BUILDING A POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE

Dear Kim:

I founded a political action committee (PAC) and have been doing everything myself for most of a year now. I know I have to step back, find board members who will help with fundraising, raise enough to hire a finance director, and generally manage the organization rather than being it. I have some idea how to do most of what’s needed, but I am clueless about board members. How do I find them? What makes a good one?

– Clueless in Philadelphia

 

Dear Clueless:

At the risk of seeming rude, I don’t see how you can be an effective one-person political action committee (PAC). If you are truly doing political action, then you are involving lots of people in your cause. It is from those people who are already involved that you will find good board members. A good board member is someone who shares a commitment to the mission and goals of the PAC and is willing to devote unpaid time to implementing whatever plans your PAC has decided on. Much, but not all, of this time will be spent in fundraising. Board members, of course, will also want a role in deciding on the direction the PAC is going and how best to get there. You are correct that you need to step back, but not simply to hire a finance director and find board members. You need to figure out how as a founder, you can start to build an organization that is bigger than you.

Good luck.

-Kim Klein

Note to readers: Political Action Committees, or PACs have the express goal of affecting the outcome of political elections for individuals or ballot measures. In contrast, 501(c)3 nonprofits cannot endorse or contribute funds to candidates. For more information, go the Alliance For Justice website (www.afj.org .) or the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org).