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Monthly Archives: July 2010

The whole ActBlue team just got back from a few days in the dry heat of Las Vegas, and while LeBron was partying we were hard at work helping the Democrats at Netroots Nation 2010.  We got to see some of ActBlue's favorite activists (hey Edgery), daily reads (hiya Markos), and movement builders (what's up Adam Green?).

But the real story was that you couldn't turn around without running into a Democratic candidate eager to meet with the activists who support them, and a whole bunch stopped by the ActBlue booth (when they weren't bowling up a storm, like NH Senate candidate Paul Hodes). We'll have some videos of these folks up soon enough, but I wanted to highlight an anecdote from Las Vegas that encapsulates one of the many ways ActBlue helps campaigns every day.

Rebecca Bell-Metereau and Judy Jennings, candidates for State Board of Education in Texas, are running on perhaps the most sweeping campaign theme of the year – they are running to save history. This election might not get so much attention if not for the current Texas State Board of Education's farcical abuse of its power to make the history curriculum more conservative – an abuse that can affect students nationwide if the textbook writers have to adjust their language accordingly. Rebecca and Judy are both ActBlue users, and are some of the most effective state-level fundraisers on ActBlue. I got a chance to meet them both in Las Vegas, and ended up chatting with Mykle Tomlinson, their campaign manager. He mentioned some great news – they just finished a new fundraising video! But how best to use it?

Within minutes I had my laptop open and Mykle was creating Save History's newest page – a page more effective thanks to ActBlue's infrastructure that let's them put the video right on the contribution form. Now, when Judy Jennings and Rebecca Bell-Metereau share this video with their supporters, there will be a chance to donate and watch in one place, making donors happier and campaigns more effective.

Though they seem small, interactions like these are a large part of what we do every
day.
Acting Blue for six years has given us a certain knowledge
base on fundraising – we've seen how campaigns use our tools well, and we
know what works. Since we're a PAC, not a business, we're happy to
share our knowledge with any and all campaigns – it comes down to doing our part so Democrats win. Helping candidates like Rebecca and Judy tweak their efforts in just the right way means they raise more money, bring more people into their campaign, and end up saving history.

June 15th has come and gone, and a slew of state and federal reports have been released in accordance with the EOQ/mid-year filing deadline. You read us at the end of Q1/2010, now relax for the first of three sequels planned for this year:

Number of contributions 100,137
Total Raised $11,056,887.41
Average contribution size $110.42
# of committees receiving money 1,871
# of fundraising pages receiving money 2,049
New fundraising pages created 2,586

 

Let’s compare the most recent Q2/2010 fundraising with the same period from 2008.

Q2 2008 Q2 2010 Change
Contributions 61,617 100,137 63%
Volume ($) $13,423,736* $11,056,887 -18%*
Mean Donation $217.86 $110.42 -49%
Committees 1,390 1,871 35%
Pages Created 1,854 2,586 39%
Pages w/ Money 1,320 2,049 55%

 

As I mentioned in my June post, these numbers are skewed by $3M+ of presidential fundraising that occurred in Q2/2008. That said, Q2/2010 is the fourth time ActBlue has seen over 100k contributions in a quarter, and the sixth time that we’ve sent more than $10M to Democratic candidates and committees.

But the biggest news is the increase in our reach, committee wise. The 1,871 committees that received money from ActBlue is a new record, the highest number in our history. Moreover, on June 30th, 2010, 563 committees received contributions through ActBlue, blowing out the previous record of 462, set on Sept. 30th, 2008. In other words, as of the 2010 midsummer filing deadline, usually affected by the summer fundraising doldrums, we have already eclipsed a record set during the homestretch of the 2008 election. Heck of a job, Blue-y.

Now let’s look at the Top 10 campaigns and committees of Q2/2010, ranked by total raised. It’s a mix of races including 4 US Senate, 3 Congressional, 1 Gubernatorial, 1 Lt. Governorship, and 1 State Assembly contest.

Name

 

Bill HalterRace

AR-Sen, 2010Contributions

27,497Raised

$819,084.02 Joe SestakPA-Sen, 20106,498$655,414.54 CA Senate 2010 650$565,901.00 Gavin NewsomCA-Lt Gov, 20101,110$393,419.31 Deval PatrickMA-Gov, 20101,566$306,988.80 Cal CunninghamNC-Sen, 20101,292$247,759.57 Mark CritzPA-12, 20102,231$196,409.89 Josh BeckerCA-HD-21, 2010431$149,326.00 Manan TrivediPA-06, 20101,184$142,420.63 Dan SealsIL-10, 2010517$140,994.73

When ranked by number of donors, the Top 10 list for the quarter looks a little different. 

 

Name Race Donors Raised
Bill Halter AR-Sen, 2010 27,497 $819,084.02
Joe Sestak PA-Sen, 2010 6,498 $655,414.54
PCCC 6,283 $68,943.60
Democracy for America 3,872 $39,739.67
Ann McLane Kuster NH-02, 2010 3,675 $43,046.58
David Segal RI-01, 2010 3,472 $94,568.64
Alan Grayson FL-08, 2010 2,832 $72,075.13
Bill Hedrick CA-44, 2010 2,588 $40,195.20
Anthony Weiner NY-09, 2010 2,272 $53,616.46
Mark Critz PA-12, 2010 2,231 $196,409.89

 

There are twice as many Congressional races in the Top 10 (6) when you rank them by donors, with no non-federal candidates. You also see the appearance of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America, both prolific and effective organizational users of ActBlue which frequently make the top 10 thanks to their energetic small-dollar donors. 

Finally, our list of the Top 10 ActBlue fundraising pages, ranked by number of donors. Many of these are familiar pages which we’ve previously discussed in our April, May, and June monthly reports which you should review for more detail. Of those listed below, the PCCC was responsible for 4 of the 10, bloggers for 2, DFA for 1, the DCCC for 1, and individual candidates for the remaining two. 

Name Raised Donors Average
pccchalterfield 9962 $162,415.15 $16.30
supportbillhalter 3133 $75,381.52 $24.06
2010pccc 2600 $76,133.15 $29.28
orangetoblue2010 2157 $141,581.63 $65.63
halterpoll 1990 $35,380.55 $17.77
critzdccc 1546 $92,915.19 $60.10
nelsonwallstreet 1151 $16,559.49 $14.38
graysonforweiner 1092 $37,286.29 $34.14
weinercdthc06242010 1059 $24,623.60 $23.25
blueamerica10 894 $65,119.96 $72.84

Coming Soon: End of Quarter post for Q2/Q6 (depending on how you count). But first! Our monthly stats report for activity on ActBlue during the month of June.

Number of contributions 37,778
Total raised $4,178,381.23
Average contribution size $110.60
Committees receiving money 1,397
Fundraising pages receiving money 1,207
Pages created 822

 

As the last month of the federal fundraising quarter and the last month for mid-year fundraising reports in some states, June is an active month. That said, it’s also influenced by the usual fundraising downturn that occurs in the summertime. The total amount raised was slightly higher than May 2010, while the number of candidates & committees receiving ActBlue checks increased along with the total number of personal fundraising pages created and donated to.

Below is the comparison for June 2010 to June 2008.

June 2008 June 2010 Change
Contributions 32,412 37,778 17%
Volume ($) $7,970,202 $4,178,381 -48%
Mean Donation $245.90 $110.60 -55%
Committees 1,054 1,397 33%
Pages Created 942 822 -13%
Pages w/ Money 873 1,207 38%

 

NOTE: The major skew in these numbers comes from presidential fundraising. If you remove that from the totals, total volume is only down less than 4% from 2 years ago and the mean donation size is more in line with what we’ve seen in 2010. In any case, the number of Democratic committees fundraising through ActBlue was up by a third in a non-presidential year even as the number of fundraising pages created leveled off for the first time this year.

Next is our chart of the Top 10 Campaigns for June 2010 (by donors).

Name Race Donors Raised
Bill Halter AR-Sen, 2010 7317 $193,092.94
PCCC Organization 3571 $30,115.82
Ann McLane Kuster NH-02, 2010 2328 $21,887.09
Alan Grayson FL-08, 2010 2309 $56,919.52
David Segal RI-01, 2010 2252 $37,499.84
Anthony Weiner NY-09, 2010 2224 $49,557.92
Bill Hedrick CA-44, 2010 2202 $26,735.63
Joe Sestak PA-Sen, 2010 1287 $332,911.12
Democracy for America Organization 874 $7,657.35
Deval Patrick MA-Gov, 2010 588 $113,589.60

 

More analysis and explanation regarding the individual committees will be included in our quarterly stats report.

 

Name Donors Raised Average
pccchalterfield 3065 $49,335.58 $16.09
2010pccc 2075 $59,192.73 $28.52
graysonforweiner 1092 $37,286.29 $34.14
weinercdthc06242010 1059 $24,623.60 $23.25
halterpoll 1001 $19,624.55 $19.60
supportbillhalter 669 $14,306.52 $21.38
orangetoblue2010 541 $33,331.18 $61.61
supportelaine 421 $11,481.80 $27.27
pccc_main 387 $6,203.51 $16.02
whentheylie2 314 $9,838.00 $31.33

 

The most successful fundraising by donors (which anyone can create) was one created by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in the final days of AR-Sen candidate Bill Halter’s campaign. It contained an embedded video message, specific asks, and expressed urgency- all components of a successful fundraising ask. Another of the PCCC’s successful pages which raised the most money included suggested amounts, video, and images and allowed the PCCC to raise money for itself, 3 of their endorsed federal candidates, and another PAC. ActBlue allows fundraisers to mix and match candidates, committees, and jurisdictions so donors can split their contribution to multiple causes while we make sure no one every donates more than the legal maximum. Other successful techniques included fundraising asks for other candidates by incumbents, use of goal based thermometers, branded fundraising pages, and previews of TV ads that donors can help fund.   

Create an ActBlue account today and you too can start making effective fundraising pages like these!

In 2009, ActBlue launched a pilot program in several local jurisdictions, including Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Cook County (IL), Houston and San Francisco. The effort was a success, Annise Parker was elected the first LGBT mayor in Texas history, and fundraising in San Francisco has taken off ahead of the elections for Board of Supervisors.

So we're expanding the program. Effective immediately, we can support local candidates in Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. 

ActBlue Chairman and Founder Matt DeBergalis had this to say:

Our expansion is important because it allows broader fundraising to take place around local races, and makes the process easier for donors and candidates alike. We expect that will encourage more folks to run for public office, and help those who are already running to get their message out. In the end, our local races program creates more voter choice in the downballot races from which future national Democratic figures will emerge. 

No other platform has the scope or sophistication to handle local, state and federal politics simultaneously; we're pleased to be the first to offer fundraising tools proven at the national level to local candidates.

If you're a candidate in a district we don't currently support and you're interested in using ActBlue, let us know

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