So, as you may know, we just celebrated our fifth birthday.
Over the past five years ActBlue has grown tremendously, with our total volume in the 2008 cycle exceeding 400% of the volume in 2004. Democrats have raised nearly $100 million through our system, and we have more fundraising pages, candidates and committees than ever before.
The summer after federal elections is a natural opportunity for political organizations to evaluate their needs for the next cycle, and we’re doing exactly that. We constantly analyze our technical structures in order to provide the best performance, tools and services possible. As part of that process we’ve decided to start working with a new technology provider that works exclusively for us: ActBlue Technical Services (ATS).
Why the change?
Well, we’ve gotten really large. We’re the only 50 state platform for online fundraising in the country and as such we have very specific needs. We’ve got to display 10,000 different committees and 16,000 individual fundraising pages. We’ve got to get all the information from those sources and make sure it gets to the appropriate people with each campaign and organization. And on top of that, we’ve got to innovate. We’ve got to make sure that Democrats have the very best tools available to them so that they can stay competitive across the country, whether they’re running for a seat in their state legislature or the Oval Office.
We take on all that responsibility because we’ve got a commitment to increased transparency and participation. We want more people to run, more people to give, and more people to fundraise. That’s the way we’ll change politics.
Don’t believe us? Judd Legum, founder of Think Progress and candidate for the MD legislature, had this to say:
It can be daunting for a candidate to pull back the curtain on their fundraising efforts and embrace ActBlue, but the rewards are worth it. The transparent, real-time numbers available on ActBlue have been instrumental in generating buzz and momentum for my campaign, and I’m excited to continue to growing with ActBlue as the election approaches. I’ve worked with ActBlue for months now, and I’m a firm believer in what they do. I just received my first contribution through ActBlue’s Twitter application!
And now we’ve extended our commitment to transparency to our technical operations. ATS is a political nonprofit and will file with the IRS just like ActBlue files with the FEC. We practice what we preach.
We made the change at the end of Q2 so that campaigns wouldn’t be inconvenienced at the reporting deadline. There won’t be any change on the front end; everything is going work the same way it did before. ATS will continue to take a processing fee from each contribution and that fee gets the money from the plastic card in your wallet to the appropriate committee.
That said, all of the organizing and outreach we do is still supported exclusively by your tips and direct contributions to ActBlue. It’s a wonderful model because it keeps us accountable to a broad swath of Democrats. When you call to ask about a donation you made or get your campaign set up, you’re speaking to someone who is supported by your commitment to Democratic politics. That’s not going to change; we’ll still be by Democrats, for Democrats.
We’re working with all ActBlue Democrats to keep them up to date on what this change means for them. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We read every email.