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Adrian Arroyo
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Welcome to 2013! Barack Obama is still President of the United States. The U.S. Senate is still in Democratic hands. You could be forgiven for thinking not much has changed. You'd be wrong, as the numbers below show. Millions of Americans used ActBlue to show that their voice matters. While Mitt Romney was busy running down half of the country, many of them were busy ending his run. There are plenty of reasons why the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2013 at The ActBlue Blog
On ActBlue, August pushed us north of $12 million for the month and put the Big Number within striking distance of $300 million. That's huge. And while the top 5 committees for August raised more than $6m of that total, none of them had an average donation size larger than $40. The rest of the $12 million went to nearly 2,000 other committees. There are around 500 races that get you a seat in Washington... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
Not only are the July numbers strong, they reflect how broad ActBlue has become. While the top 5 recipients make up a significant portion of July's volume (~$4.5m) that leaves another ~$4m that flowing through ActBlue to smaller candidates, committees and causes. It's evidence of the broad base of support that ActBlue represents, one that is changing the way people raise money. It couldn't be more timely. And now, the numbers: Number of contributions 200,247... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
Our mission is to increase participation and transparency in the fundraising process, and we work hard to make sure our features match that goal. No matter how you measure it--3,000,000 donors, more than a quarter billion dollars sent to Democrats--it's been a success. Here's one example: A while back we noticed that mobile web traffic was exploding, so we built a mobile donation form that would make it easy for people to donate with their... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
Here's the short version: $27 million sent to Democrats via ActBlue with an average donation under $50. That's incredible. To put it in perspective, we tripled the amount of money we sent over the same period in 2011, and quadrupled the number of donations. We sent that money to twice as many campaigns. So when we talk about grassroots power, we're talking 8 figures. Number of contributions 582,951 Total raised $27,186,771.78 Average Contribution size $46.64... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
Hopefully, those of you who made it to NN12 are rested and recovered a week later. If you managed to swing by the ActBlue booth and pick up a sticker or bottle opener, so much the better. It's an important conference for ActBlue, because it allows us to connect with the people who make this engine run. This year, the conference was dominated by talk about Citizens United and all the undisclosed cash that decision... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
The run up to the Wisconsin recall election pushed our May numbers skyward to over a quarter billion dollars (!!) by the end of the month. Sure, we would've preferred a rather different outcome, but there's a lesson in Wisconsin that's more than gloom and doom: small donors have the power to create a national political event. From the protests through both rounds of elections, this has been a story driven by small donors, including... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
If you've read the last few monthly numbers posts you're aware that it's been a good year for Democrats on ActBlue. But looking at our Q1 numbers, you can see that a huge amount of money is flowing to candidates and committees that don't make our top 5 for the quarter. While everyone else is consumed with the ups-and-downs of the presidential race, we're quietly helping Democrats up and down the ballot get what they... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
Forgive the title, but March was a pretty crazy month. When you look at the year by year comparisons below, consider that March 2011 was the height of the Wisconsin protests, which drove hundreds of thousands of dollars through ActBlue. Now, in March 2012, we're a few months away from the final act: the recall election for Gov. Scott Walker (R). The real lesson of ActBlue in 2012 is this: Democrats up and down the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
A recent Seattle Times story on Maria Cantwell noted that, By far the biggest single source of Cantwell's fundraising last year was ActBlue, a political-action committee that acts as an online conduit for individuals who want to give to Democratic candidates. ActBlue "bundled" $365,000 for Cantwell. Oh, hey scare quotes. If you check out Cantwell's ActBlue hub, you'll see she's received 7,333 donations through ActBlue totaling $750,000. That works out to about $100 a pop.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
ActBlue doesn't shut down after the election. We keep working to bring more and more people into the political fundraising process year in and year out. We get that a lot of our work is invisible during down times, but it pays off when the political cycle heats up. February is a short month and it doesn't bump up against an end of quarter deadline. Last year was bigger than expected because of the initial... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
Here's a rule about political fundraising: January is dead. People are feeling the pinch of their Christmas shopping, it's cold, and the political cycle doesn't really heat up for the non-primary-having party until later in the year. All in all, not a great time. Not this January. This January was bananas. ActBlue sent over $4 million to Democratic candidates and committees this month, a nearly four-fold increase over January 2008. If you recall, in 2008... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2012 at The ActBlue Blog
Sam Stein of the Huffington Post has a well-reported item up on mobile giving and campaigns. The takeaway is that everyone knows mobile giving is the next big thing but the actual "how" of the process as it relates to political donations is still unclear. As I've mentioned before, what we're dealing with is fundamentally an infrastructure problem. Amazon's one-click model works for two reasons: you can buy almost anything on Amazon and people are... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
The third quarter of this year was an odd duck, because it mixed the massive off-year fundraising of the Wisconsin Recalls with the start of federal campaign season as seen in the kickoff of the Elizabeth Warren campaign. Those two events brought a huge influx of grassroots donors to ActBlue, driving down our average contribution size to around $50. It's shaping up to be another big cycle for grassroots fundraising. Number of contributions 199,585 Total... Continue reading
Posted Oct 17, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
A few weeks ago, Nick Confessore of the New York Times wrote a piece about the reluctance of small donors to return to the Obama fold. Shira Toeplitz of Roll Call recently examined the slowdown in traditional fundraising: major bundlers and PACs. For Confessore, the fact that President Obama has to work harder for small donors stems from his sagging popularity. For Toeplitz, it's a sign of the down economy that the deep-pocketed can't dole... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
In July, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) asked ActBlue to set up a draft fund for Elizabeth Warren. By mid-August the PCCC had shattered all records for the largest and fastest growing draft fund in our history, raising over $102,000 from around 7,000 supporters even before Elizabeth Warren formed an exploratory committee for a Massachusetts Senate run. Today, their unprecedented success is the reason we're sending her committee a six-figure check. The PCCC's landmark... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
In yesterday's Washington Post, T.W. Farnam apparently thought it would be illuminating to compare grassroots donors to addicts. The article is the other half of a classic D.C. lose-lose attack on the grassroots: if you don't give, you're a feckless mass who can't be trusted to come through for candidates, and if you do give you're rubes at mercy of canny political operatives. Unconsidered in the article is the apparently outlandish possibility that grassroots donors... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
Relative to our numbers last cycle and the cycle before, ActBlue has seen steady growth in volume and an explosion in grassroots giving related to the upcoming recalls. ActBlue's Q2 numbers speak to the seismic impact of Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) overreach in Wisconsin. Five months after his decision to bust public employee unions in Wisconsin first made the headlines, recall committees hold positions 3-4 on the ActBlue leaderboard, with contribution sizes around $10. Moreover,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
Candidates replaced organizations on the leaderboard in June, as Wisconsin state senate candidates received support in advance of July's recall elections. Stay tuned for our end of quarter summary tomorrow, which will outline the shape of Democratic giving on ActBlue in the second quarter of this year. Number of contributions 57,679 Total raised $3,852,947.56 Average Contribution size $66.80 Committees receiving money 862 Fundraising pages receiving money 945 Pages created 505 Here's how those numbers stack... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
May was an interesting month. Kathy Hochul's race in NY-26 was obviously the headliner, but ActBlue grew relative to April thanks to a variety of other committees posting five-figure totals. It also saw the first appearance of the DCCC in the ActBlue monthly leaderboard. Number of contributions 45,787 Total raised $2,679,384.73 Average Contribution size $58.52 Committees receiving money 728 Fundraising pages receiving money 789 Pages created 400 Here's how those numbers stack up relative to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
Over at DailyKos, David Nir has a post up asking "what ever happened to the right's version of ActBlue?" It's a good question. As David shows, the right's attempts to replicate our success have resulted in failure after failure. (He misses my all-time favorite, StandUpRed, which is a word-for-word copy of our website.) Part of the answer to that question lies in the surreal tale of ActRight, as related by Republican Louis J. Marinelli. In... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
Last week, much of the ActBlue office packed our bags and headed to Minneapolis for Netroots Nation 2011 for an opportunity to mingle with our users and fans--thanks to all of you who dropped by our booth for your kind words. Reflecting on the conference, a number of press figures referred to the atmosphere as "dispirited," or other adjectives amounting to roughly the same thing. I attended panels on campaign finance, the courts, and Afghanistan,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 21, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
As a follow-on to my previous post, I'd like to emphasize that groups like American Action Network and Crossroads GPS are not infrastructure in the ActBlue sense. These groups are a means for very wealthy individuals--upon whom AAN and GPS depend to survive--to influence our electoral process through large undisclosed donations. Those donations aren't popular among the electorate, and the organizations themselves exist largely as a result of the Citizens United decision and the disarray... Continue reading
Posted Jun 1, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
On Wednesday, the Washington Post broke the news that the American Action Network, a Republican "charitable organization" along the lines of American Crossroads GPS, was financed entirely by 11 checks, with 82% of its funding coming from just three donors. AAN and Crossroads GPS are not required to disclose donor information and can protect donors from any blowback that might result from their decision to influence the political process or the specific ways in which... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog
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Congressional gridlock, persistent unemployment, President Obama's re-election chances--none of these will be a problem for Democrats after this Saturday. According to Christian radio host Harold Camping, May 21st, 2011 is the date the Rapture will occur: I know it's absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true. You can check his math here, though if it's been a while since you took Algebra I and you're not sure what (atonement x completeness x Heaven)^2... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2011 at The ActBlue Blog