Our new integration with Account Updater makes recurring donations even easier

Over the past year, we’ve been working to integrate with Account Updater, a tool from the credit card industry that reduces disruption any time you get a new credit card number (i.e. when you receive a chip card or lose your card). Now that we’ve integrated with Account Updater, if we try your recurring contribution and learn that your credit card number has changed, we’ll try to seamlessly update your contribution with the new number, so your donation can go on uninterrupted.

We know how much of a pain it is to receive a new credit card number and have to find and update every recurring payment you’ve set up online. We wanted to eliminate that hassle for small-dollar donors. And, as an added bonus, if a recurring donor has their credit card stored on their ActBlue Express account, their stored card will also be updated automatically. That way the donor can continue giving in the future with a single click, without needing to go through the trouble of updating it on their own.

Account Updater has been gaining popularity in the e-commerce space — you might have noticed it’s a little less frustrating to update your Netflix subscription. It’s a courtesy for consumers and we are very excited to build this out across ActBlue to make the donation process as frictionless as possible. We want people to be able to give to the candidates and causes they support just as easily as they can buy concert tickets online or shop on Amazon. So far, recurring donors with automatically updated credit cards have given $6,190,367!

What this means for campaigns and organizations using ActBlue:

You don’t have to do anything to enable this feature. It’s available to every campaign and organization using our platform, and we don’t charge you any extra for the feature.

If your organization is running a recurring program, and you have a donor that lapses because their credit card is no longer valid, we’ll automatically attempt to update the donor’s card through their credit card company and retry the contribution three days later. If that works, their recurring contribution will carry on with the new card number.

We hope that this will make your lives easier — no more tracking down donors and asking them to update their information. To see what percentage of your donors have been able to seamlessly continue their contributions thanks to the integrated Account Updater, you can navigate to the Metrics page of your Dashboard, and scroll to the pie chart section.

pie-chart

If you have questions about the integration with Account Updater, let us know at info@actblue.com.

February ’17 Recap

There’s a palpable energy in the air right now. Millions of Americans are asking how they can get involved, and how they can have an impact on the resistance movement. And our big fundraising numbers for February reflect that energy.

We processed nearly six times the number of contributions in February of ‘17 than we did at this same point during the last election.

New donors are coming into the fold every day, contributing to the candidates and causes they care about. And we’re so proud to be helping millions of Americans make their mark on the resistance movement. ActBlue exists to help donors shape our country.

See below for a sampling of our most interesting stats for the month. Since elections occur over two-year periods, the most relevant comparison here is 2015 as compared to 2017, since even (election) years are usually much bigger than odd years (hence those especially big February ‘16 numbers).

What’s really interesting, though, is that there’s no impending presidential election this year, and yet our February ‘17 numbers stack up pretty well against those 2016 numbers.

 

Topline Numbers

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
Contributions 163,025 262,160 228,632 1,923,107 1,351,275
Total Amount $5,661,921.23 $10,219,861 $7,187,341 $56,746,995 $33,576,340
Avg. Contribution Size $34.73 $38.98 $31.44 $29.51 $24.85
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
801 1,684 1,149 2,154 2,206

There were over 2,000 campaigns and organizations fundraising on ActBlue in February. It’s just about double the number that were using our tools in 2015. Where is that growth coming from? There’s a huge spike in urgency and activism happening right now, and it’s inspired people to start up new organizations and run for office — so much so that we’re actually beating our 2016 numbers as well. That’s exciting to see, because we’re still two years out from the next major election, which means there are tons of candidates who haven’t even filed yet.

These new candidates and organizations were immediately able to get started fundraising using ActBlue, and take advantage of the moment and start connecting with grassroots donors.

 

Mobile

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
% of Contributions via Mobile 7.9% 19.3% 23.8% 39.9% 39.9%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
10.5% 22.9% 25.8% 42.4% 40.5%

 

ActBlue Express

The number of donors who signed up for ActBlue Express accounts this past month is more than eight times the number of donors who signed up in February of 2015. It’s just one more display of the huge uptick in commitment and engagement from grassroots supporters. And these donors can give with a single click to any organization or campaign using ActBlue’s platform, so they’re the most likely to come back and give again.

Our ActBlue Express users also accounted for 1.3 million contributions this month, which was almost 65% of our total contributions.

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
New ActBlue Express Users 23,463 21,634 12,935 286,699 111,986
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
55.8% 44.5% 57.3% 66.9% 60.4%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
53.7% 53.0% 58.8% 71.2% 64.8%

 

Recurring

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
Total Recurring Volume $327,927 $790,921 $2,252,831 $8,290,105 $8,667,566
% of Total Volume 5.8% 7.7% 31.3% 14.6% 25.8%

 

Customer Service

Our customer service team is available round-the-clock to field questions from donors, campaigns, and organizations in order to make sure everyone is receiving support when they need it. They handled an average of over 800 email conversations a day in February.

FEB. ’17
Total Incoming Calls 8,032
Email Conversations 23,709

If you have any questions or comments about our monthly recap, feel free to email our team at info@actblue.com, or leave a comment below.

Apple Pay is now available on ActBlue forms

Improving the user experience is always our priority at ActBlue. We try to make it easier for donors to give to the causes they believe in, wherever they are. And in turn, that helps campaigns and organizations increase their conversion rate.

One of the biggest points of friction for donors has always been typing in their credit card number on a mobile device, and with mobile now representing 40% of our contributions, we are always trying to improve that experience. That’s why our tech team worked hard to roll out our newest feature: Apple Pay on ActBlue forms!

Apple Pay has been around for a few years at physical merchants, where you might have used it to buy coffee or movie tickets. But in September, Apple updated its iOS on iPhones to be able to accept Apple Pay in browsers. We were excited to be a very early adopter of Apple Pay, and to be able to get it set up during crunch time, when it made a big difference to campaigns and committees.

Here’s how it works:

applepaygif-inf-275

Apple Pay will only show up as a payment option on a contribution form when a donor has Apple Pay set up with a credit card on their device (the vast majority of the time this will be users on phones, but there are some ways to enable Apple Pay on your laptop, like with the new MacBook Pro that comes with a touch bar).

We tested having the Apple Pay option available during the contribution flow and saw a 6.5% increase in conversion rates among users with Apple Pay active. After that we quietly rolled it out to every federal campaign and committee in the fall. We rushed to give access to as many people as possible before the election, and a million dollars (!!) ran through Apple Pay from the initial roll-out through Election Day.

Our developers have been working to expand Apple Pay’s availability since then. Right now, Apple Pay is available for all federal campaigns, federal PACs, 527s, and c3 and c4 nonprofits. Our team is working hard to clear state and local jurisdictions one by one in the coming months, so candidates at every level of the electoral process will have access to this tool.

This is just another way that ActBlue’s infrastructure is a shared resource for Democrats, progressives, and nonprofits across the country, and for the donors who want to support them.

What this means for campaigns and organizations using ActBlue:

You don’t have to do anything to enable access to Apple Pay on your contribution forms, because we’ve done that automatically. In fact, your donors may have been using it for months already. We’ve already helped raise $2,532,776 from 82,904 donations through Apple Pay! 

You’ll notice a new pie chart on your Dashboard, which shows you what percentage of donations are coming in via Apple Pay. And when you download a .csv of your contributions, you’ll be able to see which donors are using Apple Pay, just like with PayPal.

Your Apple Pay percentage might look small now, but as more folks adopt Apple Pay, we expect that to grow. And most importantly, Apple Pay will play a big role in giving donors another easy, fast way to chip in and make an impact on the critical progressive work taking place right now.

If you have any questions about Apple Pay leave a comment or shoot us an email at info@actblue.com.

January ’17 Recap

It was undoubtedly a big month for fundraising at ActBlue, as campaigns and organizations across the country got energized and mobilized to fight back against Trump. Donors are fired up, too — over 100k new users saved their payment information with ActBlue Express this month, and can now give with a single click. We also processed our 1.5-billionth (!!) dollar this month.

A whole new crop of people got involved and are ready to fight back.

Topline Numbers

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
Contributions 223,392 226,928 1,224,385 1,237,954
Total Amount $7,750,298 $6,041,656 $32,675,433 $29,402,224
Avg. Contribution Size $34.69 $26.62 $26.69 $23.75
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,603 1,154 1,936 1,993

Mobile

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
% Mobile 19.7% 25.3% 38.6% 39.9%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
22.8% 27.2% 41.2% 40.9%

ActBlue Express

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
New ActBlue Express Users 18,727 10,625 170,421 131,566
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
47.2% 57.8% 66.3% 60.2%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
53.9% 60.1% 70.7% 64.9%

Recurring

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
Total Recurring Volume $706,522 $2,405,809 $7,124,154 $7,868,123
% of Total Volume 9.1% 39.8% 21.8% 26.8%

 

Customer Service

Our customer service team handled an average of 253 incoming phone calls per day during the month of January.

JAN. ’17
Total Incoming Calls 7,843
Email Conversations 7,309

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this month’s fundraising recap, feel free to reach out to a member of our team at info@actblue.com.

December ’16 Recap

In the midst of the holidays and Trump’s impending inauguration, donors and campaigns remained active and engaged. We processed over 750k individual contributions this month.

Topline Numbers

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
Contributions 259,248 231,991 1,094,301 750,484
Total Amount $11,210,508 $5,576,432 $33,255,993 $19,672,531
Avg. Contribution Size $43.24 $24.04 $30.39 $26.21
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,581 1,156 1,924 1,860

Mobile

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
% Mobile 19.8% 22.6% 38.0% 35.5%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
23.2% 24.2% 40.7% 37.1%

ActBlue Express

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
New ActBlue Express Users 25,297 8,934 173,198 47,286
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
46.9% 61.3% 62.3% 61.8%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
52.2% 64.0% 67.7% 65.3%

Recurring

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
Total Recurring Volume $655,275 $2,781,858 $6,196,949 $6,709,181
% of Total Volume 5.8% 49.9% 18.6% 34.1%

 

Customer Service

Our rockstar customer service representatives handled over 550 email conversations per day in the month of December.

DEC. ’16
Total Incoming Calls 7,358
Email Conversations 17,956

Any questions or comments? Drop us a line at info@actblue.com.

November ’16 Recap

Despite the fact that the election took place just eight days into the month, November was still a huge, $43M month. Following Trump’s win, donors and organizers got right to work, turning their anger into action.

Topline Numbers

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
Contributions 194,239 494,986 628,183 1,425,120
Total Amount $7,396,503 $13,035,721 $17,566,353 $43,440,887
Avg. Contribution Size $38.08 $26.34 $27.96 $30.47
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,484 1,626 1,841 2,680

Mobile

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
% Mobile 19.3% 27.8% 31.8% 37.1%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
22.9% 29.4% 34.7% 38.5%

ActBlue Express

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
New ActBlue Express Users 14,805 17,066 51,413 89,149
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
41.1% 60.9% 59.8% 61.1%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
51.0% 64.6% 66.9% 64.2%

Recurring

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
Total Recurring Volume $594,749 $4,857,505 $5,327,096 $11,604,933
% of Total Volume 8.0% 37.3% 30.3% 26.7%

 

Customer Service

Our customer service team handled over 300 incoming phone calls per day during November.

NOV. ’16
Total Incoming Calls 9,485
Email Conversations 25,037

If you’ve got questions or comments about our November numbers, you can reach us at info@actblue.com.

October ’16 Recap

October was a giant month at ActBlue — our biggest month ever! We handled nearly $84 million for over 3,000 campaigns, committees, and organizations.

Lots of campaigns took advantage of our weekly recurring feature this month, driving up our total recurring dollar amount. We brought in even more in recurring dollars than during October of 2014, when weekly recurring was a massive success.

Topline Numbers

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
Contributions 289,615 1,449,990 670,809 2,002,717
Total Amount $10,289,128 $57,093,748 $21,741,770 $83,823,165
Avg. Contribution Size $35.53 $39.38 $32.41 $41.85
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,574 2,503 1,937 3,316

 
October topline numbers

Mobile

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
% Mobile 20.0% 24.9% 31.0% 36.2%
% Mobile for
Express Users
23.6% 26.6% 33.6% 37.1%

Express

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
New Express Users 29,288 73,431 79,099 69,003
% of Total Volume
via Express Users
44.9% 59.6% 61.0% 59.6%
% of Contributions
via Express Users
54.4% 64.9% 68.5% 65.6%

 
October topline numbers

Recurring

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
Total Recurring Volume $611,951 $10,434,476 $5,693,932 $16,750,379
% of Total Volume 5.9% 18.3% 26.2% 20.0%

 

Customer Service

OCT. ’16
Total Incoming Calls 10,205
Email Conversations 29,461

Check out this last graph for a fun look at how many more campaigns, committees, and organizations are fundraising with ActBlue this election cycle as compared to 2014:

October topline numbers

Double Down season is back

Today marks just fifteen days (!!) until Election Day. Democrats up and down the ballot are doubling down on their efforts, and now that we’re bringing our Double Down feature back around, your supporters can do the same.

When you set up Double Down, your donors will be asked to double the amount of their contribution after their initial donation processes.

Double down is similar to weekly recurring in that both are available for a limited time in the run-up to the election. But in the final stretch, weekly recurring can be less useful than a one-time contribution. You can set up Double Down as a part of creating your contribution forms — a quick and easy way to make more money in this short amount of time.

To turn on Double Down, just head to the Edit tab of your contribution form. Scroll down and click “Double Down Your Donation” Options.

double down

Check the box to enable the feature and write a sentence or two letting your donors know why they should double their contribution.

You can also add an image or a GIF to persuade your donors to double their donation, by clicking on the image icon (shown below) and inserting a URL that points to the graphic you’ve chosen.

 
double down
 

This is your chance to convey a sense of urgency to your donors, which is why we recommend using some short and compelling content for your ask blurb.

The pop-up your donors will see after their initial contribution will look something like this:

double down
 

Please note that for compliance purposes, doubled donations will show up as two separate line items.

One other point to note: If a donor makes a recurring contribution and then decides to double down on that contribution, only the original amount pledged will recur monthly or weekly.

We’re always working to make sure ActBlue’s tools suit your needs during the times when you need to be raising money the most. We hope Double Down will help power your campaign or organization through those big moments.

If you have any questions or ideas for future features that would be especially helpful during crunch times like this one, you can alway drop us a line at info@actblue.com.

Q3 2016: It’s definitely the quarter before an election

Man, oh man, was Q3 busy. We moved more than $130M, almost $50M more than in Q3 2014 (the same quarter in the last election cycle).

Why the uptick in volume? We handled donations for over 4,000 campaigns, committees, and organizations as they made their way into the final stretch of an incredibly important election cycle. That’s a 33.9% increase over the number of groups using ActBlue in Q3 2014. What else is exciting? Compared to Q3 2014, we handled $20M more in recurring dollars, which is a whopping 172% increase. And recurring contributions made up more than one-fifth of our total funds raised.

Read on to see how our sitewide fundraising compared to where we were at the same point back in previous years.

Topline Numbers

Q3 2013 Q3 2014 Q3 2015 Q3 2016
Contributions 637,925 2,304,240 1,785,908 3,355,813
Total Amount $23,154,771 $82,657,048 $57,202,581 $131,890,675
Avg. Contribution Size $36.30 $35.87 $32.03 $39.30
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,827 3,064 2,259 4,102

 

Here’s the biggest news: as of Q3 2016, we’ve helped raise over $630 million in contributions. That means we’ve already nearly doubled the amount we raised in the 2014 cycle (2014 was a $335 million election cycle), and we’ve still got one more quarter to go in Election 2016.

In the chart below, we break down the total number of campaigns, committees, and organizations using ActBlue by cycle. The vertical axis shows the running total for unique groups raising funds on ActBlue, while the horizontal axis represents the days in the cycle with the first day of each quarter as the labels.

daily

Look at that rapid growth in committees and orgs using ActBlue! Almost 6,200 different groups used our tools to fundraise in this election cycle, with over 4,000 active groups this quarter. We had almost 800 new candidates and groups sign up this quarter, which is huge compared to 560 new signups during this time in 2014 and 558 in 2012.

This election cycle, we’ve expanded into new cities and counties. We’re working with a higher percentage of federal campaigns than ever before. And the best part is that we offer the same fundraising tools to candidates in school board races as we do to presidential candidates. We’re constantly innovating. We’re a one-stop shop where folks can give to all the causes they care about, at any level of government, no matter how big the race or how small the organization.

Express

In true ActBlue fashion, once we hit an exciting number, we have to keep upping the ante. 65% of our contributions this quarter were made via Express, and as of Q3 2016, we have over 3.2 million Express donors! And they’re an active bunch. In Q3 2016, we handled over $75 million in recurring contributions from folks who saved their information using our Express feature. As a quick refresher, our Express feature lets donors save their payment information with us and donate with a single click, making it easier for them to give (win, win). And in an election cycle like this where every dollar really counts, that efficiency and speed make a big difference in fundraising.

Recurring

Inspiring donors to give again and again is critical to any strong fundraising program. At ActBlue, over 43.5% of the contributions we handled in Q3 2016 were recurring contributions. Our recurring asks are usually monthly, but in September we brought back weekly recurring. That feature was so successful that it accounted for $3,821,234 of the nearly $31.5M we raised in recurring contributions this quarter. That means weekly recurring accounted for 10.26% of our total recurring volume in Q3 2016 — and it wasn’t even being used in full force until the end of the quarter! Take a look at the chart below to see how weekly recurring contributions have picked up steam:

recurring

In just two weeks, the number of new weekly contributions had surpassed the typical number of new monthly contributions. And let’s not bury the lede here: we handled more than 70k recurring contributions on September 30th. That’s the second highest total ever (surpassed only by February 29th when we ran recurring contributions from three days at once). In total, we moved $1.4M before 10AM that day — that’s a lot of traffic before most folks had even had their morning cup of coffee!

Q3 before an election has historically been a big quarter (no surprise there). But this election cycle features seven out of the eight greatest quarter over quarter increases in terms of recurring donations. Back in Q3 2014, we handled only about a third of the recurring contributions we handled in Q3 2016. And in 2012, which was the last presidential election year, we handled less than $5M in recurring volume. That means we’re now raising over six times what we did in the last presidential election. Pretty cool.

volume

Mobile

It was another strong quarter for giving on the go — 30% of the funds we raised came from a mobile device. And while people are definitely using mobile devices to do more, more often, we can’t chalk up the success of mobile giving just to time alone.

Mobile

We’ve also spent a lot of time optimizing for mobile. We tested and implemented a new feature: when mobile donors land on a form, they’re automatically taken past the contribution blurb to the part where they choose how much to give. With an increase of 5.2% in sitewide conversions (p < 0.05), that optimization has translated into real cash. We’ve also added an autocomplete search feature that populates your address on contribution forms, which has already started to boost our numbers. The goal with mobile is making it as easy as possible to give from a smaller screen, and that’s what we’re going to keep improving on.

Customer Service

It was another busy quarter for our customer service team, who handled an incredible 28,490 calls and had 72,504 email conversations with ActBlue donors. At midnight on September 30th, the last day of the quarter, there were a grand total of zero donors waiting to have their emails and calls returned. Our team had squared away their emails and calls in real time!

From folks who are giving for the first time and have questions about the process, to returning donors who want to check in about their contribution, our customer service representatives handle it all. They helped make the giving process as smooth as possible during this extremely busy quarter.

Remarketing

In February 2016, we launched our remarketing feature. When enabled, it sends a reminder email to donors who have started but failed to complete a contribution after 30 minutes of inactivity.

This quarter, remarketing helped bring an extra $420,000 in the door from over 13,000 contributions. In an election cycle where every dollar matters, that’s a lot more than just pocket change. But here’s the thing: only one fifth of our contribution forms sitewide that received contributions had our remarketing feature enabled. That means 80% of ActBlue forms are losing out on a lot of extra contributions! If you haven’t turned on remarketing yet, here’s a reminder about how to do it.

Contributions by Timezone

Being knowledgeable about where your donors are based is helpful because it can lead to new tests where you target different folks at different times. Take a look at this chart below to see where ActBlue’s sitewide donor base is located, and when folks from different parts of the country give most:

Timezone

It was an incredible quarter for ActBlue, and we’re so excited to have our biggest election year yet. That’s why we want to thank our donors! Without them, there’s no way we’d be on track to handle more than $700M this election cycle. We also couldn’t be more proud to be lowering the barrier for participation across the board. Our tools give folks who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get involved in the political process the opportunity to make real change happen.

Of course, we’re also thrilled that the more new folks start using our tools, the more fundraising records we can break. After all, let’s remember our prediction back in Q1 2016: we said we might process over half a billion dollars in small-dollar contributions this election cycle: looks like we’ve got some ceilings to smash both in terms of our own record, and in the White House.

Sept. ’16 Recap

We thought September 2014 (during the last election year) was a big one. That is, until we crunched the numbers for this past month. We processed more than $58 million in sitewide volume, and handled over 1.2M individual contributions in September ’16.

Scroll down to see the rest of the fun numbers we’ve got for you this month. The biggest highlight: Almost 20% of our massive sitewide dollar total came from recurring contributions. It’s a direct result of campaigns and committees taking advantage of our weekly recurring feature in the lead-up to the election.

Topline Numbers

SEP. ’13 SEP. ’14 SEP. ’15 SEP. ’16
Contributions 319,785 925,289 793,161 1,291,020
Total Amount $11,460,206 $38,929,651 $28,097,288 $58,710,496
Avg. Contribution Size $35.84 $42.07 $35.42 $45.48
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,436 2,489 1,854 3,182

 
September topline numbers

Mobile

SEP. ’13 SEP. ’14 SEP. ’15 SEP. ’16
% Mobile 20.5% 25.3% 32.2% 25.8%
% Mobile for
Express Users
24.3% 27.3% 34.8% 27.9%

 
September mobile numbers

Customer Service

In September 2016 our customer service team handled an average of 814 email conversations a day.

SEPT. ’16
Total Incoming Calls 8,243
Email Conversations 24,408

Express

SEP. ’13 SEP. ’14 SEP. ’15 SEP. ’16
New Express Users 36,543 65,208 123,696 57,729
% of Total Volume
via Express Users
43.2% 58.7% 59.7% 57.2%
% of Contributions
via Express Users
51.0% 63.8% 67.3% 64.7%

 
September express numbers

Recurring

SEP. ’13 SEP. ’14 SEP. ’15 SEP. ’16
Total Recurring Volume $553,698 $5,100,805 $5,253,217 $11,617,884
% of Total Volume 4.8% 13.1% 18.7% 19.8%

 
September recurring numbers