ActBlue interns weigh in on their experience

We hire a team of paid interns every semester at ActBlue, who are interested in everything from politics to law to writing and marketing. They come to us from varying college majors, hometowns, and backgrounds, and they bring unique perspectives and ideas to the ActBlue team. It’s our goal to help them learn the ins and outs of ActBlue and show them what it’s like to work in politics, as well as within the larger grassroots movement. Perhaps most importantly, they’re able to explore how their own interests and skills can play a role in their political work.

I can speak to the intern experience first-hand, since I myself started interning at ActBlue in 2014. The work I did was extremely rewarding — I knew that every task I completed played a part in the larger mission of ActBlue, and I also knew that I was gaining some great experience to take with me after college. I started as an intern during the summer before my senior year of college as a writing and literature major. I knew I wanted to write, but I also had a passion for politics and I had no idea those interests could intersect so perfectly. Before I started with ActBlue, I didn’t know that the job I’m currently doing existed. When I thought about working in politics, I only thought about actually running for office or working on a campaign. I didn’t realize the scope of the work being done, or how fulfilling that work could be, but my internship introduced me to a host of new opportunities and ways I could make a difference.

Since I graduated, I’ve been a full-time staffer, working with our Marketing Team and building a career in digital organizing. That means I’m now on the other side of the internship program, and it’s been amazing to see how excited our interns are about Democratic politics and how inspired they are by the strength of the small-dollar donor movement. They’re the kind of enthusiastic, passionate activists that are going to play a big role in all the work we’ll be doing on the left in the coming years and we’re grateful we can be a part of their stories.

Jess, Deb, and Monika worked on our Customer Service, Marketing, and Outreach teams. They’re moving on from ActBlue to new adventures in the fall, so we chatted with each of them to hear about their experiences.

 

 

Jess:

It’s been extremely rewarding to see the incredible ways ActBlue’s platform has been able to support the resistance. I’ve seen first-hand that people are not sitting by and letting this country fall at the hands of Trump and the GOP. They’re running for office. They’re donating to really great candidates. They’re starting PACs and advocacy organizations, and they’re building powerful networks of small-dollar donors who can respond to attacks on things like our healthcare within hours. It’s been really eye-opening to see the power of grassroots organizing and it reminds me that all hope is not lost.

Deb:

During my internship, I had to juggle multiple projects with different demands and time commitments. I got to expand on my abilities to prioritize and multitask, while also learning how to design projects on my own. But my favorite part of being an ActBlue intern was the exposure I got to the national political landscape from right here in Somerville, Mass. Each team at ActBlue plays a unique part in the political process, and I’m so grateful to have been able to see things from different angles throughout my time here.

Monika:

When I started interning last year, I wanted to find a workplace where I could play an active role in Democratic politics in the months leading up to the election, while still being able to develop my personal and professional interests. I’ve been exposed to so many different organizations and individuals who are doing really great advocacy work throughout the country. I’ve been able to expand my view of nonprofits who work in this space, but I’ve also been able to develop my own intentions and ambitions as I move forward in my career.


The energy and drive we see in our interns every semester is inspiring to all of us, and a sure sign of all the great activism and work that’s going to be done in the upcoming years.

We’ve already completed the intern hiring process for the fall, but should be accepting applications for spring interns in mid-to-late October. If you’re interested in applying, we encourage you to check back. Aside from all the great experience they receive, our interns are paid, provided with a transportation subsidy, and all the snacks and coffee they need to get them through interning and taking classes. If you have questions about our internship program, drop us a line at internships@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.


 
 
 

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.

May ’17 Recap

Our numbers for May are in, and it was another huge month for small-dollar donor engagement. There’s been an incredible increase in May’s fundraising totals cycle over cycle — we processed three times the amount of money in May of 2017 than in May of 2015. Similarly, more than double the number of groups raised money on ActBlue in May of 2017 than during the same month of the last election cycle. Collectively, more than 3,200 total groups raised more than $48M in May alone. Small-dollar donors are not giving up on making their voices heard, and new groups and organizers are getting involved in the progressive movement.

When the AHCA bill went to a vote in the House during the first week of May, groups mobilized quickly as small-dollar donors made it clear they were ready to contribute and fight back. Here at ActBlue, we had all hands on deck and set up hundreds of Democratic nominee funds, where grassroots donors contributed millions of dollars in the days surrounding the vote. Check out the graph below, where you can clearly see the huge spike in dollars on May 4th and 5th, when donors were making their opposition to Trumpcare heard loud and clear.

Keep reading below the chart for a breakdown of all the highlights for May:

amount by day in May

 

Topline Numbers

MAY ’13 MAY ’15 MAY ’17
Contributions 173,539 429,882 1,586,558
Total Amount $6,495,234 $15,967,748 $48,753,557
Avg. Contribution Size $37.42 $37.14 $30.73
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,068 1,424 3,257

ActBlue Express

We’ve seen a steady stream of new, dedicated donors coming into the fold so far in 2017, and this past month was no different. More than 98k new donors saved their payment information with ActBlue Express in May. Those supporters are able to give to any of the thousands of groups using ActBlue with a single click.

 

May ’13 May ’15 May ’17
New ActBlue Express Users 12,624 79,717 98,273
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
42.8% 57.7% 60.6%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
55.1% 63.8% 66.2%

Mobile

MAY ’13 MAY ’15 MAY ’17
% of Contributions via Mobile 9.4% 25.4% 40.4%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
13.0% 27.3% 40.9%

Recurring

MAY ’13 MAY ’15 MAY ’17
Total Recurring Volume $448,802 $3,143,110 $11,194,882
% of Total Volume 6.9% 19.7% 23.0%

Recurring contributions are one of the biggest ways donors show their ongoing support for the campaigns and causes they care about. Rather than giving one up-front contribution, they’re able to chip in a small amount over the course of multiple months. The amount of recurring money groups are raising across ActBlue has grown at an incredible pace over the last few election cycles. In the graph below, we break down daily recurring totals cycle to cycle. Recurring totals tended to be pretty stable from day to day in May. That’s great for campaigns and organizations relying on their recurring fundraising as a way to budget and plan ahead, and indicates that donors are remaining committed to the causes and campaigns they’re passionate about.

recurring daily total

Customer Service

Our customer service team handled over 890 email conversations a day during the month of May. With so many new donors coming on board to support the groups fundraising on ActBlue, we’ve recently brought even more customer service representatives on to our team. They’re available around the clock to answer questions from donors, campaigns, and organizations alike, and make sure it’s easy for them to use ActBlue to make a difference.

MAY ’17
Total Incoming Calls 9,754
Email Conversations 27,632

 

If you’ve got any questions or comments about our May breakdown, drop us a line 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.

January ’17 Recap

It was undoubtedly a big month for fundraising at ActBlue, as campaigns and organizations across the country got energized and mobilized to fight back against Trump. Donors are fired up, too — over 100k new users saved their payment information with ActBlue Express this month, and can now give with a single click. We also processed our 1.5-billionth (!!) dollar this month.

A whole new crop of people got involved and are ready to fight back.

Topline Numbers

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
Contributions 223,392 226,928 1,224,385 1,237,954
Total Amount $7,750,298 $6,041,656 $32,675,433 $29,402,224
Avg. Contribution Size $34.69 $26.62 $26.69 $23.75
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,603 1,154 1,936 1,993

Mobile

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
% Mobile 19.7% 25.3% 38.6% 39.9%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
22.8% 27.2% 41.2% 40.9%

ActBlue Express

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
New ActBlue Express Users 18,727 10,625 170,421 131,566
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
47.2% 57.8% 66.3% 60.2%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
53.9% 60.1% 70.7% 64.9%

Recurring

JAN. ’14 JAN. ’15 JAN. ’16 JAN. ’17
Total Recurring Volume $706,522 $2,405,809 $7,124,154 $7,868,123
% of Total Volume 9.1% 39.8% 21.8% 26.8%

 

Customer Service

Our customer service team handled an average of 253 incoming phone calls per day during the month of January.

JAN. ’17
Total Incoming Calls 7,843
Email Conversations 7,309

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this month’s fundraising recap, feel free to reach out to a member of our team at info@actblue.com.

December ’16 Recap

In the midst of the holidays and Trump’s impending inauguration, donors and campaigns remained active and engaged. We processed over 750k individual contributions this month.

Topline Numbers

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
Contributions 259,248 231,991 1,094,301 750,484
Total Amount $11,210,508 $5,576,432 $33,255,993 $19,672,531
Avg. Contribution Size $43.24 $24.04 $30.39 $26.21
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,581 1,156 1,924 1,860

Mobile

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
% Mobile 19.8% 22.6% 38.0% 35.5%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
23.2% 24.2% 40.7% 37.1%

ActBlue Express

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
New ActBlue Express Users 25,297 8,934 173,198 47,286
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
46.9% 61.3% 62.3% 61.8%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
52.2% 64.0% 67.7% 65.3%

Recurring

DEC. ’13 DEC. ’14 DEC. ’15 DEC. ’16
Total Recurring Volume $655,275 $2,781,858 $6,196,949 $6,709,181
% of Total Volume 5.8% 49.9% 18.6% 34.1%

 

Customer Service

Our rockstar customer service representatives handled over 550 email conversations per day in the month of December.

DEC. ’16
Total Incoming Calls 7,358
Email Conversations 17,956

Any questions or comments? Drop us a line at info@actblue.com.

November ’16 Recap

Despite the fact that the election took place just eight days into the month, November was still a huge, $43M month. Following Trump’s win, donors and organizers got right to work, turning their anger into action.

Topline Numbers

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
Contributions 194,239 494,986 628,183 1,425,120
Total Amount $7,396,503 $13,035,721 $17,566,353 $43,440,887
Avg. Contribution Size $38.08 $26.34 $27.96 $30.47
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
1,484 1,626 1,841 2,680

Mobile

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
% Mobile 19.3% 27.8% 31.8% 37.1%
% Mobile for
ActBlue Express Users
22.9% 29.4% 34.7% 38.5%

ActBlue Express

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
New ActBlue Express Users 14,805 17,066 51,413 89,149
% of Total Volume
via ActBlue Express Users
41.1% 60.9% 59.8% 61.1%
% of Contributions
via ActBlue Express Users
51.0% 64.6% 66.9% 64.2%

Recurring

NOV. ’13 NOV. ’14 NOV. ’15 NOV. ’16
Total Recurring Volume $594,749 $4,857,505 $5,327,096 $11,604,933
% of Total Volume 8.0% 37.3% 30.3% 26.7%

 

Customer Service

Our customer service team handled over 300 incoming phone calls per day during November.

NOV. ’16
Total Incoming Calls 9,485
Email Conversations 25,037

If you’ve got questions or comments about our November numbers, you can reach us at info@actblue.com.

One. Billion. Dollars.

Get the confetti cannons out — we’ve officially crossed over A BILLION DOLLARS. That’s one billion dollars raised for Democrats, progressives, and nonprofits leading the fight for change.

one billion

This is by far our biggest milestone yet, but this isn’t just a celebration for us, this is a celebration (and a win) for small-dollar donors everywhere. They prove day in and day out that there is unbelievable strength in the grassroots movement.

This celebration is about saying thank you to the 14,308 campaigns, committees, and organizations who have used ActBlue’s platform, and the 24,200,973 individual contributions from millions of donors across the country who got us here. There are an amazing 4,032,813 donors that have used our platform to make their voices heard in the last 12 years, and they’ve showed people everywhere how powerful grassroots donors can be.

Small-dollar donors, campaigns, committees, and nonprofits have helped us build an amazing movement over the last 12 years, so we wanted to build something that allows you all to look back on the big moments that we created together, and that got us to this huge milestone.

The best part? This is just the beginning.

Check out billion.actblue.com to read about the #roadto1B, and join us in this celebration!

Dear Mitch McConnell & Steve King: No you can’t have Express Lane

We noticed something curious this week. Mitch McConnell sent an email this week that looked just like an Express Lane email, complete with “Express donate” links denoting specific amounts. And then another strange thing happened…Steve King did the same thing. Check them out:

When we stopped laughing we wrote this nice little note to them:

——————————————————–

Dear Mitch & Steve,

We’re flattered, really, that you want to use our tools in your emails. Mitch — you’re trying to run a “presidential level campaign,” and our tools are the best in the business, after all. And Steve, you’re looking to increase your national name recognition.

And we know you’re learning first hand in Kentucky and Iowa what an empowered small dollar donor base supporting an amazing Democratic candidate means.

So we get it. You’re jealous. But no, you can’t just try and steal or copy what we’ve built this last decade at ActBlue. Frankly, it’s impossible.

That’s because the most powerful thing about ActBlue is the nearly million strong community of committed Express donors. Without that community, those links you used are just links, not money makers, not flashy technology, and no use to you.

Imitations, however pale, are still flattering, so thanks. But you’re doing it wrong.

Best,

ActBlue

——————————————————–

Hilariously, if you clicked on any of Steve or Mitch’s links, they took you to a contribution form for just that amount, which is a recipe for a lot of lost money. It’s not just that they tried to copy us, it’s that they did it so badly. And they completely missed the point of why so many candidates and organizations around the country are asking people to give specific amounts right in the email.

There are over 950,000 ActBlue Express users that have saved their credit cards with us. With just one click, Express donors are powering campaigns and organizations. These days, 62% of all donations made through ActBlue are from people giving with an Express account!! That means more contributions and more funds because the less information people have to enter in, the more likely they are to give.

Mitch and Steve thought they could get that from just copying the style of Express Lane emails. Yeah, no.

First, try investing a decade in building a base of grassroots donors (unfortunately that means getting your party to actually care about people besides the Koch brothers), and then maybe your copy and paste efforts will be effective.

BTW we tested a version of this letter as a fundraising email to our list. It was a classic case of “you are not your list.” It was an email our staff really loved and had fun crafting, but our list didn’t respond as well to it as more traditional email talking about the momentum Democrats are gaining across the country. It’s not surprising, but it is a bit sad for us email writing nerds. And it’s a good reminder why it’s so important to test email copy.