Did You Know? How to Plan an Event By Darci Larsen, Political Coordinator, Heart of America

Events are an important facet of all campaigns. The following general guideline can be used by campaigns hosting their own events, supporters hosting events on behalf of the candidate, for house parties, large fundraisers, or small fundraisers.

1.   Establish a timeline for planning the event.
Things to keep in mind:

  • The larger the event, the more time you should give yourself to organize it.
  • Promises will fall through; plans will go awry.
  • Always have a contingency plan.
  • Consider the calendar: are there any community events, party events, or holidays on the night/day you choose that will interfere with your guests’ availability?

2.   Decide on a budget.
Things to keep in mind:

  • How much is to be spent on venue overhead?
  • How much is to be spent on food?
  • How much is to be spent on entertainment?
  • What other associated costs do you have?
  • How much, if any, of this can you get donated (financial laws permitting)?

3.   Put together the guest list.
Things to keep in mind:

  • Determine the size and scope of the event – lots of people, or fewer people?
  • Small dollar or large dollar?
  • Are the ticket prices set at a level your guests can afford?
  • Are your high-dollar asks a sufficient amount?
  • Bodies are a good thing! Always keep friends and family on hand to fill a table or room, should your RSVPs fall short.

4.   Find an appropriate venue.
Things to keep in mind:

  • Is the cost of this particular chosen venue a worthwhile expense?
  • Is the size of the venue adequate for the number of guests expected to show up?
  • Is the venue ambience appropriate for the type of event you’re holding? For example, a local bar may be a great venue for a small-dollar donation event with many people, but perhaps not the best choice for a high-dollar fundraiser with fewer donors.
  • Is the venue in a location easily accessible to most of your guests?
  • Is parking readily available? Or is the venue accessible by public transportation?
  • Consider sending maps out with your invitations.

5.   Use ActBlue’s Event Management tool to set ticket prices, send invitations, and manage RSVPs. See Christine’s article in the April 2008 newsletter for a step-by-step guide on how to use this feature.

6.   Finalize the details.
Things to keep in mind:

  • Finalize your plans well in advance of the event, and run through the details right before the event.
  • Double-check with the venue and/or the hosts, and/or the entertainment, and/or the food provider(s).
  • Check your RSVPs and prepare for both possibilities of smaller or larger crowds.
  • Double-check with your staff and volunteers: does everyone know where to be, when to be there, how to get there, what they’re doing, what to bring, how to dress?

7.   Arrive at the venue early.
Things to keep in mind:

  • Your staff, volunteers, and/or you should arrive typically at least a couple of hours in advance, depending on the size of the event.
  • Do you have your guest list, your various campaign checklists (newsletter request list, volunteer willingness list, etc.), campaign literature and yard signs, extra pens/markers, and a place to store donations given at the door?
  • Will you want to use name tags? Will you pre-print them from the guest list or have guests to fill out their own?
  • Are guides (human or paper) necessary to get your guests to the location of the event?

8.   Host your event.
Things to keep in mind:

  • Are you and your staff familiar with the names and faces of all VIPs who are attending?
  • Master the art of small talk!

9.   Debrief.
What was your turnout like?

  • Did you stay within the budget?
  • Was your contribution total above, below, or at the expected level?
  • Where could you have trimmed the cost of overhead?
  • How could you better streamline the event planning process for next time?
  • Was the effort expended worth your return, in the end?
  • If you addressed the crowd, how were your remarks received?

10. Send thank you notes to venue owners, hosts, donors, guests, and volunteers. ActBlue’s Event Management Tool is a great way to do this electronically.

Candidate Profile: Andrew Rice By Clare Diegel, ActBlue Communications Associate

Each month in our newsletter, we will profile an ActBlue candidate whose campaign and supporters are creatively using ActBlue to communicate, organize, fundraise, and mobilize support from Democrats across the United States. By providing specific examples of candidates who have been successful on ActBlue and telling you how they did it, we hope we spark your creativity and inspire you to make fundraising pages that solicit contributions in new and interesting ways.

In this month’s newsletter, we spotlight a young, charismatic, and progressive candidate whose popularity as a state Senator was the catalyst for his U.S. Senate bid. His soaring fundraising numbers have exceeded expectations and continue to break barriers, instilling fear and panic into the GOP and attracting national attention.

No, this month’s candidate is not Barack Obama.

It’s Oklahoma state Senator and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Rice.


Photo of U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Rice

Rice is challenging Republican incumbent Senator Jim Inhofe, one of the most conservative members of the Senate. And he’s doing it by taking advantage of everything ActBlue has to offer, from harnessing ActBlue’s online tools to engage his supporters, to working alongside independent fundraisers from across the country who have united on ActBlue to support Democrats, to pointing to public totals on ActBlue to demonstrate his viability in the race.

Besides being one of the busiest candidates on ActBlue, we chose to profile Andrew Rice because he is showing that by using new tools and technologies, and by turning his donors into fundraisers, we can fundamentally change the kinds of candidates we send to office.

Photo of Andrew Rice with Iraq War vet Miranda Norman at Bake Sales for Body Armor at OCCC, April 3, 2008

With 24 fundraising pages on ActBlue, Andrew Rice has raised over $113,000 from nearly 2.500 supporters. Democracy for America, prominent liberal bloggers, and Democrats from all over the country have come together to ensure that this is Senator Inhofe’s last year in office by creating ActBlue fundraising pages for Rice.

To truly appreciate the magnitude of a political newcomer entering a U.S. Senate race against an entrenched and staunch Republican and shaking up the political scene in a red state, let’s take a closer look at Senator Inhofe and Andrew Rice.

Senator Inhofe has all the credentials to make a liberal’s blood boil, but in the traditionally red state of Oklahoma, we know it won’t be easy for Democrats to capture his Senate seat. Senator Inhofe has called global warming the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people"; he is the recipient of the "Most Outstanding Conservative U.S. Senator" award, presented by the Human Events Newspaper and the American Conservative Union, and received an "A+" grade from the National Rifle Association. A tenacious supporter of the Constitutional ban on gay marriage, Inhofe has told gay rights activists that, "due to the possibility of a conflict of agenda," he doesn’t hire staffers who are openly gay.   Seeing red yet? That’s why in Oklahoma, we have to ActBlue.  Andrew Rice’s relative youth, charisma, integrity and dedication to progressive ideals puts him in stark contrast to Senator Inhofe. Rather than run an "Anybody but Inhofe" campaign, however, the Rice team has shown Oklahomans that they should vote for Andrew Rice not just because he isn’t Jim Inhofe. They launched an impressive campaign that introduced Andrew as a deserving candidate in his own right, and brought national attention to an important senatorial race.


Andrew Rice was not on an inevitable path toward politics. The Oklahoma native is a Harvard Divinity School graduate who has done humanitarian work in Sri Lanka and Thailand. After producing a documentary film about an HIV hospice in India that was run by an ex-convict, Rice moved to New York to continue his career as a documentary filmmaker. It wasn’t until 2001, when his brother was tragically killed in the 9/11 attacks, that Rice’s career path took a dramatic turn. Incensed by the Bush administration’s handling of the Iraq war, Rice became a staunch advocate of open government and policy reform. After returning to Oklahoma and creating the Progressive Alliance Foundation, Rice made a bid for an Oklahoma state Senate seat in 2005 and won the election with 70 percent of the vote.

Rice was only a state Senator for six months before people started encouraging him to run against Senator Inhofe. During his short tenure in the state Senate, Rice has focused on issues affecting children and families, specifically health insurance and tax breaks for struggling families. In the fledgling stages of his U.S. Senate campaign, Rice proved his viability by raising over $28,000 on ActBlue and bringing in a total of $300,000 in the first two months of his campaign. This support gave Rice the momentum and credibility to attract the endorsements of prominent national organizations like the Sierra Club and powerful blogs like Blue America. ActBlue has remained an essential tool for the Rice campaign to mobilize such powerful netroots support. Together, these prominent bloggers have raised over $55,000 for Rice from 1,600 donors on ActBlue.

Andrew Rice has become a prominent presence on liberal sites other than ActBlue. He is a blogger for the Huffington Post, and has appeared twice on the Blue America site to answer questions and discuss his view on the Iraq War, health care, tax policy, and abortion. In both online sessions, people from states other than Oklahoma posed question to the candidate, and encouraged each other to visit Democracy for America’s ActBlue fundraising page for Rice, aptly titled, "Beat a Republican Extremist."


Rice has held and attended events that simultaneously shed light on Senator Inhofe’s blunders while highlighting Rice’s record as a progressive Oklahoma state Senator. The most recent example of this inventive strategy is the cupcakes challenge Rice issued to Senator Inhofe in the beginning of April. For the past three years, the Oklahoma City Community College has hosted the Bake Sale for Body Armor to raise much-needed funds to protect our troops. Rice contributed to the worthy cause this year and challenged Senator Inhofe and other members of Oklahoma’s Congressional delegation to join him in his support. This event prompted bloggers to spotlight Inhofe’s deplorable voting record of continually opposing funds for veterans and troops, and remind voters that the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America group gave Inhofe’s voting record a "D-" grade.

The Rice campaign has also used this balancing strategy to solicit contributions from donors across the United States. To counteract Senator Inhofe’s own fundraising efforts, the Rice campaign created an ActBlue fundraising page called "Everyday People’s 5k…x2".  On the page, the Rice campaign encouraged donors to "match just ONE special interest check given to Jim Inhofe by those who know he will make good on a lifetime of service to them only," and set a deadline to raise an extra $5,000 in less than one month.


While popular bloggers have raised tens of thousands of dollars on ActBlue by endorsing Rice and asking their readers to contribute to his campaign, people who are not professionally affiliated with the Democratic party or the Rice campaign have taken matters into their own hands and created fundraising pages for the Oklahoma Senate candidate. Progressive Pilots for Andrew Rice, Yellow Dogs for Rice, and Independent Okies for Rice, are all pages created by individuals and make up only a few of the 24 ActBlue pages made for Rice. One of these exemplary funding pages is titled, "Expand the Map!" and was created by a blogger known as ‘Senate Guru.’ The "Expand the Map" page has collected over $3,500 for Rice from more than 60 donors from Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, and of course, Oklahoma. While many ActBlue fundraising pages feature only one candidate, Senate Guru’s page is a great example of how multiple candidates can be grouped together on one page to support a common purpose.

Senate Guru told ActBlue that he created this page to "expand the map of competitive seats" in the Senate. The Senate Guru explained that

[g]reat candidates, particularly those in red states, like Andrew Rice, Larry LaRocco [ID], and Rick Noriega [TX], can be competitive and offer voters an alternative to the rubber stamp Republicans their states currently endure – all they need are enough resources to get their messages out to the voters and counter the spin put out by the GOP. And that’s why ActBlue is so important – because it facilitates the ability of a Missourian to help an Oklahoma State Senator oust an anachronism like Jim Inhofe.

As Senate Guru and many other page creators recognize, Democratic candidates need out-of-state donations to make their states blue. According to the Rice campaign, 35 percent of their donations have come from donors outside of Oklahoma. By building a national Democratic infrastructure, ActBlue is empowering individuals to come together and truly make an impact on a national scale.


The efforts of the Rice campaign and his supporters are paying off. After Senator Inhofe touted the $30,000 he raised online over the entire month of March, the Rice campaign reported that they raised over $68,000 online in the last five days of March, and $46,477 of that came from ActBlue fundraising pages. On March 31, the last day of the quarter, Rice got a huge boost and brought in $43,000.  As Karina Henderson, the campaign’s web manager, points out, Rice brought in 150 percent more online on that one day than Inhofe did in all of March. The fact that a first-term state Senator from Oklahoma can so dramatically outraise an entrenched Republican represents what ActBlue is all about and what we’re trying to do.

Undoubtedly feeling threatened by Rice’s soaring funds, Senator Inhofe is now using his challenger’s online success to try to mobilize and encourage his own supporters. In a message to his cohorts in the beginning of April, the Inhofe campaign recognized the "fundraising potential"
of the Democratic netroots efforts and Andrew Rice’s ability to attract out-of-state donations.

Without Rice’s nationwide support converging on ActBlue, Oklahoma’s incumbent wouldn’t be feeling such pressure. By participating in events such as the Bake Sale for Body Armor, issuing challenges to the incumbent, generating buzz on the Internet, and using ActBlue to set specific goals and turn donors into fundraisers, the Rice campaign has made Andrew Rice a viable and competitive candidate.  In a state where 66 percent of voters supported President Bush in 2004, electing a Democratic Senator could be a formidable challenge without the robust and national support system that ActBlue has made possible.

The work is not over for Rice or other Democratic candidates in competitive states, however. To help get Democrats like Rice elected, create a fundraising page today for the candidates of your choice and start acting blue.

One more special election. One more ActBlue Democrat in office.

Image Speier

Longtime Democratic activist and former state Senator Jackie Speier flies to Washington this morning after winning a special election yesterday to replace the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA). Speier took 78 percent of the vote in a field of five, and will represent California’s Twelfth Congressional District.

Image Carson

Speier will join two other ActBlue phenoms, Indiana’s Andre Carson and Bill Foster of Illinois, both elected in special elections in March, in the House after being sworn in on Thursday.

For anyone who doubts that special elections matter, or questions the need to fight for every seat, consider this: On the day that Bill Foster was sworn into office, replacing former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an ethics bill came up for a vote. Democrats eventually passed ethics reform legislation, but not without a struggle.

Image Foster

Before passage, House members had a chance to kill the bill without voting against it.

But the bill was kept alive by a single vote.


This is why we fight, folks. Congratulations today to Jackie Speier, and to all of those who are working hard in every corner of the country for Democrats. We’re behind you all here at ActBlue.

We’ve got big plans. We need your help.

If you think what we’re doing is important, please help us bring ActBlue to every Democrat in the country.

ActBlue is at the forefront of the movement to build a strategic advantage—infrastructure—for Democrats.

Our numbers speak for themselves: $40 million raised since 2004 for more than 2,557 Democratic candidates and committees from more than 326,000 contributors.

That’s your work. It makes you powerful. And it’s already changed the balance of power in executive offices and legislatures across the country.

We’ve got big plans for this year: we’re going to raise $100 million for Democrats, bring ActBlue’s best-in-class platform to 25 more states, and continue to train and support volunteers and campaigns in all fifty states.

But we’re not going to get there without your help.

To reach our goals, we need a fourth political coordinator here at ActBlue. That’s one more salary, and one more desk, and one more computer–and five dollars a month from you for the next year will make it possible.

Please make a recurring contribution of five dollars a month today.

From all of us here at ActBlue, thanks.

Jonathan Zucker

Executive Director, ActBlue

p.s. Check out our great news from Tuesday! 

ActBlue Stats Week: Friday

This week, we’ve been discussing the Stats Report from the first quarter of 2008. On Tuesday, we looked at ActBlue’s record-breaking numbers of contributions and donors. Our Top Ten Lists of Candidates and Fundraising Pages by Dollars and by Donors followed on Wednesday and Thursday. Today, we end our Weekly Stats Report with another top ten list: Top Ten Pages with the Highest Percentage of Tippers.  The title of today’s Top Ten may be cumbersome, but these numbers are very important for ActBlue.

ActBlue doesn’t charge candidates and we don’t charge donors. We don’t take a cut, commission, or sneakily insert any calculated deduction from your contribution. The only fees we pass on to campaigns are the processing fees we incur on the campaigns’ behalf.  Remember, we are a Democratic PAC, not a business. Our goal is to get as much money to Democrats as we can.

Allowing campaigns to track and collect their contributions is not the only service ActBlue provides. Our experienced staff gives advice to ActBlue Democrats on how they can mobilize local and national support to win elections.  The dedicated ActBlue team works with some of the country’s most well-respected Democrats, and we’ve enabled long shot campaigns to become powerhouse campaigns.

So how do we stay afloat? Like other people in the service industry, we accept tips. You can choose to tip us any percentage of your donation or set up a recurring contribution to ActBlue each month. No matter how negligible you think it may be, we appreciate every cent.

ActBlue doesn’t like to toot our proverbial horn too much, and luckily, we don’t have to because other people are doing it for us. From congressional candidates to prominent journalists to blog readers, people are recognizing the magnitude of what we’re doing for Democrats.  Here are only a few of the many plaudits for ActBlue:

    • Donna Edwards, Congressional Candidate for Maryland District 4

      On February 19, 2007, Donna Edwards talked about the significance of ActBlue for her campaign in a video posted on our blog here.  Watch the video or read this excerpt:

      ActBlue completely transformed the way that we raised money for this campaign. [I]t took what we were doing at the grassroots level here in the Fourth Congressional District and it spread the message around the country, and so we didn’t just have the Maryland grassroots, we had the national grassroots. It really was because of ActBlue.

      [I]’m excited about that, because it means that you…remove the K Street lobbyists from the equation, and candidates like me can rely on small contributions from around the country to support our candidacies. And then it means that…we don’t really have to listen to those guys. We can actually act on our own, and work on policy that makes a difference in people’s lives. ActBlue is tremendous.

    • From the Blog on Open Left.com

      The Open Party Committee

      July 18, 2007

      By Matt Stoller

      ActBlue is not just a part of the landscape, a service that exists because it’s really convenient and useful for us.  ActBlue is a representation of what is great about our country, that the principles of diversity, openness, transparency, and collective action can and do work.  It’s our movement, and ActBlue is in many ways the engine we rely on.  As we learn how to be more effective, as this great country wakes up to what is possible, it is our work and the ideas behind ActBlue that is going to allow the American experiment to restore itself.

Comment Posted on Open Left

April 1, 2008

By Commentator “I’m Cheap”

Act Blue is the most important Democratic invention since fire.

  • The New York Times, Caucus Blog 

    ActBlue’s Record Take

    April 3, 2008

    By Commentator “Harrier”

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the future of campaign financing. THIS is how we break the hold that lobbying firms and industry advocates have on our government. When a vast number of people all contribute a small amount over a period of time, it all turns into an influx of money that rivals whatever the corporations can dole out. And the politicians that take this funding won’t be beholden to special interests- they’ll be beholden to US, the ones who elected them, as they should be!

    Groups like Act Blue…have shown us the way to a better, more responsive government. This is a change for the better.

The donors on the list of Top Ten Pages with the Highest Percentage of Tippers truly understand what we’re doing at ActBlue. Many thanks to all of you!


startfightingnow 75%
burnbush 73%
blueamerica08 72%
glindthegoodwitch 71%
fightfisa 70%
fisa 68%
bluemajority 67%
conyers4carson 66%
primariesmatter 61%
schauer 61%

If you didn’t know about tipping before today’s post, you can still help ActBlue with our mission by donating or setting up a recurring contribution. We hope this provides you with some comfort and clarity about what we do and who we are, but if you still have questions, email us at info@actblue.com.

Thanks to all of you that made the first quarter of 2008 a smashing success. We look forward to breaking more records with you in this second quarter.

ActBlue Stats Week: Thursday

We’re back to the exciting first quarter stats of 2008. As part of
Stats Week, today we are breaking down the top 10
public fundraising pages by
dollars and by donors. What we love about these lists: our
top ten  includes Democrats of every ilk, from elected officials to
bloggers to organizers.

We’re going to take a look at the roundup this quarter, but before we do, we’d like to explain
what ActBlue fundraising pages are and why they are so important to
Democrats. Fundraising pages are the face of fundraising
on ActBlue.  Potential donors will go a page to donate to
one candidate or a whole slate of them.  Anyone can easily create a fundraising page and start spreading the word to collect donations for one, two, three,
or several candidates and make an impact. Two great examples from ActBlue this month: John M., an individual who
created the page, runandrewrun, has raised over $4,000 from 219 donors for Oklahoma Senate Candidate Andrew Rice, and the page, armeniansforjackiespeier, a great example of individuals tapping into their personal networks to support candidates for their choice.

ActBlue fundraising pages are an important tool because they make it easy for any person, group, or campaign to direct donors to a specific place where they can quickly and easily contribute. When people contribute on a page, the page’s host and the candidate receiving the funds actually see who is giving each contribution and even how the donor got to the page. This is not only a convenient tracking mechanism for campaigns, it is also a way for individuals to ensure their candidates recognize their contribution.  Unifying these separate voices under one page, for one candidate or one cause, is what makes ActBlue so unique and what makes us such an important tool to get Democrats elected.

You don’t have to be tech-savvy or a graphic designer to create
fundraising pages, though there are definitely possibilities for
Senator Durbin has made great use of video on durbin4foster, where supporters of Illinois Congressional Candidate Bill Foster
can watch a video endorsement from Senator Obama.
This page is one of many on
ActBlue that uses video to spice up their fundraising efforts and is also one of today’s Top Ten Pages.

If the thought of uploading a video makes your head spin, do not
despair. Pages can also be simple and contain only a picture and a
name.  The page, udallforusall, number six in our Top 10 Fundraising Pages by Dollars, is a perfect
example of how simplicity can still lead to success.   By setting a
goal of 10,000 new fundraising pages by election day, ActBlue wants you
to be proactive and help Democrats by creating your own fundraising page.    


bluemajority $245,989.78
thepen $226,970.87
dansealsforcongress.com $196,154.00
kleeb $132,201.65
ricknoriega $129,206.99
udallforusall $103,241.00
warner $95,434.00
ashwinmadiaforcongress $81,715.36
ethan $75,638.00
novick4senate $58,950.64



thepen 4831 $226,970.87 $46.95
bluemajority 3441 $245,989.78 $71.19
supported 1396 $47,421.69 $33.80
supportandrew 1349 $49,434.95 $36.64
ricknoriega 1125 $129,206.00 $114.44
durbin4foster 1022 $49,367.22 $48.16
fisa 844 $47,955.59 $56.81
johnedwards 793 $28,090.37 $35.42
blueamerica08 610 $52,007.03 $84.01
supportjoe 577 $16,613.37 $28.69

Keeping with the format from yesterday’s report, we listed average
contribution size here to show the importance smaller contributions can
make to Democratic campaigns, keeping power in the hands of the many,
rather than the few.

Let’s shed some light on the people creating these highly successful
fundraising pages. An explanation of some of these movers and shakers
is below and also in ActBlue’s press release from Tuesday.

As we mentioned above, today’s Top
Ten lists include pages created by Democrats from every part of the
spectrum, from establishment Democrats and elected officials to
insurgent Democratic candidates to networks of prominent bloggers and
organizers. Take a look at this quarter’s superstars:

  • Two
    coalitions of major bloggers, including Blue Majority, a joint project
    of DailyKos, OpenLeft, and the Swing State Project established to
    support congressional candidates, raised funds for more than fifty
    Democrats from more than 4000 donors. The other coalition, Blue America 08, unites bloggers from Firedoglake, Digby, Crooks & Liars, and DownWithTyranny.
  • The
    “People’s Email Network,” which has long supported Dennis Kucinich,
    among others, raised from more individual donors than any other
    fundraising group on ActBlue this quarter with their fundraising page, thepen.
  • A
    FISA issue campaign led by Blue America to “fund accountability for
    congressmembers supporting retroactive immunity and warrantless
    wiretaps” raised nearly $48,000 this quarter from 814 people.

By looking at the top fundraising pages for the first quarter of
2008, you can see there is no right or wrong way to create an ActBlue
fundraising page. We hope that our explanations have enticed you to
create your own right now. Tomorrow we’ll explain and report another unique aspect of fundraising with ActBlue: tipping!


ActBlue Stats Week: Wednesday

It’s quarterly stats time again. On this second day of the weekly
stats report, we’ll highlight the Top 10 Candidates by Contributions
and the Top 10 Candidates by Donors for the first quarter of 2008.Before we get started, we’d like to thank everyone who wrote to us
about the exciting quarterly statistics we posted yesterday. The
percentages from Tuesday’s post reflect quarterly increases as they
relate to our lifetime totals.  As contributions increase each quarter,
the total contributions increase as well.  While surging numbers in any
context is great news for ActBlue and Democrats, the fact that
quarterly contributions are increasing relative to our lifetime total
is even more impressive. We are growing so fast  that every new quarter makes up a larger percentage of our lifetime total.

We hope that provides some clarity to Tuesday’s numbers.  Today’s is a
much more simple analysis, as we list the Top 10 Candidates by Donors
and Top 10 Candidates by Dollars for the first quarter of 2008.


Dan Seals IL-10 $244,608.65
Barack Obama President- 2008 $229,833.69
Tom Udall NM-Sen $195,315.47
Rick Noriega TX-Sen $170,604.16
Donna Edwards MD-04 $150,556.83
Dennis Kucinich OH-10 $141,150.32
Steve Novick OR-Sen $136,904.61
Scott Kleeb NE-Sen $135,580.11
Bill Foster IL-14 $133,286.45
Mark Warner VA-Sen $129,837.79

While so much attention is given to the presidential race, it’s important to note the enormous success of these congressional and senatorial campaigns. In this sense, ActBlue is bringing these campaigns to the forefront of Democratic fundraising.


Barack Obama President-2008 3335 $229,833.69 $68.92
Dennis Kucinich OH-10 2904 $141,150.32 $48.61
Bill Foster IL-14 2556 $133,286.45 $52.15
Rick Noriega TX-Sen 2542 $170,604.16 $67.11
Donna Edwards MD-04 2430 $150,556.83 $61.96
Darcy Burner WA-08 1922 $45,157.32 $23.49
Mark Pera* IL-03 1903 $70,521.07 $37.06
Eric Massa NY-29 1872 $98,623.79 $52.68
Andrew Rice OK-Sen 1670 $63,902.33 $38.26
Charlie Brown CA-04 1666 $34,058.12 $20.44

*No longer in the race for the IL-03 seat.

We list the Top 10 Candidates by donors to show that strength lies not
only in the number of dollars, but in the number of donors. The
breakdown of
average contributions in this table shows the power of small
individual donations. Because these average contribution sizes are
under $100, campaigns can return to donors to continually solicit
contributions during the election cycle. This puts the control of the campaigns in the hands of the many, rather than the few. (See our post on the value of
recurring contributions here.) ActBlue enables campaigns to
mobilize their grassroots support in a powerful way and allows
individuals to see that every donation counts.

ActBlue Stats Week: Tuesday

Raw Numbers System-Wide

Total Contributions Amount
2007 Q4 $5,581,770.40
2008 Q1 $7,091,127.39
Lifetime $42,351,009.00

The first quarter of 2008 represents 16.7% of lifetime
contributions made to ActBlue since 2004. This percentage is a 1.5%
increase from last quarter and sets ActBlue on a path to raise $100
million for Democrats by election day.

Total Donors Amount
2007 Q4 41,628
2008 Q1 54,918
Lifetime 357,341

The first quarter of 2008 represents 15.4% of all ActBlue donors since
2004, and an increase of 3.7% in donors from last quarter. As the
number of donors skyrockets, we want the number of fundraising pages to
soar as well.  You can help us reach our goal of adding 10,000 new
fundraising pages by election day by starting your own fundraising page
and reaching out to your personal network to raise money for Democrats.

Average Contribution
size made to ActBlue
2007 Q4 $134.08
2008 Q1 $129.12
Lifetime $118.42

The average contribution size for the first quarter of 2008 reflects a 4.1%
decrease in the average contribution from last quarter.  This decline
shows that individuals and organizations can create powerful
fundraising networks using small donations, which is what ActBlue is
all about.


The first quarter of the 2008 fundraising period brought exciting news for ActBlue, as we broke two records and watched surging numbers of pages, donors, and dollars. Even though this quarter falls right before tax day and the media has recently been claiming that Democrats are divided, these new records  prove that Democrats are enthusiastically behind Democratic candidates and organizations

FIRST RECORD: Most money raised in a single day
Just when we thought the quarter couldn’t get any better, ActBlue raised $799,827.60 on the last day of the quarter.  This is as much in a single day as ActBlue’s entire first year in operation.

SECOND RECORD: Most money raised in an election cycle
Raising $24 million from 54,918 donors, ActBlue also reached a new record for the amount of money raised in one election cycle. As the total number of ActBlue contributions hit $42,351,009 yesterday, this $24 million represents 57 percent of all contributions made to ActBlue.

Each day this week, we will break down one facet of the quarterly stats report.  By comparing the 2008 first quarter statistics with the previous quarter (Q4 2007) and ActBlue’s lifetime totals, you will see how far we’ve come, and what we need to hit our goals of raising $100 million for Democrats and adding 10,000 new fundraisers by election day. Here is the schedule:

Raw Numbers System-Wide

Top 10 Candidates by donors and dollars

Top 10 Fundraising pages by donors and dollars

Top 10 Pages with Highest Percentage of Tippers


Democratic fundraising is surging across
the board, as indicated by record-breaking EOQ totals at the Democratic
fundraising hub ActBlue. Fundraising on the site reached an
unprecedented $24 million from more than 199,069 donors*,
contributing to an all-time total of more than $42.35 million.

ActBlue broke a second record yesterday, raising more in one day than
ever before ($799,827.60), nearly as much in a single day as in its entire
first year in operation, when the group first raised eyebrows in
traditional Democratic fundraising circles.

ActBlue, the nation’s largest source of funds for Democrats, produces a
set of tools that allow individuals and groups to raise money for the
candidates and causes of their choice, tools that now power the
fundraising operations of hundreds of congressional and senatorial
candidates and dozens of officeholders. In the four years since its
inception, ActBlue users have outpaced MoveOn and EMILY’s List in
raising funds for Democrats, and bested Republican rivals by several
orders of magnitude.

A list of top fundraisers on ActBlue and top recipients of ActBlue funds is below.

Top fundraisers on ActBlue include groups from every part of the
Democratic spectrum, from establishment Democrats and elected officials
to insurgent Democratic candidates to networks of prominent bloggers.

  • Major
    Democratic figures are leading fundraising efforts on ActBlue. Senator Dick Durbin’s effort to support Bill Foster’s Congressional bid in Illinois is online at https://secure.actblue.com/page/durbin4foster. Note Senator Durbin’s use of an embedded video endorsement from Senator Obama.
  • Two
    coalitions of major bloggers, including Blue Majority, a joint project
    of DailyKos, OpenLeft, and the Swing State Project established to
    support congressional candidates, raised funds for more than fifty
    Democrats from more than 4000 donors (https://secure.actblue.com/page/bluemajority). The other coalition, Blue America ’08, unites bloggers from Firedoglake, Digby, Crooks & Liars, and DownWithTyranny at https://secure.actblue.com/page/blueamerica08.
  • Two
    projects of Democracy for America, one supporting a slate of candidates
    and another supporting Oklahoma challenger Andrew Rice (https://secure.actblue.com/page/supported and https://secure.actblue.com/page/supportandrew)
  • The
    "People’s Email Network," which has long supported Dennis Kucinich,
    among others, raised from more individual donors than any other
    fundraising group on ActBlue this quarter.https://secure.actblue.com/page/thepen
  • A
    FISA issue campaign led by Blue America to "fund accountability for
    congressmembers supporting retroactive immunity and warrantless
    wiretaps" raised nearly $48,000 this quarter from 814 people. https://secure.actblue.com/page/fisa
  • Pages
    built to support Rick Noriega’s Texas campaign and Donna Edwards’
    Maryland bid are in the top ten pages by donors and dollars. https://secure.actblue.com/page/ricknoriega

We’ll be highlighting specifics in this week’s Stats Week posts. Stay tuned!

*An earlier version of this post cited 55,000 donors. That’s the number of donors this quarter, not this cycle. Our apologies!