Tag Archives: party treasurer

Money matters to our party

It is impossible to run a political party or an election campaign without the necessary financial resources. Political parties have three major sources of income: member subscriptions, trade union contributions and donor support.

The alternative to such sources of revenue is for the state to provide tax payer support, or for campaigning spend to be very strictly curtailed, or a combination of both.   The first of these alternatives, particularly if substantial sums were involved, would certainly not be popular with the wider public.   The second would require a major reform of political expenditure, and currently does not have the support of Labour or the Conservatives.

Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of donor fundraising for a variety of reasons, including fears of undue donor influence by high net-worth donors, but we Liberal Democrats pride ourselves on the powerful protocols we have in place to protect the Party from any such risks.

It is imperative we encourage and value our individual donors for their support, both historically and going forward. The Party has a range of structures to enable that engagement, supported by a dedicated team in Party HQ.  The Fundraising Board, chaired by the current Party Treasurer and my successor, Tilly McAuliffe (in photo), drives this part of work, but we are supported by a range of networks to develop our relationships further including the Liberty Network, the Business & Entrepreneurs Network and the Legacy Society.

One of the most important and strategic examples of donor engagement in recent times was Andrew Dixon’s two-step initiative in the summer of 2019. With a General Election on the horizon, Andrew firstly undertook an extensive business outreach exercise – Project Phoenix – building key relationships around Party objectives, primarily our stance on Brexit, our deep engagement with business and our pursuit of a strong economy in which business can flourish.

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