By Jim Amundson
ICBM has had a successful PAC for decades. As a trade association and lobbying organization, it is the only tool available to us to participate, as a group, in the process of funding campaigns. Political campaigns are expensive and getting more expensive every cycle, so candidates are very dependent on financial support. Through our participation in the process, candidates become more accessible and conversations about issues important to our industry can happen more easily.
Typically, we have raised money for our PAC through our auction at the convention and our Director’s Club. Annual receipts have averaged $20,000 to $25,000. As you know, we did not hold our silent auction this year because of the pandemic, so our fundraising in 2020 is off significantly. In addition to this, PACs representing the biggest banks and credit unions have consistently raised twice the amount we have raised; in 2020 the gap widened. The credit union PAC raised six times the amount raised by ICBM’s PAC in 2020 and they go into 2021 with twice the amount of cash we hold.
All is not lost, however, as the current cash balance in our PAC is healthy and we can easily close the fundraising gap. How? One simple step is to grow ICBM’s Director’s Club. This is a program that recognizes banks that annually contribute a minimum of $100 per director to ICBM’s PAC. In 2020, saw the following banks support the PAC in this way:
Thank you to each of these banks and their directors for the leadership they displayed in 2020 and over the years as well. What if in 2021, we increase the number of banks on this list from 10 to 50? Forty more banks with an average board size of six people would generate at least $24,000. That would put us right back on track and on equal footing with the credit unions and other bank PACs.
We have prepared a Q&A related to the PAC and our Director’s Club. Please review this information, share it with your directors, and give serious consideration to supporting ICBM’s PAC through this program. If you choose to do so, please send your contributions prior to March 31, 2021. This will ensure our PAC is well-prepared when campaign fundraising resumes.
Thank you for your support! It is an honor to work with all of you and I wish you and your loved ones a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.