaign 1 - How Patrick Murphy raised enough money to defeat Tea Party Leader Allen West in the most expensive House race in the history of the United States to date

In 2012,  CFG was retained by Patrick Murphy in his race to unseat Tea Party leader Congressman Allen West in Florida’s 18th district.  West was raising millions of dollars in direct mail donations from Tea Party and conservative contributors all over the country. Patrick Murphy had an extensive personal network from which he raised $1.3 million but the campaign needed to find a way to expand their fundraising into national networks and exploit West’s wild comments and leadership in the Tea Party movement.  At that time, Allen West’s outrageous comments were not widely followed by the mass of Democratic donors.


CFG built an extensive list of hundreds of thousands of Democratic donors nationally, devised a strategic fundraising message for Patrick and implemented an aggressive multi-dialer call system for Patrick’s fundraising call time.  Patrick was skeptical that it could work, at first.  Then, the first day of calling he raised $4,000 from cold calls. Donors he never even met, but had talked to on the phone using our system, began contributing right on the phone or after the conversation online.  Then during the second day of calls Patrick raised over $6,000.  He then exclaimed, “OK, I see how this can work.”

After a few months of using 4 dialers to connect with donors and pass the phone to Patrick to make his fundraising pitch, we had an innovative idea.  What if we use Obama style GOTV digital dialing interfaces to make the calls instead of human dialers to increase the connect rate? [You signed into the interactive system, it began dialing voters in different parts of the country, the voter’s details appeared on a computer screen and you read the GOTV script and logged the response on the screen and the data went to Obama central H.Q.]  Instead of loading a voter list, we loaded donor lists.  The system dialed hundreds of donors at once and the first connect patched through to the candidate at which time he gave his fundraising pitch.  After he hung up the phone it would begin dialing again.  8 seconds later he had a new donor on the line.  It worked.  Connects increased and we started raising more money from new donors.  Additionally, those donors contributed multiple times after the initial conversation with Patrick.  The campaign raised an additional $1.7 million using our system plus $600,000 in PAC contributions through CFG’s PAC program.

Campaign 2 - Shutting off our primary opponent's PAC fundraising, raising PAC dollars, getting targeted and winning

In 2004, CFG helped win the closest congressional race in the country - Louisiana’s open 3rd congressional district.  Our client, Democrat Charlie Melancon, won that election by 569 votes, switching a red district to blue.  That race was called a “Blueprint for Democrats” by the Associated Press.


After our client and another Democratic opponent received a favorable rating from the state AFL-CIO in the primary, CFG was retained to formulate and implement a labor PAC strategy.  A former U.S. senator was actively promoting our primary opponent with the PACs in Washington, DC.  CFG immediately went to work.  After finding that our opponent used non-union printed material, that very same day, we broadcast faxed the campaign materials to every union in Louisiana and their headquarters’ in Washington, effectively killing any chance the opponent had of receiving union PAC contributions – even though the opponent received an AFL favorable rating as well.

After further research, we discovered that the former U.S. Senator, as a lobbyist, was representing China.  We communicated that information as well.

Then we went to work with an aggressive union relations strategy targeted to every individual union in the state and in DC.  We raised over $240,000 in labor donations and our primary opponent received $0.  We raised $612,238 in total PAC money.  We went on to face the Republican, Billy Tauzin, Jr.; the son and namesake of the very powerful congressman and committee chairman.  We raised over $1.7 million and won the election by 569 votes.

Campaign 3 - Serious but creative fundraising


In 2003 Doug was working on a Democratic governor’s race in the primary and general.  There was a conflict between scheduling fundraising events and field events.  Doug devised a plan he called “stacking”.  During week days high dollar fundraising events ($50,000 +) were scheduled in the evenings.  On the weekends the candidate traveled to communities for small dollar fundraisers in coordination with field events allowing the campaign to do 5-6 events on Saturday and 5-6 events on Sunday raising a daily combined total of $25k to $50k all while facilitating field activities.

Also in that campaign, Doug facetiously dubbed a fundraising method “the Don Corleone method” from the Godfather’s wedding scene.  One of Doug’s top raisers was a lawyer for many prominent businesspeople including Jerry Bruckheimer and Papa John Snyder.  He had several individual smaller raisers working with him. Instead of using the generic large fundraising event to collect over $200k, Doug and the lawyer devised a more personal method in which a meeting with the candidate, the lawyer and each individual raiser was scheduled in 15 minute increments where they would deliver what they raised and have quality individual time with the candidate.  We discovered that each raiser was sliding an envelope of contributions across the desk to our candidate reminding us of the famous first scene at the wedding of Vito Corleone’s daughter where Tom Hagen remarks “No Sicilian can ever refuse a request on his daughter’s wedding day.”  It’s an amusing story but the method actually worked and helped raise over $200,000!  The individuals (who raised $15k a piece) loved the intimate time with the candidate.

Campaign 4 - Tom Allen had $15K in the bank compared to state Senator Dale McCormick's $400K - We came on board, implemented our system, and beat McCormick.

Former Portland, Maine Mayor Tom Allen was running in the Democratic primary against a well funded state senator, Dale McCormick in Maine's 2nd district.  Tom had $15,000 in the bank compared to McCormick's $400,000. 
The primary was quickly approaching and Tom had to raise money to compete.  There was not time to waste.  Doug Jaraczewski came into his campaign, reviewed his fundraising, and then implemented efficiencies and built new lists.  Wintin two weeks Tom raised over $200,000 and didn't look back.  He won a very competitive Democratic primary to become the #1 targeted race by the DCCC that year, defeating Republican Congressman Jim Longley in the fall.