Victory at the FEC: Draft Fund Fun

Last month the FEC ruled 6-0 to approve our request to open up restrictions on draft funds for federal candidates. Yes, it’s incredibly nerdy, but it’s a big deal.

Here’s Politico on the ruling (behind paywall):

Democratic digital fundraiser ActBlue won a unanimous green light from the Federal Election Commission today allowing the firm to start raising money for the Democratic 2016 presidential nominee — only if that person is a woman.

Hillary Clinton or any other female Democrat who secures the top spot on the 2016 ticket would benefit from ActBlue’s efforts. The company had previously secured FEC approval to establish “draft” campaigns before a formal candidate had declared their intention of running for an office. With its latest request, ActBlue got specific permission to establish a fund for which gender was the primary reason for someone to donate cash.

Yep, ActBlue can now set up a nominee fund and raise a pot of money that goes to the nominee if she is a woman. She’d get it when she officially became the nominee.

Additionally, you can now set deadlines for candidates to declare. If they haven’t announced their candidacy by then, the money goes elsewhere. It’s a way of building urgency around draft campaigns and getting your issues injected into the debate.

And wait, there’s more! The FEC gave us a thumbs-up to create draft funds that name a series of potential candidates as recipients.You can combine the two and do something totally whacky like:

  • If Beck declares by February 20th he gets the money
  • But if he doesn’t and Beyonce gets in by March 14th she gets it
  • But if she doesn’t and Kanye decides to run by April 27th then he gets it
  • But if none of the potential recipients declare in time, then the DNC receives the funds.

The primary reason we asked the FEC to rule on these requests is so that millions of small-dollar donors can encourage candidates — especially women — to run for federal office, in particular the presidency. And that’s something the FEC commissioners are interested in themselves.

ActBlue is always innovating to find new ways to give small donors a voice and help the organizations that use us advance their agendas and meet their goals. This new freedom from the FEC will help us do just that.

2 Comments for “Victory at the FEC: Draft Fund Fun”


The recent victory at the FEC (Federal Election Commission) by Act Blue, reflects long overdue freedom and progress in our political arena. As a strong, PRO-CHOICE, Female Democrat, I am ecstatic over this particular “win,” which no doubt enhances the viability of women to run for federal office, especially the presidency. It also affords small donors new ways to represent their voice. I stand firm in the belief that our Democratic presidential nominee in 2016 ought to be a woman. Furthermore, I feel more women in power need to be integrated in all facets of politics, and afforded the opportunity to lead our country. Progress made with respect to issues of women’s rights and liberties must not be dismantled, and such strides need to be carried over to succeeding generations. Republican efforts to destroy such rights and liberties, must be stopped dead in their track. Women’s rights and liberties must be protected, and those ideals and values of the Obama Administration, reinforce and support this notion. Women must not be told what to do with their own bodies. Rather, they should be afforded to opportunity to decide for themselves. After all, this is America. The guiding principles of our nation form the basis for justice for all. I detest those who attempt to limit, inhibit, and/or otherwise destroy the rights and liberties that women are entitled to, and deserve. Liberal women should be encouraged to become candidates, and ought to be uninhibited and bold in reflecting their voice concerning their freedoms. Nothing less will suffice.

Kim Niedermaier


Thanks for getting in touch with us here at ActBlue! We’re always looking for new ways for small-dollar donors to engage in the political process. We couldn’t be more thrilled that the FEC’s recent ruling makes it possible for people to encourage specific, especially woman, candidates to run for federal office, including the presidency.