In the Political Action Committee (PAC) progress, disbursements are the main event. Voluntary contributions are gathered by communicating the strategy and then receiving support from individuals that agree. But the talk and promises of the strategy all come down to action when the disbursements are set and executed.
At GreenStone, the legislative outreach strategy is to build the network of elected officials that support and take time to understand our rural communities and agriculture, and the PACs are a component of it. The begins with the budget of who will receive support and at what amount, and moves to the delivery method. This allows for continual evaluation and alignment by GreenStone’s Board of Directors and focuses on both record of support, and education and awareness. The balance of introductory and continued financial support is delicate, and is critical in maintaining flexibility as elected officials and political priorities change in government.
Some PACs disburse funds to influence an election; GreenStone focuses on candidates that are sitting elected officials seeking re-election. This approach is rooted in a desire to build and favor long-term relationships rather than shifts in political winds. To accomplish this, disbursements are made on a bipartisan basis, concentrated on those individuals in leadership positions or who serve on banking, financial services, or agriculture committees. In addition, financial support is provided to elected officials who have direct experience or have taken a special interest in agriculture or rural community priorities identified by GreenStone.
The amount disbursed is first and foremost determined by how much money is raised. Typically most, but not all, of the money raised is budgeted for disbursement. Some reserves are held for unforeseen requests or events, but are subject to approval. Disbursements are not all uniform as respect is paid to leadership positions, which party is in power, and the level of engagement by the elected official.
Finally, the delivery method of financial support is determined. The preference is to deliver checks in small meetings without other organizations present to allow for focused conversation and expressions of support. Fundraisers are another way to deliver checks and is preferred when it is an agriculture specific fundraiser or a larger profile event for leadership that will be widely attended by other elected officials. This allows for one contribution, but interaction and recognition with a wide group of elected officials.
PAC disbursements are an important strategic component of legislative outreach and are always given considerable attention. Your GreenStone leadership team and Board of Directors recognize the trust extended by contributors to steward the financial resources and take the responsibility seriously. Through it all, GreenStone is committed to being an advocate for the growth and prosperity of your rural community and agriculture, and views the PAC as one tool to help accomplish this amid constant political change.
To view the article in the online 2021 Spring Partners Magazine, click here.