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Monthly Archives: March 2007


picture_1 On Monday I posted a tip for spicing up ActBlue fundraising pages by embedding video into ‘asks’. This is a very powerful fundraising tactic–especially when the asker and audience have an existing relationship.

Over at Calitics, a great community blog in California, they’ve taken that suggestion and run with it. I’ve included a screenshot of their pitch to the right (click on it to view a bigger version in a new window). Besides the video, Calitics’ blogger Brian uses several of the principles of fundraising to make a really compelling plea for his candidates.  Some of the successful elements they have included:

  1. Create Urgency- The pitch is for end-of-quarter donations.  Brian clearly states that there’s a deadline before which donors need to fundraise.  And he timed his pitch just a couple of days away from the end of quarter.
  2. Be Specific- Rather than overloading their page with a dozen candidates, Brian stuck with three candidates that have a common theme.  The majority of ActBlue donors give to an entire page’s slate of candidates…remember that when choosing your slate of candidates.
  3. Make it Personal- Brian, a Calitics blogger, is asking his own blog readers to donate. They have an existing relationship and a degree of trust built up. Potential donors are more likely to give when asked by someone they know and the pitch is personal.  They’re less likely to donate when spammed by someone they don’t know.
  4. Think Longterm- The Calitics’ ask offers the option of giveing once or of setting up a recurring contribution. Recurring donations are growing in popularity on ActBlue, with over 1000 users having chosen that option for a variety of candidates.   If a donor can’t contribute a lump sum amount at once, recurring contributions allow them to invest in the page in installments.

Most of these elements are included in their Calitics ActBlue fundraising page as well. To improve the impact, some ideas might be to include the text from the Calitics post next to the video on their ActBlue fundraising page itself or add the recurring contribution buttons below the embedded video. If that happened, their ActBlue fundraising page could be e-mailed around to additional friends or registered users of the Calitics blog extending the end-of-Quarter ask into a new medium.


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One other thing that might help the effort is to set a goal, similar to what the bloggers at Raising Kaine have done (screen shot at left again, click to enlarge). They are shooting for $20,000 to all their endorsed candidates by the end of the state quarter on Saturday, giving a real sense of momentum to their efforts. Adding some text about that immediate goal on their fundraising page would be perfect to tie it together with their blog posts.

While it is early in the cycle, bloggers can build upon their early adopters to make effective asks in creative ways that fit their audience. What ideas might you add?

     gr2007032800077

I wanted to point out an interesting graphic posted to the right produced by the Washington Post (which you can click on to enlarge). From their story

In the past five days, the campaign received more than 5,000 donations
totaling half a million dollars — about 50 percent of the total it
raised online in the previous three months, according to postings on
ActBlue.com, the Web site that tracks Edwards’s Internet fundraising.

Having blown past $20,000,000 yesterday, we’ve already added another $140,000 to that total in less than 24 hours. What’s driving it? End of quarter fundraising for 1Q 2007!

For ActBlue this week, it has been John Edwards driving most of that. His presidential end of quarter fundraising has now pushed him to the #1 slot on the ActBlue Pages listings in terms of donors (and very shortly also in terms of total amount raised). The combined Netroots Candidates page had held that spot up until this week with Senator Boxer’s Pac for a Change now holding in 3rd place.

But donors are filling in everywhere, including the state level. Fundraising driven by the bloggers at Raising Kaine have pushed over $15,000 into legislative candidate coffers. Kudos to them are well deserved (as is this graphic indicating their success so far).

March 31st is a federal quarterly deadline (and also one for Virginia as they have state elections this year). We exect this spike to continue through the end of the week and are of course fully prepared to handle any and all traffic. This one should be fairly reasonable being so far out from 2008 but it is the first major reporting date of the 07/08 cycle.

For those that have created their own fundraising pages, now is a great time to put in a pitch for extra donations to help your candidates put up respectable first quarter numbers!

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At around 8 PM tonight, ActBlue passed the $20,000,000 milestone. Needless to say, there was lots of refreshing of the homepage as we watched this very important milestone roll by.

November 2004: $850,000

February 2005: $1 million

May 2006: $5 million

September 2006: $10 million

and on March 26, 2007: We watched this…

beforesmall

turn into this…entirely fitting for 2007 don’t you think?

aftersmall_2

After a toast around the office, I took some time to bring you the following delightful photoshop which expresses our office’s excitement over this amazing milestone. I’ve stashed it in the extended entry…

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Here’s a tip for all the ActBlue page creators out there- did you know you can embed a video clip in your personal fundraising page as part of your pitch to donors?  You can!

We’ve all gotten e-mails from campaigns and committees looking to raise funds for a hard hitting television ad that could change the direction of the election. They often ask you to click a link on some site where you can watch the ad and then ask you to click another link to donate to put the ad on the air.

Now you can include the video right next to the donate links in your ActBlue page. Check out these examples. Remember that powerful body armor ad VoteVets produced? One person put it directly into this fundraising page and circulated it while raising money. The Mississippi Democratic Party is gathering funds for a Gubernatorial attack ad…  you can watch it right where you click to donate.

But don’t think you have to be limited to just television advertisements. The Mark Leno State Senate campaign in California embedded his campaign announcement speech into this fundraising page. Such an effort allows you to communicate with your donors, introducing yourself while making an "ask".

Selectively embedding video in your pages can get your contributors to donate while still feeling the emotional effects of the content they just saw. Plus, this allows you to keep your content and fundraising pitch right next to each other, eliminating the falloff you see when people are forced to take two separate actions at two separate websites.

I just wanted to take this time to thank the 37 (and still growing) blogs that have been a part of our launch of ActBlue. Many of them promoted our guest diaries, commented on them, and got some productive discussions rolling.

At The Albany Project, our post led to a $2000 donation towards the efforts to Activate ActBlue in New York. At the Prairie State Blue we were invited to become an occasional front page blogger. I personally got to meet with one of the bloggers from Blue Mass Group on Tuesday and we’re getting added to the blogrolls at My Left Wing and Blue Hampshire. Because of our posts at Square State, West Virginia Blue, and Blue Jersey, we continued some conversations about getting active in states where we are not yet including one proposition that could lead to some exciting developments across the country.

Additionally, we want to thank Blue Sunbelt, Blue Oklahoma, AZNetroots, Below Boston, Burnt Orange Report, FLA Politics, Minnesota Campaign Report, and Swing State Project for promoting our cross-post to their front pages for discussion. Other blogs where we were present were Daily Kos, MyDD, Calitics, Raising Kaine, Capitol Talk, Colorado Pols, Blue Forests, Democratic Central, Left in the West, Michigan Liberal, Mass Revolution Now, South Carolina ’08, Texas Kaos, Turn Maine Blue36th District Democrats, Blue Indiana, Free State Politics, Progressive Connection, NMFBIHOP, Blue NC, and Green Mountain Daily.

And just to point out, this is a small section of the much larger State Blogging Communities which collectively consist of about 600 blogs (at least from what I have indexed so far).

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