August ’17 Recap

Small-dollar donors didn’t take a summer vacation from the resistance. Instead, they doubled down on grassroots fundraising for timely causes and future elections — literally. The total money donors gave using ActBlue’s tools in August 2017 was more than double the total we handled in August of the last election cycle.

Even more exciting, more campaigns, committees, and organizations used our tools last month than in any other month in our history, with over 4,000 groups raising money in August.

To top it all off, as of August 28th we’ve already helped candidates and organizations raise over $300 million for this election cycle. This is the first time that’s ever happened in an off-year! It took 663 days to pass $300 million in the 2014 cycle; 426 days in the 2016 cycle; and only 240 days this cycle!

Check out all the highlights for August below:

Topline Numbers

August ’13 August ’15 August ’17
Contributions 155,517 526,028 1,019,563
Total Amount $5,818,391 $15,370,889 $32,205,903
Avg. Contribution Size $37.41 $29.22 $31.59
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,305 1,632 4,021

Candidates and organizations raised over $32 million in August from over one million contributions. The number of contributions nearly doubled from August 2015 to this year, but the metric we’re most inspired by is the breadth of candidates and organizations using ActBlue’s tools compared to past years. Now more than ever, Americans are organizing for a brighter future.

This was especially apparent when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana at the end of the month. Candidates and organizations around the country jumped into action to support the relief efforts before the storm even ended. Elected officials from Massachusetts to California, progressive organizations, and nonprofits asked their supporters and friends to contribute to slates of local nonprofits in the affected areas by using Tandem Fundraising. This ActBlue feature lets donors split a single contribution among several groups, like humane societies, diaper banks, and community foundations.

We were excited to see how easy Tandem Fundraising made giving during the crisis. Our Outreach Team quickly connected with organizations responding to the storm and helped 32 charities raise their first dollar ever on ActBlue through Tandem forms. The surge in Tandem donations can be seen in the graph below. Additionally, four of the five highest-grossing contribution forms across ActBlue for the last week of August were Tandem forms supporting local nonprofits doing Harvey relief work.

Proportion of ActBlue Charities Raising on Tandem Forms
 

ActBlue Express

August ’13 August ’15 August ’17
New ActBlue Express Users 13,026 74,798 60,618
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
45% 59.8% 60.7%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
 53.0% 65.9% 66.5%

It was a big month for ActBlue Express. Over 60,000 new users signed up for the time-saving feature, which allows donors to give to any campaign or organization with a single click. Almost two-thirds of all contributions sitewide were made by ActBlue Express users last month, showing how important the tool is to donors and organizations alike.

Going deeper into our data, we found that 65.6% of all new donors in August became ActBlue Express users, the highest percentage since January (67.3%). This conversion is very encouraging because summer months are typically slower than politically charged moments like the inauguration.

New ActBlue Express Sign-Ups in August 2017 by Day
 

Mobile

August ’13 August ’15 August ’17
% of Contributions via Mobile  9.4% 29.8% 41.0%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
12.6% 32.4% 42.1%

Recurring

August ’13 August ’15 August ’17
Total Recurring Volume  $502,669  $4,557,742  $8,095,870
% of Total Volume  8.6%  29.7%  25.1%

We processed more than $8 million in recurring donations in August. When donors make recurring contributions, they enable campaigns and organizations to plan for the long haul. People who signed up for a recurring contribution in August to help hurricane relief will be supporting that crucial work for months to come, even when the headlines have moved on.

Customer Service

August ’17
Total Incoming Calls 6,167
Email Conversations 19,151

Our Customer Service Team handled an average of 198 calls per day last month. Their dedication is one of the many reasons why so many new groups continue to sign up to use our tools.

It might be hard to believe, but we’re officially more than halfway through Trump’s first year in office. The good news is that small-dollar donors and the organizations and campaigns they believe in are not slowing down. We can’t wait to see what they achieve with all of their hard work by the end of this quarter. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments about our August recap, you can reach a member of our team at info@actblue.com.

New and improved daily update emails

At ActBlue it’s always been our mission to help people across the country run the most effective small-dollar fundraising programs. One of the ways we do that? We make sure the groups using our tools have easy, real-time access to their fundraising data, so they can budget, plan, and strategize.

If you’re an ActBlue admin user you’ve probably gotten used to receiving a fundraising update from us every morning. And you might have noticed that we recently gave those fundraising updates a makeover. We want to hit your inbox every day with stats that make the most sense for you and your team because we know it’s critical (especially right now) that you have meaningful, actionable data to work with.

The change that’s probably most noticeable in your inbox is the new subject line for the update emails. We switched out “You’re making a difference” for the total dollars the group or groups you work with raised on the previous day. You can see an example of the new subject line in the screenshot below. Rest assured, you’re still making a difference — we just won’t be telling you every day.

 

subject-line

 

With the new subject line, even if you don’t have time to open your email during a busy morning, you’ll still get an important topline stat in the notification you receive first thing — your most recent day’s fundraising total.

Here’s an example of what the daily update email will look like once you open it up:

sample-email

 

Your daily update email includes data like month-to-date fundraising stats, the percentage of contributions that came in via specific payment methods — including ActBlue Express, Apple Pay, and PayPal — as well as a table listing each of the groups you manage, the percentage of contributions that were recurring, and the percentage of contributions that came in via mobile.

Please note that the stats you receive in your daily update email will vary depending on the number of groups you manage on ActBlue.

At the bottom of your daily update email, you can click on “Get Help” to send us an email if you have questions about your recent fundraising, or if we can be of assistance in any way.

contact-us

You can also click on the link just below that to change your email preferences.

email-settings

You can choose to receive daily update emails every morning, or opt out of receiving them altogether. If you want to receive an email every morning, choose “Nightly” in the dropdown menu next to Site Activity Emails. This means that our system will analyze your fundraising activity every night, compile the data and send it out to you in the morning. If you don’t want to receive any updates, just choose “None” in the dropdown.

We hope you and your team will find these insightful, and that the new data we’ve incorporated will help you hit the ground running each day! If you have questions or comments about the daily update emails, you should feel free to drop us a line at info@actblue.com.


 
 
 

July ’17 Recap

Even though we’re still more than a year away from the mid-term elections, millions of people are engaging with ActBlue’s tools and making small-dollar donations as a way of fighting back. Organizers are mobilizing supporters to fundraise for progressive causes, support local races, and stop harmful legislation from passing.

The participation we’ve seen — from both donors and organizations — is astounding. Together they raised more than $27 million last month, fueling an enduring movement that remains strong as we get closer to 2018.

Check out all the highlights for July below:

Topline Numbers

July ’13 July ’15 July ’17
Contributions 162,588  466,691  975,412
Total Amount $5,876,154 $13,732,983 $27,587,441
Avg. Contribution Size $36.14 $29.43 $28.28
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,229 1,517 3,680

The fundraising total for last month was more than double the total for July 2015, and that increase came from a nationwide effort. We’ve seen growth across the board over the last two years, but there’s been a remarkable increase in fundraising in states that don’t typically have as much early engagement. For example, fundraising increased by 178.5% in Ohio, 209.6% in Michigan, and an incredible 238.8% in Iowa in 2017 as compared to July 2015.

As you can see in the chart below, there’s been a huge spike in engagement in all corners of the country, as donors work hard to fuel the resistance nationwide.

 

nationwide-resistance

 

ActBlue Express

July ’13 July ’15 July ’17
New ActBlue Express Users  13,842  67,260  52,120
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
 44.8% 60.4% 61.2%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
 53.0% 65.6% 66.9%

In July, we saw the steady flow of new donors continue. More than 52,000 people became ActBlue Express users and saved their payment information with us, and ActBlue Express users made 66.9% of all contributions sitewide. When donors don’t have to re-enter their payment information and can donate with a single click, they’re more likely to keep supporting the organizations and causes that are fueling the resistance.

Mobile

July ’13 July ’15 July ’17
% of Contributions via Mobile  9.0% 28.4% 41.4%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
12.2% 31.1% 42.7%

Mobile contributions made up 41.4% of July’s total contributions, making mobile fundraising a powerful tool for the organizations fueling the resistance. As you can see below, donors are especially active on their phones in the mornings and in the evenings.

 

mobile-by-day-and-hour

 

Last month, 42.7% of contributions made by ActBlue Express users came from a mobile device. These are donors who can contribute with a single click right from their phones, and they save time because they don’t have to enter their payment information. That helps organizations bring in more contributions to fuel their crucial work.

Recurring

July ’13 July ’15 July ’17
Total Recurring Volume  $497,940  $3,914,565  $8,093,123
% of Total Volume  8.5%  28.5%  29.3%

Recurring contributions allow donors and organizations to fuel powerful movements for the long haul, and keep momentum up throughout the course of a campaign or push for change. Donors can sign up and make a commitment when they’re fired up, and the organizations they support can carry on the important work they’re doing well past that initial contribution. July’s recurring numbers remained steady, with almost 30% of all dollars coming from recurring contributions.

Customer Service

July ’17
Total Incoming Calls 7,294
Email Conversations 18,933

Our customer service team works around the clock to make sure donors have the best experience possible when donating through ActBlue. Team members cover every time zone from the east to west coast so that donors can access the support they need as soon as possible. This past month we answered more than 7,000 phone calls and responded to over 18,000 emails, in addition to helping donors via social media.

Donors and organizations are putting in the hard work everyday to fight the efforts of the Trump administration and our Republican-controlled Congress, and we’ll continue to be right there with them. If you want to tell us how you’re helping the movement, or if you have any questions about our July recap, let us know at info@actblue.com.


 

Q2 2017: More campaigns and organizations raising than ever before

Back in April, we published some record-breaking numbers for Q1. It was a powerful sign that the resistance was fighting back against Trump. But it wasn’t a one-off moment. In Q2, as we got farther away from Trump’s inauguration and marches across the country, which were rallying points for many people, those record-breaking numbers only got bigger. It’s a sign that the resistance isn’t slowing down, but deepening and organizing to win. There were some big moments during Q2 — special elections and the House healthcare vote — but those were only small parts of the story. Thousands of groups took action (in fact, more campaigns and organizations raised on ActBlue than in any quarter before!), and more supporters chipped in to support the candidates and causes they believe in.

Topline Numbers

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
Contributions 529,614 1,273,348 4,654,994
Total amount $22,236,309 $48,155,781 $137,415,552
Unique campaigns, committees,
and organizations
1,610  1,970 4,293

We handled 4,654,994 small-dollar contributions and helped campaigns and organizations bring in $137.4 million, which is nearly three times our Q2 2015 total (the best year for comparison, given that it was the first year of the most recent election cycle). It’s also larger than our Q2 2016 total ($133 million), and that was during the height of the presidential primary!

total-dollars

One of the biggest reasons for this huge growth is the increase in the number of campaigns and organizations that are fighting back and using our tools to engage with supporters and fundraise. We helped 4,293 groups raise money in Q2 — that’s the most ever in a single quarter, and it by far exceeds the number of groups that would normally be raising at this time during an election cycle.

 

campaigns-and-orgs

Of those groups, 1,374 raised their very first dollar on ActBlue in Q2 (909 campaigns and 465 organizations). Oftentimes candidates wouldn’t have declared at this point in the cycle, especially if they’re running for local office, but people are fired up right now. And that early money is going to help them build powerful campaigns down the line.

The last quarter wasn’t successful because of any one of these groups, or because of any handful of big days. If you look at the fundraising totals of the biggest, smallest, and average days in the quarter as compared to past years, you start to see just how steady the fundraising was from day to day, and how so many groups, from small organizations to high-profile campaigns, have come alive and have worked hard to build people-powered movements.

We certainly had some big days in Q2, but that wasn’t what ultimately led to a record-breaking quarter. As you can see below, the smallest day in Q2 2017 was 43% bigger than the average day in Q2 2015.

big-small-avg-quarter

ActBlue Express

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
Total ActBlue Express users  580,428 1,472,007 4,006,198
New ActBlue Express users  43,361 196,899 241,672
Total ActBlue Express dollars $9,444,376 $27,479,026 $81,121,920
% of total contributions via ActBlue Express users 52.8% 64.0% 65.7%

ActBlue Express continues to be one of the most powerful tools for campaigns and organizations. We hit 4 million ActBlue Express users just a few days before the quarter wrapped up, and those ActBlue Express users made 65.7% of the contributions in Q2. The chart below shows the incredible growth that got us to 4 million ActBlue Express users.

express-growth

Recurring Contributions

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
% of total contributions via recurring  13.9% 41.8% 41.6%
Total recurring dollars $1,333,927 $9,695,615 $32,867,432

Recurring contributions remained strong this past quarter, accounting for 41.6% of all contributions (that includes recurrences of pledges that were initiated before Q2 2017). Recurring programs continue to help campaigns and organizations build sustainable operations and plan for the future, and they allow donors to give a small contribution each month and have a big impact on the causes they support.

Mobile

Q2 ’13 Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17
% of contributions via mobile 8.8% 27.2% 41.0%
% of contributions via mobile for
ActBlue Express users
12.2% 29.7% 42.0%

Mobile contributions account for nearly half of all contributions made via ActBlue. We’ve worked over the last few years to ensure that the donation process is as smooth as possible for supporters, and that campaigns and organizations have access to the most advanced mobile technology, whether they’re a presidential campaign or a small upstart nonprofit. Apple Pay — one of our latest advancements for mobile — accounted for 6.2% of all mobile donations this past quarter, and helped bring in $3.2 million. We’ve been working to roll Apple Pay out to as many campaigns and organizations as possible since October, and we’re very close to being able to make it available to everyone, from local candidates to national nonprofits.


While 2018 and 2020 are still a ways off, and there is much more work to be done, it’s been inspiring to see so many people take their anger and frustration and turn it into action. Across the country, people are jumping into the fray and running for office, starting new organizations, and chipping in as a way of fighting back.

We’d love to hear how you’ve been using ActBlue’s tools to fight back. Let us know at info@actblue.com.

April ’17 Recap

A few weeks ago, we published some pretty astonishing numbers for the first quarter of 2017. And in April, there was no sign of small-dollar fundraising slowing down.

Supporters are more passionate and energetic than ever right now. Donors, activists, nonprofits, and campaigns alike are making a real difference in resisting the Trump administration — people are fighting back, and our April numbers (we helped raise nearly 4x the amount we did in 2015) make that clear. We’re excited our tools can help donors and organizers take action and support the nationwide resistance movement.

See below for a breakdown of our sitewide numbers for April:

Topline Numbers

APR. ’13 APR. ’15 APR. ’17
Contributions 170,085 315,871 1,540,231
Total Amount $6,358,693 $10,144,643 $39,253,713
Avg. Contribution Size $37.39 $32.12 $25.49
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,010 1,364 2,727

ActBlue Express

Over 70,000 new donors signed up for ActBlue Express accounts in April, so they can give to any campaign and organization using ActBlue with a single click going forward. That’s more than double the number of new ActBlue Express users who got on board in April of 2015, and more than five times the number of new signups in April 2013. And because they have a frictionless experience when donating, ActBlue Express users are some of our most powerful users.

Committed supporters will make even more of a difference as this election cycle (and the resistance movement) ramps up. As new campaigns and organizations get up and running and start fundraising with ActBlue, they’re already going to have an invaluable pool of supporters who are truly dedicated to progressive causes and can help them build up powerful movements.

APR. ’13 APR. ’15 APR. ’17
New ActBlue Express Users 14,162 28,731 73,180
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
41.3% 56.6% 60.5%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
50.9% 59.5% 65.0%

Mobile

APR. ’13 APR. ’15 APR. ’17
% of Contributions via Mobile 8.3% 24.8% 39.7%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
11.7% 26.6% 40.6%

Recurring

APR. ’13 APR. ’15 APR. ’17
Total Recurring Volume $401,046 $2,698,892 $10,983,594
% of Total Volume 6.3% 26.6% 28.0%

Customer Service

In these busy times, when so many new donors are using ActBlue to contribute, our customer service team is there to walk them through the giving process and answer any questions that come up. Our team handled an average of 281 incoming calls and 792 emails a day in April 2017.

APR. ’17
Total Incoming Calls 8,424
Email Conversations 23,769

It’s pretty clear that this is just the beginning of a powerful movement, as small-dollar donors work hard to take back our country, so expect more exciting stats to come. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments about our April recap, you can reach a member of our team at info@actblue.com.

Q1 2017: Participation is skyrocketing

There are certain times when you expect that donors, campaigns, and organizations will be fired up, organizing, raising a lot of money, and making their voices heard. The first quarter of an off-year is not one of those times. But this past quarter was huge by every metric.

We handled nearly $112 million from over 4 million contributions during Q1. For context, ActBlue was founded in 2004 and we didn’t reach 4 million total contributions in the lifetime of the organization until 2012.

From the number of contributions we handled, to the sheer amount of money running through our servers, to the number of new donors who came into the fold in the last three months, the reaction to the Trump administration and the surge in action is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Our tools are helping move money that’s going directly into resistance work right now, and our features are making it easier and quicker for donors to give to the causes and candidates they care about. For some donors and organizers, this is their first time ever being involved in the political or organizing process, and we’re so proud to provide an easy way for them to get active.

Together, the campaigns, organizations, and donors using ActBlue’s platform are building a powerful grassroots movement.

Below, we break down the topline numbers for the quarter. You’ll notice we’ve only included Q1 of odd years. We consider these to be “off-years” — the years in between presidential and midterm election years. Those are the most relevant points of comparison.

Topline Numbers

Q1 ’13 Q1 ’15 Q1 ’17
Contributions 467,163 782,790 4,171,311
Total Amount $16,904,456 $26,903,206 $111,329,027
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,243 1,728 3,079

Those 4,171,311 contributions (which include all recurring contributions) add up to more than four times the total dollars we handled during Q1 2015. It’s a giant increase, and one that’s thanks in large part to all of the small-dollar donors who have gotten involved recently and are giving to the candidates and causes they care about.

We were also amazed and excited to see that the number of groups raising money on ActBlue was more than double the number that fundraised during Q1 2013.

Many of those groups are new organizations that popped up after Trump was elected in order to fight back against his administration and get new people involved in organizing work. Others are candidates with elections this year — there are several important special elections in 2017, and those races have spurred a ton of nationwide, grassroots support — plus state and local candidates with elections in 2017. But there are also 2018 congressional, state, and local candidates getting a head start on running, which will help them build and fuel powerful campaigns. How? They can build recurring donor pools, take advantage of momentum, and give constituents a cause to rally around (and give to!) when their Republican challengers side with Trump or pass harmful legislation.

This is what ActBlue was built for: to help constituents and organizers make their voices heard and make a real impact. And the money raised on ActBlue is going straight to doing real, meaningful organizing work.

ActBlue Express

Q1 ’13 Q1 ’15 Q1 ’17
Total ActBlue Express users 534,991 1,272,534 3,745,306
New ActBlue Express Users 63,454 45,268 341,845
Total ActBlue Express Dollars $7,886,497 $14,977,607 $64,440,0474
% of Total Dollars via ActBlue Express Users 46.7% 55.7% 59.7%
% of Total Contributions via ActBlue Express Users 54.0% 58.3% 64.6%

Over 340,000 new donors signed up for ActBlue Express accounts in Q1, bringing the total up to 3.7 million ActBlue Express users sitewide. That’s 3.7 million donors who have saved their credit card information and can give to the candidates and causes they care about with a single click going forward. Why does that matter? We’ve seen time and time again that when you remove the barriers to donating, people are more likely to keep giving. That’s why nearly 65% of the four million contributions we handled this quarter came from ActBlue Express users. And we expect these new ActBlue Express users to be active in the future!

Recurring Contributions

Q1 ’13 Q1 ’15 Q1 ’17
Percent of Total Dollars via Recurring Contributions 6.0% 28.0% 24.9%
Total Recurring Dollars $1,021,730 $7,545,818 $27,719,908

Recurring contributions help campaigns and organizations build a steady stream of income to sustain their work for the long haul, and they give donors an easy way to spread out their donations. That’s why they’ve historically made up a big part of our sitewide fundraising. This past quarter was no different, with nearly 25% of the dollars we handled coming from recurring contributions.

In the last few months we released new features that have made recurring donations better for donors and have helped campaigns and organizations build their recurring donor pools. Smart Recurring, a pop-up feature that prompts donors to make a smaller monthly contribution after they give a one-time donation, has already begun making the donation process more flexible for donors and fundraisers alike. And our integration with Account Updater, which allows us to work with credit card companies to automatically update old or expired credit card numbers for recurring donors, is helping donors keep up their recurring contributions without the need to manually update their information.

Mobile

Q1 ’13 Q1 ’15 Q1 ’17
% of Contributions via Mobile 9.2% 24.7% 39.5%
% of Contributions via Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
12.4% 26.7% 40.3%

The reality is that many supporters are accessing their emails (and thus, contribution forms) on mobile devices. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to make the mobile donation experience even better. In September of 2016, we launched Apple Pay for ActBlue contribution forms, and it resulted in over 80k contributions and $2,107,923 this past quarter. It’s an incredibly easy way for people to give on their mobile devices because it doesn’t require them to type in their payment information, and it’s quickly becoming a popular feature.


If this first quarter of 2017 was any indication of things to come, donors and activists are going to be incredibly engaged this cycle. And our tools will play a key role in helping small-dollar donors make their mark on every aspect of the resistance movement. Check back in on our blog posts in the months to come, as we’ll report back on monthly and quarterly numbers in order to help donors, campaigns, organizations, and anyone else who might be interested in this movement keep up with all of the hard work that folks are doing right now to raise money and fuel their work.

As always, if you have questions or comments about this past quarter, you can reach a member of our team at info@actblue.com.

February ’17 Recap

There’s a palpable energy in the air right now. Millions of Americans are asking how they can get involved, and how they can have an impact on the resistance movement. And our big fundraising numbers for February reflect that energy.

We processed nearly six times the number of contributions in February of ‘17 than we did at this same point during the last election.

New donors are coming into the fold every day, contributing to the candidates and causes they care about. And we’re so proud to be helping millions of Americans make their mark on the resistance movement. ActBlue exists to help donors shape our country.

See below for a sampling of our most interesting stats for the month. Since elections occur over two-year periods, the most relevant comparison here is 2015 as compared to 2017, since even (election) years are usually much bigger than odd years (hence those especially big February ‘16 numbers).

What’s really interesting, though, is that there’s no impending presidential election this year, and yet our February ‘17 numbers stack up pretty well against those 2016 numbers.

 

Topline Numbers

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
Contributions 163,025 262,160 228,632 1,923,107 1,351,275
Total Amount $5,661,921.23 $10,219,861 $7,187,341 $56,746,995 $33,576,340
Avg. Contribution Size $34.73 $38.98 $31.44 $29.51 $24.85
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
801 1,684 1,149 2,154 2,206

There were over 2,000 campaigns and organizations fundraising on ActBlue in February. It’s just about double the number that were using our tools in 2015. Where is that growth coming from? There’s a huge spike in urgency and activism happening right now, and it’s inspired people to start up new organizations and run for office — so much so that we’re actually beating our 2016 numbers as well. That’s exciting to see, because we’re still two years out from the next major election, which means there are tons of candidates who haven’t even filed yet.

These new candidates and organizations were immediately able to get started fundraising using ActBlue, and take advantage of the moment and start connecting with grassroots donors.

 

Mobile

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
% of Contributions via Mobile 7.9% 19.3% 23.8% 39.9% 39.9%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
10.5% 22.9% 25.8% 42.4% 40.5%

 

ActBlue Express

The number of donors who signed up for ActBlue Express accounts this past month is more than eight times the number of donors who signed up in February of 2015. It’s just one more display of the huge uptick in commitment and engagement from grassroots supporters. And these donors can give with a single click to any organization or campaign using ActBlue’s platform, so they’re the most likely to come back and give again.

Our ActBlue Express users also accounted for 1.3 million contributions this month, which was almost 65% of our total contributions.

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
New ActBlue Express Users 23,463 21,634 12,935 286,699 111,986
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
55.8% 44.5% 57.3% 66.9% 60.4%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
53.7% 53.0% 58.8% 71.2% 64.8%

 

Recurring

FEB. ’13 FEB. ’14 FEB. ’15 FEB. ’16 FEB. ’17
Total Recurring Volume $327,927 $790,921 $2,252,831 $8,290,105 $8,667,566
% of Total Volume 5.8% 7.7% 31.3% 14.6% 25.8%

 

Customer Service

Our customer service team is available round-the-clock to field questions from donors, campaigns, and organizations in order to make sure everyone is receiving support when they need it. They handled an average of over 800 email conversations a day in February.

FEB. ’17
Total Incoming Calls 8,032
Email Conversations 23,709

If you have any questions or comments about our monthly recap, feel free to email our team at info@actblue.com, or leave a comment below.

October ’16 Recap

October was a giant month at ActBlue — our biggest month ever! We handled nearly $84 million for over 3,000 campaigns, committees, and organizations.

Lots of campaigns took advantage of our weekly recurring feature this month, driving up our total recurring dollar amount. We brought in even more in recurring dollars than during October of 2014, when weekly recurring was a massive success.

Topline Numbers

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
Contributions 289,615 1,449,990 670,809 2,002,717
Total Amount $10,289,128 $57,093,748 $21,741,770 $83,823,165
Avg. Contribution Size $35.53 $39.38 $32.41 $41.85
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,574 2,503 1,937 3,316

 
October topline numbers

Mobile

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
% Mobile 20.0% 24.9% 31.0% 36.2%
% Mobile for
Express Users
23.6% 26.6% 33.6% 37.1%

Express

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
New Express Users 29,288 73,431 79,099 69,003
% of Total Volume
via Express Users
44.9% 59.6% 61.0% 59.6%
% of Contributions
via Express Users
54.4% 64.9% 68.5% 65.6%

 
October topline numbers

Recurring

OCT. ’13 OCT. ’14 OCT. ’15 OCT. ’16
Total Recurring Volume $611,951 $10,434,476 $5,693,932 $16,750,379
% of Total Volume 5.9% 18.3% 26.2% 20.0%

 

Customer Service

OCT. ’16
Total Incoming Calls 10,205
Email Conversations 29,461

Check out this last graph for a fun look at how many more campaigns, committees, and organizations are fundraising with ActBlue this election cycle as compared to 2014:

October topline numbers

Q3 2016: It’s definitely the quarter before an election

Man, oh man, was Q3 busy. We moved more than $130M, almost $50M more than in Q3 2014 (the same quarter in the last election cycle).

Why the uptick in volume? We handled donations for over 4,000 campaigns, committees, and organizations as they made their way into the final stretch of an incredibly important election cycle. That’s a 33.9% increase over the number of groups using ActBlue in Q3 2014. What else is exciting? Compared to Q3 2014, we handled $20M more in recurring dollars, which is a whopping 172% increase. And recurring contributions made up more than one-fifth of our total funds raised.

Read on to see how our sitewide fundraising compared to where we were at the same point back in previous years.

Topline Numbers

Q3 2013 Q3 2014 Q3 2015 Q3 2016
Contributions 637,925 2,304,240 1,785,908 3,355,813
Total Amount $23,154,771 $82,657,048 $57,202,581 $131,890,675
Avg. Contribution Size $36.30 $35.87 $32.03 $39.30
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,827 3,064 2,259 4,102

 

Here’s the biggest news: as of Q3 2016, we’ve helped raise over $630 million in contributions. That means we’ve already nearly doubled the amount we raised in the 2014 cycle (2014 was a $335 million election cycle), and we’ve still got one more quarter to go in Election 2016.

In the chart below, we break down the total number of campaigns, committees, and organizations using ActBlue by cycle. The vertical axis shows the running total for unique groups raising funds on ActBlue, while the horizontal axis represents the days in the cycle with the first day of each quarter as the labels.

daily

Look at that rapid growth in committees and orgs using ActBlue! Almost 6,200 different groups used our tools to fundraise in this election cycle, with over 4,000 active groups this quarter. We had almost 800 new candidates and groups sign up this quarter, which is huge compared to 560 new signups during this time in 2014 and 558 in 2012.

This election cycle, we’ve expanded into new cities and counties. We’re working with a higher percentage of federal campaigns than ever before. And the best part is that we offer the same fundraising tools to candidates in school board races as we do to presidential candidates. We’re constantly innovating. We’re a one-stop shop where folks can give to all the causes they care about, at any level of government, no matter how big the race or how small the organization.

Express

In true ActBlue fashion, once we hit an exciting number, we have to keep upping the ante. 65% of our contributions this quarter were made via Express, and as of Q3 2016, we have over 3.2 million Express donors! And they’re an active bunch. In Q3 2016, we handled over $75 million in recurring contributions from folks who saved their information using our Express feature. As a quick refresher, our Express feature lets donors save their payment information with us and donate with a single click, making it easier for them to give (win, win). And in an election cycle like this where every dollar really counts, that efficiency and speed make a big difference in fundraising.

Recurring

Inspiring donors to give again and again is critical to any strong fundraising program. At ActBlue, over 43.5% of the contributions we handled in Q3 2016 were recurring contributions. Our recurring asks are usually monthly, but in September we brought back weekly recurring. That feature was so successful that it accounted for $3,821,234 of the nearly $31.5M we raised in recurring contributions this quarter. That means weekly recurring accounted for 10.26% of our total recurring volume in Q3 2016 — and it wasn’t even being used in full force until the end of the quarter! Take a look at the chart below to see how weekly recurring contributions have picked up steam:

recurring

In just two weeks, the number of new weekly contributions had surpassed the typical number of new monthly contributions. And let’s not bury the lede here: we handled more than 70k recurring contributions on September 30th. That’s the second highest total ever (surpassed only by February 29th when we ran recurring contributions from three days at once). In total, we moved $1.4M before 10AM that day — that’s a lot of traffic before most folks had even had their morning cup of coffee!

Q3 before an election has historically been a big quarter (no surprise there). But this election cycle features seven out of the eight greatest quarter over quarter increases in terms of recurring donations. Back in Q3 2014, we handled only about a third of the recurring contributions we handled in Q3 2016. And in 2012, which was the last presidential election year, we handled less than $5M in recurring volume. That means we’re now raising over six times what we did in the last presidential election. Pretty cool.

volume

Mobile

It was another strong quarter for giving on the go — 30% of the funds we raised came from a mobile device. And while people are definitely using mobile devices to do more, more often, we can’t chalk up the success of mobile giving just to time alone.

Mobile

We’ve also spent a lot of time optimizing for mobile. We tested and implemented a new feature: when mobile donors land on a form, they’re automatically taken past the contribution blurb to the part where they choose how much to give. With an increase of 5.2% in sitewide conversions (p < 0.05), that optimization has translated into real cash. We’ve also added an autocomplete search feature that populates your address on contribution forms, which has already started to boost our numbers. The goal with mobile is making it as easy as possible to give from a smaller screen, and that’s what we’re going to keep improving on.

Customer Service

It was another busy quarter for our customer service team, who handled an incredible 28,490 calls and had 72,504 email conversations with ActBlue donors. At midnight on September 30th, the last day of the quarter, there were a grand total of zero donors waiting to have their emails and calls returned. Our team had squared away their emails and calls in real time!

From folks who are giving for the first time and have questions about the process, to returning donors who want to check in about their contribution, our customer service representatives handle it all. They helped make the giving process as smooth as possible during this extremely busy quarter.

Remarketing

In February 2016, we launched our remarketing feature. When enabled, it sends a reminder email to donors who have started but failed to complete a contribution after 30 minutes of inactivity.

This quarter, remarketing helped bring an extra $420,000 in the door from over 13,000 contributions. In an election cycle where every dollar matters, that’s a lot more than just pocket change. But here’s the thing: only one fifth of our contribution forms sitewide that received contributions had our remarketing feature enabled. That means 80% of ActBlue forms are losing out on a lot of extra contributions! If you haven’t turned on remarketing yet, here’s a reminder about how to do it.

Contributions by Timezone

Being knowledgeable about where your donors are based is helpful because it can lead to new tests where you target different folks at different times. Take a look at this chart below to see where ActBlue’s sitewide donor base is located, and when folks from different parts of the country give most:

Timezone

It was an incredible quarter for ActBlue, and we’re so excited to have our biggest election year yet. That’s why we want to thank our donors! Without them, there’s no way we’d be on track to handle more than $700M this election cycle. We also couldn’t be more proud to be lowering the barrier for participation across the board. Our tools give folks who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get involved in the political process the opportunity to make real change happen.

Of course, we’re also thrilled that the more new folks start using our tools, the more fundraising records we can break. After all, let’s remember our prediction back in Q1 2016: we said we might process over half a billion dollars in small-dollar contributions this election cycle: looks like we’ve got some ceilings to smash both in terms of our own record, and in the White House.

A big mobile boost from one simple test

We run optimization tests on our forms constantly, but it’s rare that we see winners as big as our recent mobile test.

At this point we’re running around 40% of all donations made on mobile devices. Anything we can do to keep that number going up, the better, given the massive transition in traffic from desktop to mobile.

In this test, when donors landed on a form, some were moved directly to the point on a form where they’d choose an amount to give — skipping past the contribution blurb they would normally read first, as you can see below. Others got the normal form with the headline and blurb up top.

form

 

The forms that skipped over the blurb won by a landslide. The result was a statistically significant increase of 5.2% conversions on the variation (p < 0.05). It was such a big winner that we automatically rolled it out sitewide.

Most of our tests see a tiny bump, but any increase in conversions makes a big difference when we’re running tens of millions of contributions through our forms each month. And a 5.2% bump? That’s real money.

There were more than 250k new mobile contributions made sitewide in July, with an average contribution size of about $30. That means our mobile form test resulted in about 400k extra dollars. Like I said, real money.

We previously tested a contribution form without a blurb on both desktop and mobile versions to our email list. The results were abysmal, which is why we ran this sitewide test to mobile donors specifically.

By nature, our mobile users are seeking ways to save them time and enhance their convenience when they’re making contributions. And that’s what this switch gives them.