First on CNN: Clinton invites donors to New York, but only if they've hit their goals

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton is inviting her most loyal fundraisers to New York next week for the campaign's first Finance Leadership Summit, but there's a catch: The welcome mat is extended only to donors who have already met their goal of finding 10 people to write $2,700 checks.

The invitation, which was obtained by CNN from a recipient, illustrates how the campaign is trying to step up the urgency for fundraising. If contributors hope to be part of the inaugural group of so-called "Hillstarters," the invitation says, their first fundraising goal must be met now.
Clinton camp pushes back on foreign donation questions
Clinton camp pushes back on foreign donation questions


    Clinton camp pushes back on foreign donation questions


Clinton camp pushes back on foreign donation questions 02:31
The initial fundraising goal of $27,000 -- a pittance in a campaign expected to raise more than $1 billion -- is intentionally set low by today's big-money standards to try a build a broader nationwide network of donors.
    The afternoon summit on May 14 in New York, which includes an optional tour of campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, features Clinton and her senior team of advisers. It's the most robust gathering of donors since Clinton formally entered the race one month ago.
    Without a highly competitive Democratic primary race, the campaign has struggled to capture the early attention of some donors. Clinton's presence at the summit underscores the point that donors will be remembered for getting in on the ground floor.
    "On behalf of Hillary and the entire campaign," the invitation says, "we thank you for your early support and leadership and we hope to see you in New York on May 14!"
    Clinton has already devoted more days raising money than meeting Democrats in early-voting states. She held three fundraising events in Los Angeles alone on Thursday, part of a three-day visit to California this week. She's already done early fundraising stops in New York and Washington.
    "There's a lot of enthusiasm," Andy Spahn, a longtime Democratic fundraiser in Los Angeles, told CNN. "There is a tremendous desire to be a part of it."
    Spahn, a political adviser to entertainment mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and others who ultimately sided with Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign, said Democratic donors were largely unified behind Clinton.
    In the first month of her candidacy, Clinton has campaigned in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, three of the four early-voting states. She is set to visit South Carolina, the fourth, soon. Before the end of May, aides said, she will also deliver the first major campaign speech.
    Her calendar also includes something outside her control: An appearance before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which is also expected in the coming weeks.