Headshot James Walkinshaw (Background Removed)

Case Study

How Sup. James Walkinshaw’s Re-election Campaign Saved Time and Raised More Money with Campaign Deputy

“Campaign Deputy is an easy to use, high value tool to engage with your supporters, raise money, and maintain compliance with campaign finance laws or regulations or filing requirements.” – Sup. J. Walkinshaw

How Supervisor James Walkinshaw scaled his fundraising to raise over $380,000

In today’s data-driven political landscape, campaign management software is crucial for success. But for incumbents like James Walkinshaw, a member of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia, seeking re-election, expensive campaign management software can be a barrier.  This case study explores how Walkinshaw leveraged Campaign Deputy, a more affordable solution, to overcome limitations in time, staff, and budget. By using Campaign Deputy, Walkinshaw streamlined his fundraising efforts, maintained strong supporter engagement, and was re-elected overwhelmingly.

Key Highlights

Cost Savings

With a limited budget, Sup. Walkinshaw was able to run a high-quality fundraising program without cumbersome contracts or hidden fees.

Solid Open Rate

Sup. Walkinshaw’s self-managed email program consistently achieved an impressive average of 41% organic open rate, helping to meet the campaign’s benchmarks.

Increased Efficiency

With Campaign Deputy, Sup. Walkinshaw boosted his fundraising efficiency, raising an avg. of $5,370.00 per email during the active campaign, up from an avg. of $1615.00 per email during the off-cycle.

Challenges

  • Limited Resources: Supervisor Walkinshaw’s reelection campaign was a true grassroots effort, independently operating without dedicated staff to preserve resources.
  • Time Constraints: Sup. Walkinshaw, an incumbent candidate with significant civil commitments, and his self-managed campaign had limited time to engage in back-office campaign activities, particularly in bookkeeping for compliance, sorting through contacts for solicitation, and delivering mailings to their correct addresses.

Solutions

  • Switch to Campaign Deputy: Sup. Walkinshaw migrated to Campaign Deputy from NGPVAN while in office. Campaign Deputy effectively allowed Walkinshaw to manage his campaign while maintaining his responsibilities to Fairfax County’s residents without compromising the functionality he was accustomed to. Importantly, adopting Campaign Deputy during the off-cycle ensured a seamless transition into the active campaign, avoiding onboarding hassles and unnecessary fees typically associated with joining other platforms.
  • Utilization of Campaign Deputy: Our platform was used to track fundraising activities, file campaign finance disclosures with the VA Dept. Of Elections (COMET), streamline email campaigns, and manage donor interactions efficiently, allowing Sup. Walkinshaw to actively maintain targeted outreach (such as event invitations, thank you notes to supporters, and more) to retain engagement leading up to his reelection campaign.

Implementation

  • Contribution Tracking & Reporting: Campaign Deputy’s seamless ActBlue integration allowed this grassroots campaign to effectively track and report Sup. Walkinshaw’s donations to the VA Dept. of Elections (COMET) on schedule.
  • Outreach: Campaign Deputy’s tools allowed Sup. Walkinshaw to target audiences and pull lists of donors for mailing, email, and call time campaigns all while tracking their engagement to better tailor his outreach methods.
  • Training and Transition: Campaign Deputy’s quick adoption process minimized training time. This seamless transition allowed the campaign to keep its outreach momentum going without relying on additional resources.

Results

  • Increased Efficiency: Sup. Walkinshaw’s campaign was able to maintain a high level of engagement with approximately 40-70 active supporters, achieving a 41% organic open rate for emails.
  • Cost Savings: Sup. Walkinshaw’s campaign was able to maintain a high level of engagement with hundreds of grassroots donors, event attendees, and volunteers while eliminating the need for expensive outsourced services like compliance, digital marketing, and data storage, resulting in significant cost savings.
  • Time Redistribution: Time saved on email creation, compliance, and list management was redirected towards more strategic tasks such as call time, direct voter contact, and Sup. Walkinshaw’s civic duties, enhancing overall campaign productivity.

Conclusion

Winning an incumbent election requires constant engagement, but for many local elected officials, campaign resources are scarce. Faced with limited time, staff, and budget constraints, James Walkinshaw, Supervisor for Fairfax County, Virginia, sought an innovative solution to manage his re-election campaign. He found success with Campaign Deputy, a campaign management software that helped him raise over $380,500.00, cultivate strong supporter engagement, and ultimately win his re-election campaign.

A Word from Our Client

Photo of Supervisor James Walkinshaw addressing a crowd outside a local home. Supervisor Walkinshaw's campaign kickoff in February, 2023.

Photo sourced from Sup. Walkinshaw’s campaign Facebook page. (Feb. 2023)

Check out Sup. Walkinshaw's hard work below!

NGP is robust, and if you’re working on campaigns full time, and that’s what you do, you have time to kind of learn and understand all the features and how to use it– there’s a lot of value there. But for me, just as an elected official who is trying to raise money over the course of a cycle to prepare myself for re-elect, I really wanted something that was just pretty simple. Something that would allow me to send out my fundraising emails, file my reports, and pull relatively simple lists for re-solicitation.

That's been my positive experience. I would say the value proposition lies in the low cost, much lower than NGP-- and it's easy to use. So I can open up [Campaign Deputy] and pretty quickly figure out how to do what I need to do, and it works really well.
Sup. James Walkinshaw
Board Supervisor, Fairfax Ct. VA

See how our other clients found success with Campaign Deputy

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Sup. James Walkinshaw | Fairfax County, VA
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