We recognize that it’s early in the 2008 cycle and many candidates are not anywhere close to announcing a run for federal office, be that a U.S. Senate seat or Congress. It’s natural that during this time, potential candidates are testing the waters, talking to friends, and contemplating the financial needs of any campaign they may choose to embark upon.
As of today we’re going to help make that last decision a little easier to encourage Democrats to run for office. We’ve created "Democratic Nominee Funds" for every Republican-held Senate and House seat. All of the money raised for these funds will be held until after a state’s primary election and then transferred to the Democratic Nominee to help them with their general election campaign against Republicans.
So if you are a blogger or grassroots activist and want to raise money to aid Democratic candidates in the future, making use of Democratic Nominee Funds is a great way to encourage new candidates to run and not take sides in a primary. For example, Texas bloggers are raising money for a Democratic challenger to Sen. John Cornyn while discussions go on about potential candidates.
(Just look through our directory (i.e. Florida) to see seats where no one has filed and a Nominee Fund exists instead! It works for any state search.)
As ActBlue continues to expand our operations on the state level into new states we continuously see great examples of using ActBlue for different purposes. This week I would like to highlight the San Diego County Democratic Party.
While many campaigns use ActBlue to process contributions, the SDCDP is using ActBlue to process contributions and create a guest list for events. They created a page for their event and added invitation text and sponsorship levels for their donors. Then, they circulated this link anywhere they advertised the event.
Accepting contributions through an ActBlue page made specifically for an event makes several aspects of event management easy:
- Today’s donors enjoy the convenience of donating online for events. By having an online option for event ticket payment, donors can immediately pay online after receiving advertising for the event.
- Having a special page with the invitation text reduces the potential for donor confusion. While a normal contribution page would work, a page just for the event makes it very clear what the donation is for.
- ActBlue’s CSV data export is perfect for creating a guest list and nametags. From that file you can mail merge the data into whatever format you would like.
Even though technology can make these processes easier, it is no substitute for the hard work that you already put into making events a success. Your emails, phone calls and mailings are what drive your donors to the page and compel them to contribute.
As always, feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like assistance with setting up a page or exporting data.
Ever since ActBlue was founded in 2004, we’ve aggressively expanded from helping federal candidates for U.S. Senate and Congress to aiding state executive and legislative candidates across the county. By the end of the ’05-’06 election cycle, ActBlue was set up to operate in 20 states, raising nearly a million dollars for state candidates and PACs.
We’ve increased that number to 22- having just become active in Mississippi and Virginia- both states with legislative elections in 2007. You can now scan the candidates in the candidate directories I just linked to and donate or create new fundraising pages for these states or even add their candidates to your existing fundraising pages.
A number of Virginia candidates have already embraced ActBlue and are using our system for their online fundraising- candidates like Chap Peterson, Carlos Del Torro, Bruce Roemmelt, Connie Brennan, and Susie Garner. In addition, Virgina bloggers have already raised over $4,000 for various candidates in less than two weeks but we’ll have more about them in a future post.
With as many friends as ActBlue has in the Democratic blogging community, it’s about time we joined the party with a blog of our own. So today we are launching our official ActBlue Blog where we look forward to bringing our donors, candidates, campaigns, fundraisers, and bloggers interesting resources, analysis, tips, and other information to more effectively raise funds to elect Democrats!
Here’s just a sampling of things you can expect to see here-
- Case Studies on some of the most creative ways ActBlue has been used
- Analysis on how and why people donate
- State Reports that highlight successful state level campaigns
- Tips & Tricks about ways to use ActBlue you may not have known about
- Page of the Week where we will highlight our favorite fundraising strategies
- Monthly ActBlue Zeitgeist to explore trends, patterns, and other cool stuff
- Major Series where we will explore how we are most relevant to your efforts in fundraising
Our posts will strive to be informative and useful while maintaining the Democratic grassroots values which have driven us for the last two and a half years. We encourage you to subscribe to our RSS feed or sign up to receive new posts via e-mail to keep up with our latest posts (both available in the right sidebar). Otherwise keep checking http://blog.actblue.com for the latest!