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About ActBlue

So you may have noticed that we’re running some new code here on ActBlue as of yesterday evening. I’ll tour you through some of these features in upcoming posts.

As part of this upgrade, we’ve removed the page that gave recognition to all the groups that helped make ActBlue active on the state level. I’ve posted this archive for historical purposes in the extended entry as their support should be noted for all to see.

We’re looking forward to expanding to even more states after our successful launch of Virginia and Mississippi a few months ago. Thanks to some conversations this past week we might have an extra state or two to add to this list soon. If you’d like to discuss getting ActBlue active in your state and have some ideas, suggestions, or funding don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Fundraising pages are the most important component of ActBlue: the vast majority of visitors to the site arrive directly on a fundraising page because a friend, an organization, or a campaign has channeled them there.  We pride ourselves on these pages’ simplicity: donors can show up, immediately understand what’s going on, and contribute with no distracting bells and whistles.

But we harbor a dirty secret (or, not-so-secret if you’ve been with us a while).

Over the past three years, $22 million raised, and 200,000+ donors, these pages haven’t actually changed all that much.  For a bit of nostalgia, check out the DailyKos dozen page as it looked back at the end of 2004 (compare to the same page with today’s look).  Yeah, the site framework has changed a little, but the makeup of the fundraising pages is remarkably similar.

Next week, all that is about to change.

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Motivated by a strong sense that we could do better (and by a desire to burn down HTML code approaching its second anniversary), a few weeks ago we got to work putting together a new design with the help of the excellent Steve Ofner of Liberal Art.  The result is the new design that that you see at right.  (Click the image for a full-size mockup.)

In putting the new design together we had several aims:

  • A sharper, more dynamic look & feel
  • A simpler user experience
  • A clearer presentation of the dollar and donor numbers
  • A more attention-grabbing “contribute” button at the top

The result is an improved page design that looks good with long candidate blurbs, short candidate blurbs, no candidate blurbs, or all of the above.

We’ll be rolling out this design next week, and will continue to refine it in the coming months — so please let us know what you think!

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At around 8 PM tonight, ActBlue passed the $20,000,000 milestone. Needless to say, there was lots of refreshing of the homepage as we watched this very important milestone roll by.

November 2004: $850,000

February 2005: $1 million

May 2006: $5 million

September 2006: $10 million

and on March 26, 2007: We watched this…

beforesmall

turn into this…entirely fitting for 2007 don’t you think?

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After a toast around the office, I took some time to bring you the following delightful photoshop which expresses our office’s excitement over this amazing milestone. I’ve stashed it in the extended entry…

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Apparently Online Fundraising is becoming a hot topic when talking about the 2008 Presidential race- not that we can blame anyone!  It’s something we’ve believed from back before the 2004 elections and see as being one of the defining characteristics of this next election cycle. While physical contributions from folks writing checks or passing the hat at fundraising dinners are not going to disappear, the amount of money and the bond that candidates have with their donors is changing big time. With a Presidential contest that could exceed $1 billon, we’re aware that online donations scale more easily than whipping up a couple thousand more plates of roast beef!

This weekend the topic of online contributions highlighted two major articles, one of which from the LA Times focused in on our efforts here at ActBlue directly. While I’m posting some clips below, be sure to click through and read the rest of these articles.

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With as many friends as ActBlue has in the Democratic blogging community, it’s about time we joined the party with a blog of our own. So today we are launching our official ActBlue Blog where we look forward to bringing our donors, candidates, campaigns, fundraisers, and bloggers interesting resources, analysis, tips, and other information to more effectively raise funds to elect Democrats!

Here’s just a sampling of things you can expect to see here-

  • Case Studies on some of the most creative ways ActBlue has been used
  • Analysis on how and why people donate
  • State Reports that highlight successful state level campaigns
  • Tips & Tricks about ways to use ActBlue you may not have known about
  • Page of the Week where we will highlight our favorite fundraising strategies
  • Monthly ActBlue Zeitgeist to explore trends, patterns, and other cool stuff
  • Major Series where we will explore how we are most relevant to your efforts in fundraising

Our posts will strive to be informative and useful while maintaining the Democratic grassroots values which have driven us for the last two and a half years. We encourage you to subscribe to our RSS feed or sign up to receive new posts via e-mail to keep up with our latest posts (both available in the right sidebar). Otherwise keep checking http://blog.actblue.com for the latest!

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