How to Choose Which Political Campaigns Need Your Donation


Illustration for article titled Make Last-Minute Election Donations With This Panic Decision Matrix

Photo: Ricardo Reitmeyer (Shutterstock)

Election Day is a week from tomorrow, which means we’re in the final stretch of the campaigns for national, statewide, and local offices. No matter how promising the polls look, we learned our lesson about those in 2016 to the point where seeing your preferred candidate ahead in the polls could increase your anxiety. Maybe you feel helpless, like it has reached the point where there’s nothing left to do.

If that’s the case, and you wish there was something—anything—you could do right now, and provided that you’re in a financial position to do so, it’s not too late to make some meaningful donations. But not all political donations are created equal, and you don’t want to throw your hard-earned money at a campaign that’s already doing pretty well, or a region that almost always votes a certain way. Here’s a panic decision matrix that could help.

How to decide where to make a last-minute donation ahead of the election

If you’re looking to make a political donation in the next week, but also don’t want to do any research, Maciej Cegłowski, who runs the bookmarking site Pinboard and a political organization called Tech Solidarity, wants to help. He has put together a panic decision matrix to help people decide where their last-minute political donations will make the most bang for their buck.

It’s pretty straightforward: Just answer a few questions about what, exactly, you’re looking to accomplish with your donation (for example, helping the neediest candidates, or focusing on a particular state) and it directs you towards the places where your donation will be most effective. And yes, that includes many races for statewide office.

If it’s got to be federal, there are these five rural House campaigns that could use some help. And if you insist on donating to the Biden/Harris campaign, Cegłowski says to give to state candidates in Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina. You can read more about his thoughts on political giving in this far-more-detailed blog post.

Ultimately, Cegłowski encourages people not to spend too much time worrying about where to donate, and just get that money out there: “Remember the dictum about avoiding analysis paralysis,” he wrote in a blog post. “Just pick one and go!”



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