This article examines nonincumbent fundraising through the lens of two theories that have not been applied in other studies of fundraising - strategic candidate entry and ambitious amateur candidates - to test whether candidates with prior office experience are advantaged in raising funds for U.S. House campaigns. A selection model that takes into account the strategic entry of strong candidates demonstrates that electoral experience matters for only a select subset of experienced candidates. In contrast to previous research, the results show that much of the fundraising difference between amateurs and experienced candidates can be attributed to a selection process where the strongest candidates seek the best races. The results have implications for how we understand the relative importance of various conditions that shape fundraising. Competitive local or national conditions that encourage strong candidacies also allow nonincumbents to accumulate sufficient funds to mount credible campaigns.