August ’15 Recap

On August 26, 2015 — just 238 days since the 2016 election cycle began — ActBlue passed the $100M mark for the cycle. And we’ve sent checks or wired funds to more than 2,750 different campaigns, committees, and organizations across the country. The chart below shows the incredible fundraising pace we’ve seen this cycle compared to the previous two:

Topline Numbers

Aug. ’12 Aug. ’13 Aug. ’14 Aug. ’15
Contributions 309,826 155,552 686,476 529,324
Total Amount $12,774,047 $5,673,931 $22,766,476 $15,013,856
Average Contribution Size $41.23 $36.48 $33.16 $28.36
Committees 1,980 1,305 2,244 1,636

Recurring

Aug. ’12 Aug. ’13 Aug. ’14 Aug. ’15
Total Recurring Volume $1,044,821 $482,101 $3,459,814 $4,469,346
% of Total Volume 8.2% 8.5% 15.2% 29.8%

Express

We’re up to 1,610,413 Express Users — people who have saved their payment information with ActBlue.

Aug. ’12 Aug. ’13 Aug. ’14 Aug. ’15
New Express Users 50,377 12,972 59,465 74,288
% of Total Volume
via Express Users
42.3% 44.6% 57.4% 59.4%
% of Contributions
via Express Users
46.2% 51.4% 64.0% 64.3%

Mobile

Aug. ’12 Aug. ’13 Aug. ’14 Aug. ’15
% Mobile 7.0% 9.6% 27.5% 29.8%
% Mobile for
Express Users
9.4% 13.1% 29.6% 32.5%

If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out at info@actblue.com.

July ’15 Recap

Last month was ActBlue’s fifth $10M+ month in a row. And we’re just shy of the $90M mark for the cycle. More impressively, we’ve sent checks or wired funds to over 2,500 different committees, campaigns, and organizations this cycle. The chart below displays the aggregate growth of committees over the past three cycles:

Topline Numbers

July ’12 July ’13 July ’14 July ’15
Contributions 200,193 162,587 692,494 470,221
Total Amount $8,342,099 $5,727,922 $19,703,696 $13,483,297
Average Contribution Size $41.67 $35.23 $28.45 $28.67
Committees 1,836 1,230 2,175 1,522

Recurring

July ’12 July ’13 July ’14 July ’15
Total Recurring Volume $821,714 $477,517 $2,694,123 $3,890,724
% of Total Volume 9.9% 8.3% 13.7% 28.9%

Express

We’re up to 1,536,116 Express Users — people who have saved their payment information with ActBlue.

July ’12 July ’13 July ’14 July ’15
New Express Users 38,685 13,806 75,571 67,118
% of Total Volume
via Express Users
43.4% 44.3% 56.9% 60.2%
% of Contributions
via Express Users
48.3% 51.7% 61.3% 63.9%

Mobile

July ’12 July ’13 July ’14 July ’15
% Mobile 6.8% 9.1% 29.2% 27.8%
% Mobile for
Express Users
8.9% 12.5% 31.5% 30.4%

If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach out at info@actblue.com.

May ’15 Recap

Topline Numbers

May. ’12 May. ’13 May. ’14 May. ’15
Contributions 234,077 173,541 353,376 434,223
Total Volume $10,041,299 $6,343,911 $13,863,938 $15,668,756
Mean Donation $42.90 $36.56 $39.23 $36.08
Committees 1,854 1,068 2,053 1,428

Recurring

May. ’12 May. ’13 May. ’14 May. ’15
Total Recurring Volume $495,859 $425,153 $1,108,624 $3,137,503
% of Total Volume 4.9% 6.7% 8.0% 20.0%

Express

We’re up to 1,380,961 Express Users — people who have saved their payment information with ActBlue.

May. ’12 May. ’13 May. ’14 May. ’15
New Express Users 44,646 12,627 38,049 79,704
% of Total Volume
via Express Users
39.9% 43.4% 52.3% 57.7%
% of Contributions
via Express Users
44.6% 54.3% 58.4% 62.0%

Mobile

May. ’12 May. ’13 May. ’14 May. ’15
% Mobile 3.8% 9.3% 23.0% 25.4%
% Mobile for
Express Users
4.8% 12.8% 25.5% 27.3%

April ’15 Recap

Topline Numbers

Apr. ’12 Apr. ’13 Apr. ’14 Apr. ’15
Contributions 122,625 170,087 321,512 320,438
Total Volume $5,485,850 $6,358,696 $11,937,460 $10,316,575
Mean Donation $44.74 $37.38 $37.13 $32.20
Committees 1,651 1,010 1,999 1,369

Recurring

Apr. ’12 Apr. ’13 Apr. ’14 Apr. ’15
Total Recurring Volume $438,198 $401,046 $978,361 $2,846,318
% of Total Volume 8.0% 6.3% 8.2% 27.6%

Express

We’re up to 1,301,282 Express Users — people who have saved their payment information with ActBlue. The chart below shows daily sign-ups, color-coded by conversion rates.

Apr. ’12 Apr. ’13 Apr. ’14 Apr. ’15
New Express Users 23,468 14,165 36,156 28,735
% of Total Volume
via Express Users
37.7% 41.3% 52.0% 56.6%
% of Contributions
via Express Users
42.5% 50.9% 56.8% 59.6%

Mobile

Apr. ’12 Apr. ’13 Apr. ’14 Apr. ’15
% Mobile 4.1% 8.1% 22.5% 24.8%
% Mobile for
Express Users
4.0% 11.5% 22.5% 26.6%

Starting off the 2016 cycle strong: Q1 analysis

2016 is shaping up to be an absolutely massive cycle based on what we saw last Tuesday, our first end-of-quarter (EOQ) deadline day. We processed $2.1M, making March 31st the biggest start to a cycle in our history. It was a 200% increase over the first EOQ deadline day of the 2014 cycle.

If current trends hold, ActBlue could process half a billion dollars in small-dollar contributions this cycle.

We’re seeing more and more campaigns, organizations, and committees getting started fundraising early. And, ActBlue is now the default choice for large campaigns. Every major Senate campaign launched this year has launched with ActBlue and is using our platform.

Here’s a look at the topline numbers for Q1 2015 and how they compare to the previous four Q1s. The best comparison is to 2013, because it’s the most recent off-year.

Q1 2011 Q1 2012 Q1 2013 Q1 2014 Q1 2015
Contributions 143,012 364,733 467,138 897,890 791,908
Total Volume $8.7M $18.0M $16.4M $36.0M $26.6M
Mean Donation $46.44 $49.47 $35.21 $40.13 $33.54
Committees 881 2,050 1,243 2,478 1,731

The last election cycle started with a $16.4M first quarter and ended with $315M in total. Meanwhile, we just posted a $26.6M quarter. So, 2015-2016 is gonna be big.

Compared to the most recent presidential cycle’s first quarter (Q1 2011), we handled 5.5x as many contributions and 3x as many dollars. Overall, there were 39.2% more campaigns and organizations fundraising during this cycle’s Q1 than the first quarter of the 2014 cycle. But, we’ve also handled 69.5% more contributions and 61.5% more volume.

Recurring

We’ve been talking about how great recurring donations are for a quite a while now. They’re increasingly becoming a critical piece of the fundraising strategy for the thousands of campaigns and organizations that are building pools of sustaining donors. Recurring volume has never been this big.

In fact, 28.4% of the total dollar volume for this past quarter was recurring, which is the highest ever.

Here’s a table that looks at Q1 2013 and Q1 2015 (both are the first quarters in their respective election cycles.):

Q1 2013 Q1 2015 Growth Rate
One-time $15,473,353 $19,025,735 23.0%
Recurring $976,479 $7,533,511 671.5%
Total $16,449,833 $26,559,247 61.5%

These quarters have similar dollar volumes from one-time contributions, but there was a massive change in the recurring volume. The $10.1M difference in total volume is primarily a result of the 7.7x increase in recurring dollars from Q1 2013 to Q1 2015.

Recurring sign-ups from previous months are already paying dividends and will continue to throughout this cycle.

This trend isn’t isolated to Q1; we’ve been seeing a significant trend toward recurring contributions over the past year. In the chart below you can see the growth of recurring dollar volume as a percent of the total volume on a quarterly basis:

Plenty of new campaigns are focused on building their pool of recurring donors early in the cycle. In addition to helping campaigns and organizations hit their goals, these recurring contributions ultimately give early supporters a sense of investment that will continue to increase as we get closer to Election Day.

Express and Mobile

The number of ActBlue Express users grew to 1.27M, and these users are powering Democratic organizations and campaigns across the country. They have saved their payment information with us and can donate in a single click with Express Lane. This quarter we added 45,295 new Express users.

Express users accounted for 55.4% of the total dollars raised and 58.4% of all contributions this past quarter, part of a steady growth trend we’ve been seeing for years.

During Q1 2015, the Express sign-up conversion rate was 22.0%. That’s up from 18.5% during the last quarter of 2014. One of our big goals this cycle is to increase the number of Express sign-ups because, quite simply, they are our power users.

Here’s a tip for campaigns and organizations: If you’re not already sending Express Lane links to everyone on your list, now’s a good time to start. Doing so will likely increase the number of Express users on your list, which will go a long way toward increasing overall conversion rates for your program. You can read more here.

Donors love the convenience of not having to re-enter their credit card information each time they give. And that makes an especially big difference for mobile conversion rates. The percentage of contributions made on mobile devices was 24.7% for this past quarter, but that figure bumps up to 26.7% for Express users.

The chart below shows newly made contributions on March 31, 2015 broken down by the hour and device used. You can see that the share of mobile donations picked up outside of typical work hours.

The 2016 election cycle is just beginning, so now is the time to hone in on your program’s effectiveness. Two quick reminders: it’s the start of a new month, which means now is a good time to check-in on your recurring retention rates for the month of March. And don’t forget that you can also monitor conversion rates by refcode on your form’s statistics pages.

March ’15 Recap

Topline Numbers

Mar. ’12 Mar. ’13 Mar. ’14 Mar. ’15
Contributions 167,036 204,626 412,326 331,275
Total Volume $8,966,153 $7,445,947 $18,061,291 $13,176,538
Mean Donation $53.68 $36.39 $43.80 $39.78
Committees 1,628 951 1,960 1,338

Recurring

Mar. ’12 Mar. ’13 Mar. ’14 Mar. ’15
Total Recurring Volume $399,466 $378,113 $909,526 $2,715,418
Percent Recurring
of Total Volume
4.5% 5.1% 5.0% 20.6%

Express

We’re up to 1,272,557 Express Users — people who have saved their payment information with ActBlue.

Mar. ’12 Mar. ’13 Mar. ’14 Mar. ’15
New Express Users 24,248 25,721 38,621 21,732
Percent of Total
Volume Attributed
to Express Users
25.7% 46.5% 47.8% 53.3%
Percent of
Contributions
Attributed to
Express Users
31.5% 53.7% 53.3% 57.2%

Mobile

Mar. ’12 Mar. ’13 Mar. ’14 Mar. ’15
Percent Mobile 4.2% 10.0% 21.6% 24.8%
Percent Mobile for
Express Users
4.8% 13.8% 24.2% 26.8%

Evaluate your recurring program with charts!

Building a pool of recurring donors is critical to the long-term success of organizations and campaigns. These sustaining funds are a huge help — budgeting is much easier when you have an idea of how much money will be coming in. Plus, donors appreciate that recurring contributions give them both a sense of investment in and a long-term relationship with the campaigns and organizations they support.

Right now, there are over 150,000 recurring pledges across our platform. Some political organizations have been steadily building up their recurring program over multiple cycles, while others are just now asking their supporters to sign up for recurring contributions. Either way, now is a great time to evaluate your recurring program’s strength. We have introduced two visualizations to help you do so. The election is still far enough away that anything you do now to build a lasting recurring pool will have a big impact.

Our new feature, the graphs found on the “Recurring Retention” tab, provides an overview of the recurring contribution performance for a specific campaign or organization. Admins can navigate there by going to their dashboard and clicking on the “Recurring” header beneath “Metrics.” The new tab is to the right of the “Overview” tab.

The first chart groups recurring contributions together by month. Here’s what ActBlue’s chart looks like:

Rows represent every recurring contribution that began that month. The numbers from zero to thirteen above the columns? Those represent the number of months since the initial donation. The percentages represent the retention rate of those contributions.

You can look left to right to follow the monthly trends of a group of contributions. You can also look top to bottom to figure out what happens to contributions after a specific number of months. Or, you can spot trends. Below is the same ActBlue chart as above, but with red boxes to highlight the November-to-December jump:

Notice that inside the boxes are some major retention rate decreases. That is most likely because many donors only want to give until the election, even though they signed up for an ongoing recurring contribution. This is not out of the ordinary and fairly representative of the cyclical nature of politics.

We’ve also included a graph at the bottom of the “Recurring Retention” tab to help you figure out what is actually normal for your organization. Here’s how that chart looks when you hover over a specific line:

The grey and yellow lines represent the retention rate for a month’s worth of contributions. Another way to think about it is that each row from the chart on top of this page is represented as a single line in this graph. The red line is a trend line, which can help you gauge whether a month’s recurring pledges are over- or under-performing. Lines above the red line are being fulfilled at a higher rate than average. The opposite is true for lines below the trend line.

Here at ActBlue, we’re taking a look at our own recurring program and using these new visualizations to do so. This post is just the first in a series of insights, so stay tuned for our next one when we report back. In the meantime, this new feature can give you a sense of how your organization’s recurring program is doing on a monthly basis. You can start by customizing your recurring receipts1 and determining if that improves retention rates. Don’t forget that now is the time to keep growing your recurring pool! We’re just seven end of quarters away from November 2016.

Footnotes:

1: Just go to your entity’s dashboard, click on “Settings” under the “Tools” header, and then scroll down and click on “Blurbs, Disclaimers and Tracking Codes.” Under the “Email Message Blurbs” header, you’ll find the box called “Recurring email blurb”, which is what you want to edit.

Feb ’15 Recap

Topline Numbers

Feb. ’12 Feb. ’13 Feb. ’14 Feb. ’15
Contributions 94,254 163,025 262,168 232,905
Total Volume $5,076,973 $5,661,921 $10,219,967 $7,334,456
Mean Donation $53.86 $34.73 $38.98 $31.49
Committees 1,340 801 1,684 1,150

Recurring

Feb. ’12 Feb. ’13 Feb. ’14 Feb. ’15
Total Recurring Volume $341,976 $327,927 $791,014 $2,388,012
Percent Recurring
of Total Volume
6.7% 5.8% 7.7% 32.6%

Express

We’re up to 1,250,848 Express Users — people who have saved their payment information with ActBlue.

Feb. ’12 Feb. ’13 Feb. ’14 Feb. ’15
New Express Users 9,429 23,465 21,631 12,942
Percent of Total
Volume Attributed
to Express Users
17.9% 44.9% 44.5% 57.1%
Percent of
Contributions
Attributed to
Express Users
21.5% 53.8% 53.1% 58.9%

Mobile

Feb. ’12 Feb. ’13 Feb. ’14 Feb. ’15
Percent Mobile 3.2% 7.8% 19.3% 23.8%
Percent Mobile for
Express Users
5.2% 10.4% 22.9% 25.9%

Jan. ‘15: New year, new monthly recap format

Rather than doing a monthly analysis of the data, we’re going to switch to quarterly deep dives into our metrics. Every month we’ll still post our usual statistics along with data from previous months/years so you can get a sense of trendlines.

We’ll be publishing figures in four categories — topline numbers, recurring, express, and mobile — for the month at hand (in this case, January 2015) and the previous three years of data for that same month.

Topline Numbers

Jan. ’12 Jan. ’13 Jan. ’14 Jan. ’15
Contributions 87,372 99,487 223,399 231,815
Total Volume $4,001,393 $3,341,965 $7,750,486 $6,229,575
Mean Donation $45.79 $33.59 $34.69 $26.87
Committees 1,206 764 1,603 1,158

Recurring

Jan. ’12 Jan. ’13 Jan. ’14 Jan. ’15
Total Recurring Volume $317,762 $270,438 $706,595 $2,572,302
Percent Recurring
of Total Volume
7.9% 8.1% 9.1% 41.3%

Express

For those keeping track at home, we’re up to 1,237,906 Express Users — people who have saved their payment information with ActBlue.

Jan. ’12 Jan. ’13 Jan. ’14 Jan. ’15
New Express Users 7,937 14,274 18,726 10,678
Percent of Total
Volume Attributed
to Express Users
19.2% 47.7% 47.2% 57.8%
Percent of
Contributions
Attributed to
Express Users
21.6% 55.1% 53.9% 60.3%

Mobile

Jan. ’12 Jan. ’13 Jan. ’14 Jan. ’15
Percent Mobile 2.8% 9.2% 19.7% 25.3%
Percent Mobile for
Express Users
4.5% 12.2% 22.8% 27.2%

When a refcode search box isn’t enough…there’s a chart!

Earlier this month we wrote about the refcode search box on the Contribution Form’s statistics page. It’s a neat feature that makes it easy to display metrics for refcodes that match your search terms. And now we’ve added a chart to illustrate that same page’s data. Just click on the words “Toggle refcode chart” to display it — if your form has thousands of contributions, it might take a few seconds for the graph to load. Here’s an example from an old ActBlue Contribution Form:

Like we mentioned in the earlier post, there are two ways to get to that page (and both require you to be logged in): if you’re already on your Contribution Form, go to the Contributors tab, and click on “View Form Statistics” or just insert your Contribution Form name into the url below:

secure.actblue.com/pages/CONTRIBUTION_FORM_NAME/statistics

When toggled, the chart displays the top-performing (maximum of 20) refcodes. And when you type in the search box, the chart will update based on your search input.

For instance, if you used one Contribution Form for the last five months of the election, it might look something like this:

Displayed are the 20 best-performing refcodes during that five-month timespan. Let’s say you want to display only November sends and you had a refcode system in place such that an email send in November 2014 would start like this “201411.” Here’s what that chart would look like after you entered those digits into the search box:

And our developers threw in a bonus capability: the chart also keeps track up to the seconds!

This is great for when you’re monitoring performances of refcodes just minutes after an email send. Here’s a chart displaying a single refcode within the first 15 minutes after a send.

Notice the tiny bumps — those are contributions measured on a second-by-second basis.

Our habit at ActBlue is to refresh this page again and again after sending emails, and this chart is another useful visual aid to keep track of refcode performance.