Q3 2021: Small-Dollar Donors Double Down

Grassroots donors showed they are here to stay and ready to fuel movements across the country in Q3. 2 million donors gave over 8.6 million contributions to 12,676 groups on ActBlue, totalling more than $305 million. Compared to the previous midterm cycle mark in Q3 2017, the number of donors, contributions, and groups on ActBlue more than doubled. Dollars raised nearly tripled. While the summer is traditionally a slower fundraising time, small-dollar donors continued to demonstrate their energy and enthusiasm for supporting candidates up and down the ballot and organizations fighting for change, and responded to challenges including continued attacks on voting rights at the state level and the Texas anti-abortion legislation.

The pace of giving continues to grow as donors are not slowing down during an off-year. So far in this election cycle, donors have made more contributions and raised more money (through Q3 2021) compared to the same point in the 2020 cycle (through Q3 2019), despite the fact that there was a presidential primary in 2019. 56.9% of donors gave multiple contributions and donors gave an average of 4 contributions this quarter.

More and more groups continue to build support from grassroots donors: Q3 2021 was the third largest quarter in ActBlue’s history by number of groups fundraising. And new donors aren’t just giving to federal races — they’re also investing in down-ballot races, movement-building groups, and more: So far, 52.1% of first-time donors this election cycle have given their first gift to a non-federal campaign or organization.

Overall, these numbers show folks are committed to helping Democrats keep the House and Senate ahead of 2022, electing Democrats in state and local elections, and driving progressive change in this country.

TOPLINE NUMBERS

Q3 ’17 Q3 ’19 Q3 ’21
Contributions 3,179,068 10,466,567 8,668,494
Total Amount $108,146,597 $297,113,012 $305,615,917
Average Contribution Size $34.02 $28.39 $35.26
Unique Donors 952,398 3,095,508 2,010,384
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
5,226 8,984 12,676

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Movement, Issue, and Charitable Organizations

Small-dollar donors came out to support urgent causes, fighting against extreme anti-abortion legislation passed by Republicans in Texas, and organizing relief in response to natural disasters and refugee needs.

  • Over half a million people contributed to nonprofits via ActBlue or AB Charities in Q3, with 21.6% of them giving to a nonprofit via our platform for the first time.
  • Donors tripled the number of contributions to nonprofits as compared to Q3 2019, and gave more than three times the money.
  • Donors gave to over four times as many nonprofits compared to Q3 2019.

House and Senate

Grassroots donors continued their momentum and supported House and Senate candidates in advance of 2022, a pivotal midterm year. Compared to Q3 2017, the number of donors to these congressional races almost doubled and contributions almost tripled. House and Senate candidates raised more than double the amount of money from grassroots donors.

State and Local

Small-dollar donors understand the significance of state and local policies now more than ever as state legislatures are passing legislation to criminalize reproductive rights, dismantle health and safety protections, and disenfranchise voters. In the buildup to state and local elections this year and next, grassroots donors joined the movement and organized to support state and local candidates working for them.

  • Compared to Q3 2017, the number of donors to state legislative races doubled, contributions increased 83%, and dollars raised almost tripled.

Candidates for statewide office with an election in the 2022 cycle saw an outpouring of support from grassroots donors. In comparison to Q3 2017:

  • Contributions to gubernatorial candidates tripled and total dollars raised almost tripled.
  • Contributions to attorneys general candidates increased 58.7% and total dollars raised nearly tripled. 75.1% of donors to state attorneys general in Q3 had never given to a state AG race through ActBlue before.
  • Contributions to secretary of state candidates increased more than six times and total dollars raised increased more than five times.

CYCLE-TO-CYCLE COMPARISON

2018 cycle through Q3 ’17 2020 cycle through Q3 ’19 2022 cycle through Q3 ’21
Contributions 11,974,450 23,470,767 26,771,454
Total Amount $355,514,009 $716,040,857 $906,906,189
Average Contribution Size $29.69 $30.51 $33.88
Unique Donors 2,100,454 4,829,071 4,021,885
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
6,392 11,083 15,779

Grassroots donors are showing an unparalleled commitment to change. Everyday, we see more and more folks joining the movement and are inspired by the growth across the country. In the Sun Belt and the South especially, more and more people are giving to support candidates and movements locally and nationally.

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Folks are also taking giving into their own hands more than ever before. At ActBlue, we have been building out our donor engagement tools, including making it even simpler for ActBlue Express users to give directly from their account, so that donors who already know who they want to give to can do so quickly and easily. Since we always want to make giving as frictionless as possible, we offer a wide range of payment options in addition to ActBlue Express accounts: Google Pay™, Apple Pay®, and PayPal™!

ACTBLUE ADVANTAGE

Q3 ’17 Q3 ’19 Q3 ‘21
% of Contributions made with a Saved Payment Method or Digital Wallet Option 55.1% 58.6% 70.2%
% of Contributions made via a Mobile Device 41.1% 58.5% 54.8%

RECURRING CONTRIBUTIONS

Q3 ’17 Q3 ’19 Q3 ‘21
Total Recurring Volume $25,291,451 $48,857,778 $57,257,630
% of Total Volume 23.4% 16.4% 18.7%

We see every day how donors are invested in helping Democrats win and in fighting for progressive change — pushing forward movements for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice. We are excited to continue to support movement leaders and activists with the best online fundraising tools and strategies. Follow all the action by following @actblue on Twitter and @actblueorg on Instagram!


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