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Monthly Archives: August 2007

A new blog series that we’re going to start up here is a weekly activity report each Monday. In it, we’ll look to feature the most active campaigns and fundraising pages at ActBlue for the prior week. It’s a scaled down version of our Monthly or Quarterly activity reports but if something neat or creative sticks out we’ll try to highlight it here.

Total Contributions last week: $226,262.30
Total Donors: 1794 2184
Avg. Contribution size: $128.33 $103.60

Total # of Recipient Campaigns & Committees: 187

Here are the Top 5 Recipients on ActBlue last week by number of donors.

Name District Raised Donors
John Edwards President $36,870.80 520
Rick Noriega TX-Sen $12,332.61 154
Steven L. Beshear KY-Gov $2,433.02 106
Democracy for America Organization $1,722.70 88
Tom Allen ME-Sen $2,601.03 84

Here are the Top 5 Candidate Recipients on ActBlue last week by total amount raised.

Name District Raised
John Edwards President $36,870.80
Rick Noriega TX-Sen $12,332.61
Gary Trauner WY-AL $11,200.00
Jamie Eldridge MA-05 $10,004.61
Russ Warner CA-26 $9,196.60

Here are the Top 5 ActBlue Fundraising Pages last week by number of donors.

Name Donors Raised Average
John Edwards 494 $36,031.66 $72.93
DFA for Steve Beshear 132 $4,135.65 $21.42
Blue America ’08 127 $11,533.12 $32.30
Netroots for Rick Noriega 91 $10,444.00 $114.76
SoCal Grassroots 42 $1,095.00 $26.07

One of the requests that we have received from both campaigns & fundraisers is to be notified of new contributions when they are made through ActBlue. That idea got our developers thinking so over the last couple of weeks they built that functionality and expanded upon it.

Last week we rolled out our Daily Notifications system.

Once a day an email will go out to every ActBlue user who a) has access to a campaign
report, b) has sent an appeal via the Spread the Word system, c) has ownership of a fundraising page, or d) has
access to a partnership so long as they have received a contribution through one of those four elements in the previous 24 hours. If someone has access to multiple elements (like a contribution report, a
fundraising page, and an appeal), the user will get just one email with each item’s activity separated out.

You will have an option to opt out of these Daily Notifications. I’ve provided a visual aid below to show you where you can manage these settings in your ActBlue account after you login.

First, click on your email address under Account Settings.

account

Second, select your “Site Activity Email Preference” to be either Nightly or None and click “update my account”.

account2

Over on the political side of ActBlue, occasionally we come across a problem that cries out for an automated solution.  One of these problems involved periodically updating the database with newly filed Federal Democrats.  To help keep us up to date, I wrote this ruby script which queries the FEC and compares the current list of filed Candidate Committees to the list the last time the script was run.  It then emails whatever address you specify in the code with the candidate name, address and committee ID.

Download FEC_Check.rb

This is released with the MIT software license so please use it to your heart’s content.  Be sure to glance over the script before running it, as it does have some dependencies that may need to be installed and variables that need to be set.

This is released without any technical support from ActBlue.  I am not a formally trained programmer and I assume there may be better ways of accomplishing the same thing.  You can feel free to contact me at nate@actblue.com but please don’t expect a speedy response as I spend the majority of my day helping state and local candidates use ActBlue effectively and successfully.

Given the success and interest in our end of quarter ActBlue Stats Week, I thought that I would do a July report on the activity on ActBlue. And if there is interest, I’ll start doing a simplified weekly round up of what’s been going on in the online fundraising world.

So let’s dive into some July data as measured through ActBlue.com-

Total Contributions: $642,438.41
Number of Donors: 9,644
Average Contribution Size: $66.61
Median Contribution Size: $27.50

Total # of Recipient Campaigns & Committees: 352

Here are the Top 10 Candidates by amounts received through ActBlue in July.

John Edwards $168,898.95 President
Niki Tsongas $17,240.00 MA-05
Eric Massa $16,091.82 NY-29
Dennis Kucinich $15,673.30 President
John Kerry $14,664.01 MA-Sen
Steve Novick $12,157.30 OR-Sen
Tim Johnson $11,324.00 SD-Sen
Kay Barnes $10,940.00 MO-06
Tom Harkin $9,901.27 IA-Sen
Jamie Eldridge $9,534.10 MA-05

And here are the Top 5 fundraising pages by number of donors (excluding pages used by candidates to collect contributions directly from campaign websites).

The People’s Email Network $15,319.30 420
Roadblock Republicans $25,010.01 416
Blogosphere Day $18,324.57 392
Support Eric Massa for Congress $16,607.20 272
Democracy for America List $8,182.93 184

We’re back from Yearly Kos in Chicago and we were greeted by a great sight, a feature in the Boston Globe! Here’s the story…

410wCAMBRIDGE — The new headquarters
of ActBlue, with its tangled cords, leftover Deval Patrick signs, and
20-somethings tapping on white MacBook laptops, is what a political
campaign would look like if it shared space with a dot-com start-up.

ActBlue is in fact both — an Internet-based
political action committee that is quietly becoming one of the biggest
forces in Democratic politics. Its founders aim for nothing short of
revolution, and they are already partway there.

The PAC, operated
from a former architecture studio on Arrow Street near Harvard Square,
functions as an online clearinghouse for campaign contributions to
Democrats of all stripes, allowing anyone in the country to donate any
allowable amount to any candidate with the click of a mouse: You send
the money to ActBlue (actblue.com), and ActBlue funnels it to the campaigns. This gives local, state, and national Democratic candidates a cheap, efficient means of building a base of supporters over the Internet.

This
simple but transformative concept has raised $25.5 million and counting
since its creation in Cambridge in 2004, when two computer-savvy
scientists with liberal leanings set out to take political action in a
new direction. They believed that armies of small donors, mobilized
effectively, could be more potent than the “bun dlers” who have
dominated fund-raising by amassing checks from wealthy contributors.

Today,
with that philosophy ascendant and the 2008 presidential campaign
breaking all fund-raising records, ActBlue has become a unique bundler
of the unbundled. It is reshaping political
fund-raising and giving the Democratic Party a powerful, lasting
resource for presidential contests, state legislative races, and
everything in between.

“There’s a huge opportunity to involve
many times more people in this process than we currently have,” said
Benjamin Rahn, 30, a Harvard graduate who suspended his doctoral work
in theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology to
found ActBlue with Matt DeBergalis, 29, a technology whiz out of MIT.

ActBlue,
in coordination with campaigns, bloggers, and individuals across the
country, has funneled donations to 1,500 Democratic candidates to date.
It moved $17 million to candidates in the 2005-2006 election cycle,
including about $15.5 million to congressional campaigns, part of a
tide of support that flipped the House and Senate to Democratic control.

ActBlue
appears to have been far and away the biggest direct donor to
congressional candidates of either party last fall. “They are
revolutionizing approaches to fund-raising,” said Anthony Corrado, a
specialist on campaign finance at Colby College.

Rahn and
DeBergalis say they are just getting started. They predict confidently
that they will move $100 million in the 2007-2008 cycle.

Indeed,
their fund-raising this year suggests that the PAC will be an even
bigger player in the months ahead. Through the end of June, ActBlue had
already raised $6.6 million in 2007. In the last off-year, 2005, it
took ActBlue 12 months to raise $1.6 million. The 28,925 new
contributors who signed up in April, May, and June of this year
represented 13 percent of its overall number of contributors.

Continued after the jump…

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