Our Very Favorite People

We’ve just come back from Netroots Nation, and while we were there, we ran into some of our very favorite people: our candidates.

The crop of Democrats working to take back Washington this fall is like none we’ve ever seen: talented, driven, and passionate about change. And we figured, what better than to show you some of what we saw?

Starting this week, and continuing every week until the election, we’ll use this space to introduce you to some of ActBlue’s best and brightest from around the country, from California and Washington to New York and Florida. Hear what they have to say about community fundraising, the issues that have compelled them to run, and the state of the race.

*    *    *

Our first stop: The Nevada Second, where Jill Derby is running for Congress. A fourth generation Nevadan, Jill served eighteen years on the Nevada Board of Regents, guiding the state’s System of Higher Education. Jill holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology, a specialty she chose after living and working in the Middle East, and has taught at four universities.

And then there’s her political skill. As chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party, Jill oversaw this year’s historic Nevada Caucuses, exceeding all predictions about turnout and helping more than 120,000 Nevadans to participate at more than 1700 precinct meetings across the state.

ActBlue Democrats, here’s Jill Derby.


Want to send great ideas to Congress? Go to www.actblue.com today and do your part.

Thanks for stopping by. Stay tuned for next week’s candidate profile! Not to tease, but it rhymes with, er, ‘Rhymes.’

ActBlue Stats Week: Thursday

Second Quarter Stats: April 1-June 30, 2008

Back to Stats Week! Today we’re profiling the Top 10 (public) Fundraising Pages by Dollars and by Donors. What we love about these stats: our Top 10 lists include 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.  You can create a fundraising page to raise money for one candidate or for a slate of candidates and committees. It’s easy and it’s quick– five minutes and you’ll be up and running– and ActBlue provides a number of tools to help you spread the word to your friends.

What’s important about this? Transparency. Any Democrat can raise money on ActBlue, and every time a contribution is made, the candidate can see who’s giving and how the donor got to the page. This transparency leads to accountability, and accountability to better government.

We’ll be posting lots of advice on how to fundraise in the coming weeks. For now, here are some links to articles on how to create an Event Page on ActBlue to manage large or small fundraisers, how one candidate creatively mobilized and energized his supporters, and, of course, how to start fundraising on ActBlue.

Top 10 Fundraising Pages by Dollars for Q2 2008

1.fisa $279,370.20
2.ricknoriega $242,353.73
3.orangetoblue $168,696.93
4.dansealsforcongress.com $128,909.08
5.heinrich $97,735.64
6.blueamerica08 $78,591.22
7.thepen $77,444.83
8.bushdemocrats $59,641.72
9.fillricksboots $59,610.74
10.ethan $58,741.00

Top 10 Fundraising Pages by Donors for Q2 2008


1.fisa 4853
2.ricknoriega 2068
3.thepen 1803
4.orangetoblue 1709
5.bushdemocrats 1313
6.blueamerica08 785
7.heinrich 550
8.fillricksboots 531
9.dailykos_kleeb 510
10.supportjoe 441

As we mentioned above, today’s Top 10 lists include pages created by Democrats from every part of the spectrum, from Democratic leaders and elected officials to insurgent Democratic candidates to networks of prominent bloggers and organizers.

One highlight for this quarter:

Two coalitions of major bloggers, including Orange to Blue, a project of Daily Kos, and Blue America, which unites bloggers from Firedoglake, Digby, Crooks & Liars, DownWithTyranny, and Salon.com, raised funds for dozens of Democrats from some twelve thousand donors.

Impressive work all around.

Bonus Round

We’ll end our Weekly Stats Report today, instead of tomorrow (Happy Fourth!) with another top ten list: Top 10 Pages with the Highest Percentage of Tippers.  The title of this list may be cumbersome, but these numbers are very important for ActBlue.

We’re a Democratic non-profit organization, not a business. We can make our tools available to thousands of Democrats because people like you leave us tips. These tips are used exclusively by ActBlue to help us get as much money to Democrats as we can.

That’s why we wanted to profile the groups of people who’ve helped us the most this quarter. The donors on this list truly understand what we’re doing at ActBlue. Many thanks to all!

Top 10 Fundraising Pages with Highest Percentage of Tippers  for Q2 2008

(with 100+ donors)
eschatonc08 70%
bluemajority 70%
dailykos_kleeb 66%
orangetoblue 64%
fisa 57%
bushdemocrats 56%
steveharrison 55%
donnaedwardsgotvfundspecialgeneralelection.com 55%
balloonsforobama 52%
supportjoe 52%

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 second quarter of 2008 a smashing success. We look forward to breaking more records with you next quarter!

ActBlue Stats Week: Wednesday

Second Quarter Stats: April 1-June 30, 2008

On this second of July, the anniversary of the Continental Congress voting to declare independence, we are happy to return to our quarterly stats report. Today, we’ll highlight the Top 10 Candidates by Dollars and the Top 10 Candidates by Donors for the second quarter of 2008, as well as the Top 10 Candidates by Dollars for the last day of the quarter, June 30, 2008.  That’s a lot of lists, but we promise that you will find all of them captivating.

Top 10 Candidates by Contributions for Q2 2008

1. Rick Noriega TX-Sen $454,082.32
2. Kay Hagan NC-Sen $386,546.00
3. Mark Warner VA-Sen $242,116.75
4. Scott Kleeb NE-Sen $226,042.87
5. Dan Seals IL-10 $185,819.18
6. Chellie Pingree ME-01 $184,223.97
7. Joseph Sestak Jr. PA-07 $183,775.38
8. Martin Heinrich NM-01 $147,564.20
9. Gary Peters MI-09 $135,805.99
10. Barack Obama President $131,367.23

With so much attention given to the presidential race, it’s important to note the enormous success of these congressional and senatorial campaigns. ActBlue is bringing these campaigns to the forefront of Democratic fundraising. Yesterday, we mentioned the exponential increase in ActBlue’s overall numbers from the second quarter of 2008, and the above list shows where that volume comes from: Noriega and Hagan raised nearly two times the amounts raised by the top two candidates in our first quarter’s list of top ten candidates.

The dollars are impressive, but we believe pariticpation is the real important point and
we count metrics by the number of donors as well as dollars.  Campaigns
and committees are increasingly promoting this rationale, too. The
prominent blog Daily Kos, for example, set and exceeded its ambitious goal of netting 500 contributors for each of the candidates listed on their ‘Orange to Blue‘ page.

Top 10 Candidates by Donors for Q2 2008

1. Rick Noriega TX-Sen 4818
2. Scott Kleeb NE-Sen 2565
3. Barack Obama President 2355
4. Shirley Golub CA-08 1791
5. Mark Warner VA-Sen 1762
6. Eric Massa NY-29 1717
7. Regina Thomas GA-12 1661
8. Kay Hagan NC-Sen 1652
9. Mark Begich AK-Sen 1550
10. Andrew Rice OK-Sen 1546

This list of Top 10 Candidates by Donors shows a significant increase in the donor numbers from last quarter– a happy stat for ActBlue Democrats.

As we mentioned in our Stats Report yesterday, ActBlue raised nearly $1 million on Monday, a groundbreaking last day for Q2 2008.  This should be no surprise to those of you who received emails encouraging you to contribute to Democratic campaigns or committees in their “final push” to the end of quarter. Because of the astounding success of this last minute fundraising, today we also wanted to highlight the Top 10 Candidates from the final day of the quarter. Whether they enticed their supporters with contests, t-shirts, match-challenges or last-minute pleas, these Top 10 Candidates have striking numbers to report.

Top 10 Candidates by Contributions on June 30, 2008

1. Rick Noriega TX-Sen $76,332.83
2. Kay Hagan NC-Sen $70,781.20
3. Joseph Sestak Jr. PA-07 $52,609.88
4. Martin Heinrich NM-01 $31,400.52
5. Scott Harper IL-13 $26,352.31
6. Dan Seals IL-10 $24,867.48
7. Mark Warner VA-Sen $21,451.75
8. Andrew Rice OK-Sen $20,968.26
9. Ronnie Musgrove MS-Sen $20,842.00
10. Bob Lord AZ-03 $17,609.51

Remarkably, the last day of the quarter brought in 28% of Joseph Sestak’s total quarterly contributions, and 21% of Martin Heinrich’s.

Check in tomorrow when we profile our Top 10 fundraising pages, also by dollars and donors, and the Top 10 pages with the highest percentage of tippers, that help keep ActBlue going strong.

ActBlue Stats Week: Tuesday

Second Quarter Stats: April 1-June 30, 2008

The end of quarter at ActBlue is always exciting, as we continue to watch our numbers exponentially soar. Last quarter, we held a contest (the prize being only glory and bragging rights) for who could most closely estimate our front-page number at the stroke of midnight on the last day of the quarter.  We all drastically underbid. I was told my bid was “very ambitious,” (it was my first day at ActBlue, and as the new kid, I wanted to aim high), and I was  actually nine thousand dollars shy of our quarterly total! This quarter’s estimates were even more ambitious, but the real figures still surpassed our expectations.

As more campaigns boost their online fundraising efforts and supporters rev up for the race to November, the second quarter of 2008 brought in an unprecedented $13.6 million on ActBlue. This number is an increase of nearly 93% from the first quarter of the year.

Q4 2007 (Oct. 1-Dec.31, 2007) $5,581,770.40
Q1 2008 (Jan.1-Mar.31, 2008 $7,091,127.39
Q2 2008 (Apr. 1-June 30, 2008) $13,674,897.81
Lifetime $55,994,192.05

This second quarter number is impressive in comparison to the first quarter of 2008, but to truly see the strength of Democratic fundraising in the past few months, let’s put these numbers in a broader context.


The above graph  shows the significant fundraising jumps since ActBlue’s inception in 2004. The spike at Q4 2006 resulted from the build-up to the 2006 election, during which Democrats gained a majority in Congress. As you can see when looking at 2007 and 2008, these numbers have steadily increased.

If you aren’t blown away by this data yet, please look at the below graph.  The segments in this graph represent the percentages that each quarter made up of ActBlue’s lifetime fundraising total of over $55 million. Remarkably, Q2 2008 brought in 24% of the total amount of money ever raised on ActBlue.  This second quarter was nearly as large as the first two years of ActBlue existence!


And now, saving the best for last:  ActBlue donor numbers from the quarter. Democrats across the country should be extremely proud of these statistics, because it shows our party’s commitment to (small “d”) democracy.

Q4 2007 (Oct. 1-Dec.31, 2007) 41,628
Q1 2008 (Jan.1-Mar.31, 2008) 54,918
Q2 2008 (Apr. 1-June 30, 2008) 65,089
Lifetime 422,427

The donor total from the second quarter of 2008 represents an 18.5% increase from the first quarter of the year, which shows that more Democrats are investing in candidates they believe in and are committed to changing the political landscape in Washington and in their home states.

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.

That’s all for today.  Tomorrow, we’ll profile our top 10 candidates for the second quarter of 2008 by donors and dollars.