Last week I received an excellent email fundraising appeal from John Edwards.

Whatever your candidate preferences, this appeal deserves high marks — and your attention — for two reasons. You can view the effort here.

First, it illustrates smart use of online video technology, in this case leveraging the enormous reach of YouTube and involving prospective donors directly in the object of the appeal … producing and delivering a TV commercial opposing President Bush's stance on Iraq and his veto of legislation mandating date-certain withdrawal.

Respondents of course can preview the TV spot. But also, they can get directly involved and use their own webcams to add their own “We the people …” video message to the online version of the commercial.

Second, and more importantly, Edwards' appeal is grounded upon very intelligent fundraising psychology. It recognizes that most donors are indeed driven by passion over issues.

In this fundraising appeal, Edwards is “riding the issue” … as is totally appropriate.

He's not pushing his character, his record, his need to make a good showing in the next FEC report. He's tapping anger and exasperation that people feel about an issue and about — as they perceive and feel it — a wrong-headed and unresponsive President. And, along the way, he's positioning himself as our champion … voicing our concern in a TV ad, not about him, but about our issue.

Not surprising he was an effective trial lawyer! Well done John Edwards.


P.S. One day after first e-appeal, I've received a second one announcing “Goal Met” and seeking funds to expand the effort. Isn't it nice when good theory is rewarded by good results?

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