A string of big-money fundraising events which featured Malcolm Turnbull as the star attraction will be cancelled or postponed, as Liberal officials raise concerns that any imminent federal election will leave a cash-strapped party exposed.
The poor fundraising of some federal MPs is emerging as such a major problem that NSW Liberal president Philip Ruddock has threatened to "name and shame" electorates which are falling significantly short of contributions to the federal election effort.
Mr Ruddock, who singled out the best fundraisers at a major party event in late May, is understood to have threatened local electorate presidents if the situation continued, two sources with a detailed understanding of the issue told the Herald.
But Scott Morrison, who will become the next prime minister after defeating former home affairs minister Peter Dutton in a party-room ballot on Friday, has been widely praised as an excellent fundraiser whose own branches are well ahead in their federal election contributions.
Hampering the effort is the postponement of a planned Federal Business Policy Exchange on Tuesday, a $12,500 a head function where corporate guests could meet with up to five ministers, which was to be held in the PwC offices in Sydney and end with a private dinner with Mr Turnbull.
A similar event held by Labor raised over $1 million.
Two separate events scheduled for September 21 with Mr Turnbull could also be cancelled or delayed, including a $500-a-head "At home with the Prime Minister" party to be held at a Woollahra property owned by high-profile former TV executive David Leckie and his wife Skye.
Another was a lunch with Mr Turnbull being planned by North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman, whose electorate is already $50,000 ahead of fundraising targets.
The Herald revealed on Wednesday that a number of Liberals were considerably behind their fundraising targets, with Hughes MP Craig Kelly still to contribute $70,000 with just $34 in his electoral conference bank account at the end of July.
But Mr Morrison's Cook branches, which have a fundraising target of $175,000 before the next federal election, have already contributed $35,000 to the federal election campaign and have well over $200,000 in the bank account to be used before the next poll.
Ann Sudmalis, who holds the seat of Gilmore on a very slim 0.7 per cent margin, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and former health minister Sussan Ley are all behind on their targets.
One Liberal said it appeared Senator Fierravanti-Wells, whose office did not comment when reached for comment earlier this week, had "pitched herself to (party) preselectors as someone with incredible fundraising networks" but had "failed".
The NSW Liberals declined to comment.
Mr Turnbull's Wentworth branches had the highest fundraising goal among NSW MPs, $225,000, but it is understood there were two bank accounts which had ample funds to cover that target.
The electorate contributions are one of several ways, including public funding and payments made through the business forum and directly to the Liberal head office, the party raised funds.
Mr Turnbull personally donated $1.75 million during the last federal campaign, with internal party memos at the time showing there was considerable difficulty attracting new donors.
Kylar is The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age's CBD columnist. He recently covered federal politics, business and NSW politics for News Corp.