“Vote. Act. Invest.” It’s the rallying cry of the REALTOR® Party, and REALTORS® are increasingly taking it to heart, investing in record numbers in 2017. With 35% of the membership investing in RPAC in the past year, NAR’s ability to support REALTOR® Champions in campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels is stronger than ever.
This record-level investment, from the $15 investors (whose ranks have grown 11% in the past year) to the Major Investors (who’ve increased by 14%,) yielded a national fundraising total for RPAC that represents a whopping 108% of its goal for 2017. Beyond RPAC investments, last year saw the President’s Circle, which contributes directly to REALTOR® Champions who support NAR’s public policy agenda, had a record 1,207 participants in the program.
According to Lauren Facemire, NAR’s Managing Director for RPAC & Political Fundraising, the key to the steady growth of the REALTOR® Party’s political fundraising is the ongoing effort by state and local associations to promote a culture of investment. “It’s tried and true” she says: “when associations demonstrate the value of investing in RPAC, they inevitably see a rise in member participation.”
This might mean arranging visits from the dedicated volunteer leaders on NAR’s various RPAC Committees, who are especially effective with its peer-to-peer appeals. Many smaller associations are beginning to use the PAC Management System, a user-friendly platform that helps them to create online fundraising campaigns that are designed by NAR and allow for custom messaging. Facemire adds that RPAC Fundraising Grants are being used at an all-time high, as associations across the country discover that events that bring members together for professional camaraderie and networking can also be a good way to engage them in RPAC investing. According to the RPAC team chili cook-offs and raffles are perennially popular, too, but less conventional event ideas are also gaining a foothold among many fun-loving boards:
In Hampton Roads, Virginia, the 3,400-member board hosted an outdoor RPAC ‘Yappy Hour’ raising $3,722 in investments from its dog-loving members and affiliates. Held on the association’s own property, and featuring a splash pool, obedience contests, games of canine skill, and a dog-food donation drive for the local animal shelter, the event targeted first-time investors and was underwritten by more than seventeen affiliate sponsors.
In Scottsdale, Arizona, an ‘Epic Water Battle’ brought in $11,550 for RPAC from the local mega-association’s Young Professional Network (YPN). It was a sporting day in the desert, where higher investments meant larger water-weapons, and spectators could support players with investments in gear ranging from ponchos to water balloon ammunition.
The Ohio Association of REALTORS® transformed an existing event into an RPAC fundraiser when incoming President Tiffany Myer hosted a riverboat cruise to celebrate her inauguration. The $100-ticket event was the high point of the annual state convention, and featured a presentation by national RPAC volunteer Charlie Oppler, together with the state leadership, encouraging guests to step up to Major Investor status. All proceeds from the $39,100 raised went to RPAC.
To learn more about the increasing success of RPAC fundraising, contact Lauren Facemire, NAR’s Managing Director for RPAC Fundraising, at 202-383-1080.