2019 in Review: A $1 BILLION year!

Small-dollar donors set a new standard for civic engagement in 2019 and built the foundation Democrats and progressive groups need to win in 2020. Together, the small-dollar donor community raised more than $1 BILLION for over 13,000 candidates and organizations fundraising on ActBlue, with an average contribution size of just $30.50! A milestone like $1 billion raised in one year takes massive people power — 6 million people gave on ActBlue to campaigns or causes that mattered to them (the most donors ever in a year!), and over 3 million of those people were first-time donors! That’s as many first-time donors as in 2017 and 2018 combined, and 40% of these first-time donors gave multiple times in 2019.

first-time donors

In total, grassroots donors made 35 million contributions on ActBlue in 2019, the most ever in one year and more than double the number they gave in 2017. And in a historic presidential primary year, folks did not ignore other crucial causes: Nearly 40% of all 2019 donors gave their first contribution of the year to one of the thousands of non-presidential candidates or groups raising money on ActBlue.

These numbers wouldn’t be possible without ActBlue Express, which allows donors who’ve saved their payment information to give with a single click. By the end of 2019, we reached a total of over 8 million ActBlue Express users. This is a powerful community of donors ready to take action at a moment’s notice, and 29% of these users signed up for their account in 2019, making this our largest year ever for ActBlue Express adoption!

2019 was also a breakout year for mobile contributions: 57% of all contributions on ActBlue were made on mobile devices. This was the first year ever that over half of all contributions came via mobile, which shows just how engaged folks were in 2019. More people took action than ever before and are now poised to change our country — from organizing their local communities to electing a new president — in 2020. Keep reading to see all that small-dollar donors accomplished in 2019!

total dollars raised

CYCLE-TO-CYCLE COMPARISON

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
Contributions 6,245,551 16,359,129 34,697,054
Total Amount $206,898,155 $522,834,271 $1,058,107,046
Average Contribution Size $33.13 $31.96 $30.50
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
3,590 7,894 13,314

2019 also ended strong: Small-dollar donors gave 11.2 million contributions in Q4 for a total of $343 million. Over 3 million donors chipped in to more than 10,000 campaigns and organizations this past quarter, with an average gift of $30.53. And plenty of records were set in Q4:

  • Most contributions ever in a single quarter

  • Biggest quarter of 2019 by dollars raised

  • Biggest quarter ever for number of groups fundraising on ActBlue

  • December 31 was the biggest day ever by dollars raised (more than $20 million!) and number of contributions (525,000!)

Q4 TOPLINE NUMBERS

Q4 ’15 Q4 ’17 Q4 ’19
Contributions 2,401,784 4,396,559 11,237,913
Total Amount $74,510,083 $167,858,508 $343,075,461
Average Contribution Size $31.02 $38.18 $30.53
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
2,615 6,286 10,468

STATE AND LOCAL IMPACT

The big numbers from this year just skim the surface of the impact small-dollar donors had in 2019. Not only did they support a slate of 2020 presidential candidates and nonprofit organizations across the country, small-dollar donors were also a driving force behind the impressive wins Democrats racked up in crucial down-ballot elections this fall. Grassroots donors raised $100 million for state and local candidates across the country on ActBlue in 2019: 36% more than 2017! And twice as many state and local candidates raised money on ActBlue in 2019 compared to 2017.

The state-level work is particularly important now, because we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to organize around redistricting in a presidential election year, when voter turnout is highest! At ActBlue, we made strategic investments in organizing at the state level in 2019 by growing our team that works directly with state and local candidates and committees and partnering with organizations and training programs from coast to coast to make sure we were pairing our tools with the strategy Democrats need to build successful grassroots programs. In 2019, members of our team attended 187 events in 39 states and the District of Columbia, building relationships with candidates and organizations or providing in-person trainings.

Small-dollar donors also continued their activism beyond elections in 2019 by showing up for rapid response moments and raising their voices for issues that mattered to them. Outside of presidential fundraising and traditional fundraising deadlines (which typically see very high mobile rates), the day with the highest mobile contribution rate in 2019 was August 4, following the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. On that day, 61.6% of contributions (excluding the presidential race) came through a mobile device.

PAYMENT METHODS

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
% of Contributions via Mobile 30.6% 40.5% 57.1%
% of Contributions via PayPal 11.9% 12.6% 18.0%
% of Contributions via Apple Pay Not offered 3.4% 7.3%

ACTBLUE EXPRESS

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
New ActBlue Express Users 815,108 1,004,919 2,357,895
% of Total Contributions via ActBlue Express 66.2% 64.7% 63.1%
% of Total Volume via ActBlue Express 59.3% 58.3% 58.3%

RECURRING CONTRIBUTIONS

2016 Cycle through Q4 2015 2018 Cycle through Q4 2017 2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
Recurring Volume $48,802,559 $125,598,472 $176,556,404
% of Total Volume 23.6% 24.0% 16.7%

CUSTOMER SERVICE

2020 Cycle through Q4 2019
Incoming Calls 115,677
Email Conversations 346,183

The 2018 elections proved that small-dollar donors could fuel campaigns to victory, and in 2019, folks across the country were eager to be a part of this people-powered movement. 2019 was our second billion-dollar year in a row, with more people making more contributions than ever before.

Small-dollar support has become a key indicator of success for candidates up and down the ballot, and grassroots donors are ready to organize and fight for their candidates in 2020. We can’t wait to see what this movement accomplishes this year!

Small-dollar fundraising metrics: 3 things to look for

Congratulations! You’ve conquered the basics of digital fundraising, and you’re raising your first dollars. Now how do you measure success? Your fundraising data might seem intimidating, but you don’t need to be a data scientist to use it: All you need is a willingness to look at your fundraising critically and the follow-through to apply what you learn!

Data lets you work smarter rather than harder. It all begins by taking stock of your data and using it to evaluate if you’re running an efficient program that is on track to fuel your campaign or organization for the long fight. Then, you can figure out how to refine your fundraising practices to improve your numbers. From the groups just getting started to the experts building out their program, every digital fundraiser can look at the following three metrics to analyze their small-dollar program. You can find all three right at your fingertips in your ActBlue Dashboard, so you’ll be driving your fundraising forward in no time!

1. Toplines: Number of contributions, dollars raised, and average contribution size over time

What it tells you: Your topline numbers give you a basic, holistic overview of your fundraising and donor behavior. These toplines include your program’s two core numbers: contributions and dollars raised. Your third topline number is average contribution size, which is found by dividing dollars raised by the number of contributions. Average contribution size can give you an idea of how much your program is relying on many small-dollar donors chipping in or fewer donors giving larger amounts.

Where you can find it: At the very top of your Dashboard Overview are your campaign or organization’s topline fundraising numbers. Here to greet you all the time, you’ll find your number of contributions, dollars raised, and average contribution size over the last seven days. The best part is you can easily change the timeframe for these topline numbers (and the corresponding graph) so you can observe your fundraising for any timespan you want. And if you want an idea of how a specific form performed, you can find these topline numbers for each form on its Statistics page.

What to do with this: Check the number of contributions and dollars raised for the month and quarter to see if you are hitting your fundraising goals. You can use the graph to predict when your fundraising will peak and send more emails during those strong moments. When you know you’ll hit slower fundraising periods, be ready to get creative with your tactics for engaging small-dollar donors.

Next, compare your average contribution size to the sitewide average contribution size of $30 in 2019 so far. Is your average contribution size really large? Think about whether you’ve shown donors who give $5 that their contribution matters to you. And think about what donation ask amounts are right for your program — you want to bring in as many people as possible and let them give at the level they like.

2. Percent of contributions made via mobile device

What it tells you: With more and more people using their phone or tablet to take action and give (more than 50% of donations on ActBlue have been made on mobile so far in 2019), it’s important for you to remember to keep a mobile-first mindset and meet your donors where they are. You can check what percent of your contributions were made through mobile devices and compare it to the average percent of sitewide contributions made via mobile.

Where you can find it: You can find a few important pie charts under “About your contributions” in your Dashboard Overview. One of these is the percent of your contributions made via a mobile device, with a sitewide average in grey below as an easy comparison point. Another place you can find percent mobile is on each form’s Statistics page. This helps you see how specific emails are performing on mobile devices!

What to do with this: While you’re thinking mobile first, don’t forget your fundraising emails! If you’re going to focus on improving one thing in email, make it the mobile experience. Make sure your emails are easy to read and quick to load on mobile. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on connecting with all of your supporters. Your fail-proof check is testing your emails and forms on a variety of mobile devices to ensure they look good and perform fast for every grassroots supporter.

3. Recurring retention

What it tells you: Retention is a measure of your program’s sustainability. Building a strong recurring program by keeping your retention high paves the way for you to raise more money long term and gain the flexibility to budget ahead. With an eye on your recurring retention, you can understand how many recurring donors want to stay in your movement rather than cancel their monthly donations. And this will give you a good idea of how many resources you’ll have months from now to commit to organizing and other actions.

Where you can find it: Right in the “Recurring” tab of your Dashboard menu is your Retention Matrix, a chart showing you how many donors choose to continue their recurring contributions for how many months before cancelling.

Here’s how you read your Retention Matrix: This chart shows the percent of recurring contributions you retain over time, grouped by the month the contributions were started. You can read the chart from left to right to see the percent of recurring contributions started in a specific month that were still active one month later, all the way to 12 months after the initial contribution!

Retention matrix

What to do with this: Your goal is to keep the percentages in your Retention Matrix high, and keeping track of your most avid supporters is crucial to good retention! Make sure your monthly sustainers know the incredible impact their contributions have and send them the most important updates from your group rather than more fundraising asks. Above your Retention Matrix in the “Recurring” tab, you can download a list of current recurring donor email addresses in your “Active recurring contributions CSV.” Exclude this email list from your fundraising emails, and instead send your monthly donors a thank you or ask them to take the next step of volunteering or fundraising on your behalf. And if you have one or two critical moments in your work, you can ask them for a special one-time donation while acknowledging their ongoing support.

Now you’ve got data on your side

Even if you don’t have a dedicated data analyst on your team, you have the tools you need on ActBlue to better understand and grow your fundraising success. And remember that our digital experts are ready to help you meet any fundraising challenge, including getting a handle on your data! We’re a call away to help your campaign, organization, or nonprofit assess and build your program.

Q3 2019: On track for a $1 billion year

Small-dollar donors took no time off this summer, setting multiple sitewide records in the third quarter (July, August, and September). Over 3 million donors (record number one!) chipped in to raise $297 million in Q3 ’19 — our biggest quarter this year and third largest in ActBlue history by dollars raised. Nearly one million of those people were first-time donors on ActBlue! And that’s not all: Roughly the same number of unique donors have now given this year as in the entire 2018 election cycle!

Q3’s 3 million donors made 10.5 million contributions to 8,984 campaigns and organizations fundraising on ActBlue, breaking our previous quarter record by almost 2 million contributions. And on September 30, small-dollar donors gave more contributions in a single day than ever before! We saw unprecedented engagement, with donors giving nearly 40,000 contributions per hour at the peak of end-of-quarter traffic. Mobile giving is driving more traffic than ever before, with an impressive 58% of donations this quarter made via mobile. 2019 is the first year we had a 50%+ mobile quarter, and that percentage has been growing fast!

Many people expected this summer would be a slow fundraising period, but our numbers show that the sleepy fundraising summers of the past are over!

Dollars Raised on ActBlue by Quarter

TOPLINE NUMBERS

Q3 ’15 Q3 ’17 Q3 ’19
Contributions 1,790,888 3,179,068 10,466,567
Total Amount $57,508,215 $108,146,597 $297,113,012
Average Contribution Size $32.11 $34.02 $28.39
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
2,263 5,226 8,984

CYCLE-TO-CYCLE COMPARISON

2016 Cycle through Q3 2015 2018 Cycle through Q3 2017 2020 Cycle through Q3 2019
Contributions 3,848,036 11,974,368 23,470,324
Total Amount $132,621,476 $355,506,035 $716,960,748
Average Contribution Size $34.46 $29.68 $30.50
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 3,009 6,392 11,082

Small-dollar donors were active and engaged throughout Q3, not just in September or at end-of-quarter — August 2019 was our fifth biggest month ever by total dollars raised! And not everything is about the White House. Small-dollar donors are supporting candidates and causes across the board — 62.4% of donors gave to a campaign or organization other than a presidential candidate in Q3.

With more and more attention paid to issues like gerrymandering, Medicaid expansion, reproductive rights, and gun sense laws, small-dollar donors are making sure their voices are heard in state-level elections this cycle. Compared to Q3 ‘17, donors have doubled their contributions to state legislative races. Small-dollar donors are engaged with congressional races, too. Despite the attention on the presidential primary, donors gave twice as many contributions to House and Senate races this quarter compared to Q3 ’17. It’s clear that not only are small-dollar donors engaged and excited, but they are both thoughtful and strategic in their giving.

ACTBLUE EXPRESS

Q3 ’15 Q3 ’17 Q3 ’19
% of Total Contributions via ActBlue Express 64.9% 64.4% 61.7%

Donors who save their payment information in an ActBlue Express account can give to any candidate or cause on ActBlue with a single click. The ActBlue Express community is empowered, and it is growing: Q3 2019 was our second largest quarter ever for ActBlue Express adoption. There are 7.7 million ActBlue Express users!

MOBILE

Q3 ’15 Q3 ’17 Q3 ’19
% of Contributions via Mobile 30.3% 41.1% 57.9%

We strive to meet grassroots donors where they are and make it as easy as possible for them to participate in civic life. Increasingly, donors are engaging with the news on the go amidst their daily lives, and we want to ensure they can take action right in the moment, no matter where they find themselves. That’s why we’re focused on making the mobile contribution experience as seamless as possible, from building automatically mobile-optimized forms to offering payment options like Apple Pay.

And mobile participation is on the rise. This quarter we saw the biggest ever hour for mobile donating during the Democratic presidential primary debate in September! Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET, the rate of mobile giving sitewide peaked at 82%. Mobile giving is making it easy for donors to engage in the moment and be politically active in real time. Since 2018 alone, the average percent of contributions made via mobile on ActBlue has risen almost 20%.

Sitewide Contributions Made via Mobile

RECURRING CONTRIBUTIONS

Q3 ’15 Q3 ’17 Q3 ’19
Total Recurring Volume $13,852,497 $25,283,816 $48,857,797

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Q3 ’19
Total Incoming Calls 30,045
Email Conversations 67,549

We’re a mission-driven nonprofit focused on empowering small-dollar donors, and that means we strive to provide the best possible experience for donors top to bottom, including customer service. This quarter at ActBlue our team has matched the energy of the small-dollar donor community through our work supporting 8,984 campaigns and organizations raising on our platform and responding to 97,594 donor conversations.

Small-dollar donors have blown us away with their enthusiasm and passion this quarter. It was huge and kept us on track for campaigns and organizations to raise one billion dollars on ActBlue alone this year — an incredibly impressive grassroots movement!

Total Dollars Raised on ActBlue Through Q3

With impeachment, more debates, Giving Tuesday, and important state elections happening this year, there are many more opportunities for small-dollar donors to shine. Looking forward to all that we accomplish together in Q4!

No ceiling to small-dollar donor engagement

More small-dollar donors than ever before are powering grassroots movements, and their immense energy for changing our country was on full display this past quarter. 2.4 million engaged grassroots supporters gave an incredible $246 million in Q2 ‘19 through ActBlue, with 56% of contributions made on mobile devices. In the first two quarters of this cycle, 3.3 million unique donors gave more than $420 million to nearly 9,000 campaigns and organizations, with an average contribution size of $32.29. These numbers are even more impressive considering that 4.9 million donors gave on ActBlue over the course of the entire 2018 election cycle!

Donors are all in to transform our country: 40% of donors have given more than once so far this year, and 1.1 million people have created ActBlue Express accounts so they can easily give to any group on ActBlue with a single click. And of donors who have given to both a presidential candidate and another type of candidate or group, 56% gave their first contribution of the year to a non-presidential candidate or organization and then went on to give to a presidential candidate. Many donors are showing up first for causes, congressional campaigns, or other down-ballot races, and then getting involved with the presidential race.

Keep reading to see all of what small-dollar donors achieved this quarter!

Total Dollars Raised on ActBlue Through Q2

Cycle-to-Cycle Comparison

2016 Cycle through Q2 2015 2018 Cycle through Q2 2017 2020 Cycle through Q2 2019
Contributions 2,073,889 8,827,452 13,024,448
Total Amount $75,815,141 $248,806,668 $420,495,119
Average Contribution Size $36.56 $28.19 $32.29
Unique Campaigns, Committees,
and Organizations
2,396 4,858 8,674

Topline Numbers

Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17 Q2 ’19
Contributions 1,281,954 4,655,506 7,620,071
Total Amount $48,572,278 $137,442,494 $245,989,080
Average Contribution Size $37.89 $29.52 $32.28
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 1,976 4,293 7,582

Building off the unprecedented participation of the 2018 midterms, small-dollar donors have expanded this grassroots movement in incredible ways, breaking multiple records on June 30th. By midnight, small-dollar donors made the largest number of contributions in a single day (390,000 contributions) and raised the second largest haul of money ever in a day ($12.5 million).

Creating a stronger democracy means winning elections at all levels of our government. We’re investing heavily in reaching out to state and local campaigns and making sure we’re ready to help thousands of state-level campaigns win. So far this year, we’ve worked with 5,744 different state and local campaigns and organizations, more than double the number we had worked with at the same point in 2017.

And donors are fired up about down-ballot races, too. They’ve supported state legislative candidates with unparalleled energy, raising twice as much money in the first two quarters of 2019 compared to Q1 and Q2 ‘17 to win back and protect crucial seats that will determine our voting maps for the next decade. At the local level, donors gave more than three times as much money to local candidates and groups so far this cycle compared to this point in the 2018 cycle.

Folks are also donating as a way to make a difference during one of our country’s biggest humanitarian disasters: Small-dollar donors raised $1.3 million in Q2 for groups helping parents and children separated at the border. Elected officials and activists used our Tandem Fundraising feature to create contribution forms listing multiple nonprofits on the ground so people looking to help immigrant and refugee families could support all of their work with one donate button.

ActBlue Express

Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17 Q2 ’19
New ActBlue Express Users 196,873 241,619 588,933
% of Total Volume via ActBlue Express 57.2% 59.2% 60.0%
% of Total Contributions via ActBlue Express 64.0% 65.9% 64.2%

There’s no ceiling that we’ve seen for small-dollar donor participation: 589K new folks signed up for ActBlue Express’ single-click giving in Q2 ‘19 alone. There are now 7 million small-dollar donors (and counting) in our ActBlue Express universe ready to transform our country and instantly take action for the left when it matters most.

Cumulative ActBlue Express Growth By Quarter

Mobile

Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17 Q2 ’19
% of Contributions via Mobile 27.0% 40.5% 55.7%

We’re constantly enhancing our tools to better serve growing grassroots movements and the donors driving them. This is our second quarter ever with more than 50% of contributions made via mobile devices! We know the importance of mobile in giving all people access to effecting change. It’s why our team of engineers has prioritized providing the same single-click ease of giving for donors using alternate forms of payment like Apple Pay and PayPal on tablets or phones.

New Mobile Contributions in 2019 by Payment Method

Our mission is to meet small-dollar donors where they’re at so they can make their voices heard on any device they have, anywhere, and at any time of day. It’s why we keep mobile at the forefront of our technological innovation and work hard to streamline mobile contribution forms. You can see just how many people are taking advantage of our optimized mobile forms to participate throughout the day below:

Mobile Contribution Rate By Time of Day, January - June 2019

Recurring Contributions

Q2 ’15 Q2 ’17 Q2 ’19
Total Recurring Volume $9,922,468 $36,630,129 $40,515,111
% of Total Volume 20.4% 26.7% 16.5%

Customer Service

Q2 ’19
Total Incoming Calls 23,587
Email Conversations 78,127

More small-dollar donors than ever are investing early in the 2020 cycle and showing up to power the left in this historic moment. Interested in being part of these people-powered movements? If you want help fundraising for your favorite candidate or cause, or if you have questions about this post, drop us a line at info@actblue.com. If you’re looking to get your group set up on ActBlue, you can always contact us at support@actblue.com. And if you’re interested in putting your skills to work and changing our country, we’re looking for passionate people to join our team!

Q1 2019: Strongest start to an election cycle on ActBlue

Coming off of a historic midterm, small-dollar donors, campaigns, and organizations made Q1 2019 the strongest start to an election cycle in ActBlue’s lifetime. This start is especially noteworthy when you compare the numbers from this past quarter to the exceptional numbers from just two years ago, when the resistance and huge surge of first-time candidates began to emerge and fuel unprecedented grassroots participation. As the numbers show, this movement has only deepened: 6,217 groups raised money through ActBlue in Q1 ‘19, more than twice as many groups raising during the incredible first quarter of the 2018 cycle. And small-dollar donors gave $174,506,038 through ActBlue to their favorite candidates and causes — by far the most dollars raised in any first quarter of an election cycle in our history. It’s clear the energy and action from small-dollar donors we saw during the 2018 election is here to stay.

Topline Numbers

Q1 '15 Q1 '17 Q1 '19
Contributions 791,935 4,171,950 5,404,378
Total Amount $27,242,863 $111,364,174 $174,506,038
Average Contribution Size $34.40 $26.69 $32.29
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 1,731 3,079 6,217

This immense and early grassroots participation is already driving the 2020 cycle, but it’s also giving Democrats running right now in state-level races the resources to lay out the critical groundwork they need to win. Supporters gave 32% more money in Q1 ‘19 to state candidates with elections this year than in Q1 ‘17 (not including gubernatorial races). Keep reading to see all of the numbers from Q1 ‘19.

ActBlue Express

Q1 '15 Q1 '17 Q1 '19
New ActBlue Express Users 45,397 342,840 542,612
% of Total Volume via ActBlue Express 55.8% 59.9% 60.6%
% of Total Contributions via ActBlue Express 60.2% 64.8% 64.2%

Over 60% of the dollar volume in Q1 ‘19 came from ActBlue Express users who saved their payment information on ActBlue so they could give again with just a single click. That pool of ActBlue Express donors skyrocketed this past quarter with 542,612 people joining our ActBlue Express universe of over 6.4 million users. These motivated donors made Q1 ‘19 the second biggest quarter ever for new ActBlue Express users. All of this participation means more voices are being heard in our political processes and institutions that have been dominated by conservative mega-donors and big money interests for years.

Mobile

Q1 '15 Q1 '17 Q1 '19
% of Contributions via Mobile 25.3% 39.4% 53.3%
% Mobile for ActBlue Express 27.5% 40.4% 53.1%

Q1 ‘19 was also the first quarter in ActBlue history when over 50% of contributions were made via mobile devices! A big reason for this growth in mobile has been candidates and organizations increasingly prioritizing direct communication with supporters about the impact of their grassroots enthusiasm. Small-dollar donors are engaging with these announcements and taking action to support their favorite campaigns and organizations in real time. Making sure it’s easy to give on mobile means supporters can donate wherever they are, whenever they are moved to do so. This is why we focus so much on donor experience. By building contribution forms that work seamlessly on mobile, we ensure small-dollar donors can always participate.

Recurring Contributions

Q1 '15 Q1 '17 Q1 '19
Total Recurring Volume $7,803,912 $29,574,762 $32,989,001
% of Total Volume 28.6% 26.6% 18.9%

Customer Service

Q1 '19
Total Incoming Calls 26,205
Email Conversations 66,908

If you have questions about this post, you can always get in touch with us at info@actblue.com. If you’re looking to set up an ActBlue account for your group, contact support@actblue.com!

Q4 2018: Closing a historic cycle

Small-dollar donors were fired up in the final sprint to Election Day, ending a historic 2018 election cycle with record-breaking Q4 fundraising numbers. Grassroots supporters made 8,457,209 contributions on ActBlue in Q4 alone — the biggest quarter ever for number of contributions. And hear this: More money was raised by more groups using ActBlue in Q4 than in the *entire* 2014 election cycle! Grassroots donors showed up until the very end and continued to give to resistance groups and Democrats spearheading change. Q4 2018 made it clear that while we’re leaving a lot behind in 2018 (like a GOP-controlled Congress), the small-dollar donor movement that drove huge wins in 2018 is here to stay.

Topline Numbers

Q4 '14 Q4 '16 Q4 '18
Contributions 2,177,088 4,159,948 8,457,209
Total Amount $76,314,676 $147,657,516 $367,387,118
Average Contribution Size $35.05 $35.50 $43.44
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 2,800 3,911 8,888

Cycle-to-Cycle Comparison

2014 Cycle Total 2016 Cycle Total 2018 Cycle Total
Contributions 8,972,224 23,366,034 42,101,095
Total Amount $335,049,366 $781,789,826 $1,662,987,705
Average Contribution Size $37.34 $33.46 $39.50
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 5,067 6,687 14,998

ActBlue Express

Q4 '14 Q4 '16 Q4 '18
New ActBlue Express Users 99,775 206,957 348,313
% of Total Volume via ActBlue Express 60.0% 60.6% 63.0%
% of Contributions via ActBlue Express 64.3% 64.6% 64.2%

Mobile

Q4 '14 Q4 '16 Q4 '18
% of Contributions via Mobile 25.3% 36.4% 46.2%
% Mobile for ActBlue Express 26.9% 38.2% 46.4%

Recurring Contributions

Q4 '14 Q4 '16 Q4 '18
Total Recurring Volume $11,364,805 $37,833,998 $62,877,525
% of Total Volume 14.9% 25.6% 17.1%

Customer Service

Q4 '18
Total Incoming Calls 46,646
Email Conversations 112,092

Interested in more data? Millions of folks across the country fueled Democrats to victory in 2018, and our election cycle review lays out how this grassroots fundraising shaped the midterms and will continue defining our country’s politics.

The numbers are in: Check out ActBlue’s election cycle review

The 2018 election cycle was truly one for the history books. Over the course of the last two years, the grassroots built a nationwide movement that helped Democrats win big, and our cycle review takes a close look at all the small-dollar fundraising that made it happen.

From raising $1.6 BILLION on ActBlue to electing more women to Congress than ever before, small-dollar donors created the kind of change that will have a lasting impact on our country and our politics. And this is just the beginning! Check out our 2018 election cycle review for all of the stats and visualizations you could want: report.actblue.com


2018 cycle in review

November ’18 Recap

Here’s a snapshot of our November numbers to tide you over until we release our 2018 election cycle review in just a matter of days! Small-dollar donors did not skip a beat after the midterms: November 2018 is now our seventh-biggest dollar month, coming in right behind October 2016, when grassroots donors gave $83 million in the final lead-up to the presidential election.

Topline Numbers

Nov. ’14 Nov. ’16 Nov. ’18
Contributions 495,115 1,423,929 2,401,214
Total Amount $13,454,226 $44,629,076 $77,543,624
Average Contribution Size $27.17 $31.34 $32.29
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 1,625 2,675 6,154

Cycle-to-Cycle Comparison

2014 Cycle through Nov. 2014 2016 Cycle through Nov. 2016 2018 Cycle through Nov. 2018
Contributions 8,740,236 22,618,759 41,048,224
Total Amount $329,282,129 $761,685,304 $1,632,621,051
Average Contribution Size $37.67 $33.67 $39.77
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 5,015 6,555 14,752

ActBlue Express

Nov. ’14 Nov. ’16 Nov. ’18
New ActBlue Express Users 17,157 89,975 74,028
% of Total Volume via ActBlue Express 61.1% 61.5% 63.4%
% of Contributions via ActBlue Express 65.9% 65.3% 65.3%

Mobile

Nov. ’14 Nov. ’16 Nov. ’18
% of Contributions via Mobile 27.5% 37.8% 48.1%
% Mobile for ActBlue Express 29.4% 39.5% 48.5%

Recurring Contributions

Nov. ’14 Nov. ’16 Nov. ’18
Total Recurring Volume $4,012,312 $12,187,030 $17,935,618
% of Total Volume 29.8% 27.3% 23.1%

Customer Service

Nov. '18
Total Incoming Calls 15,663
Email Conversations 43,102

October ’18 Recap

Folks, we’ve made it. Tomorrow, all of the work small-dollar donors have put in this election cycle will be on display as Democrats contest more seats than ever before. From the bottom of the ticket all the way to the top, from red states to blue states, grassroots donors have empowered a new generation of candidates to run for office. We’ll share a detailed breakdown of our numbers for this election cycle in the coming weeks, but here are the numbers for October. Not only was it our biggest volume month ever, October was also the biggest month ever for number of contributions and the third-biggest month ever for new ActBlue Express users.

Topline Numbers

Oct. ’14 Oct. ’16 Oct. ’18
Contributions 1,449,977 1,988,727 5,015,003
Total Amount $57,093,213 $82,923,436 $260,620,137
Average Contribution Size $39.38 $41.70 $51.97
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 2,503 3,310 7,922

Cycle-to-Cycle Comparison

2014 Cycle through Oct. 2014 2016 Cycle through Oct. 2016 2018 Cycle through Oct. 2018
Contributions 8,245,130 21,194,898 38,666,868
Total Amount $315,827,903 $717,056,656 $1,556,604,597
Average Contribution Size $38.30 $33.83 $40.26
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 4,957 6,410 14,511

ActBlue Express

Oct. ’14 Oct. ’16 Oct. ’18
New ActBlue Express Users 73,639 69,532 249,047
% of Total Volume via ActBlue Express 59.6% 59.7% 63.2%
% of Contributions via ActBlue Express 64.2% 64.7% 64.2%

Mobile

Oct. ’14 Oct. ’16 Oct. ’18
% of Contributions via Mobile 24.9% 36.2% 45.7%
% Mobile for ActBlue Express 26.5% 38.2% 45.8%

Recurring Contributions

Oct. ’14 Oct. ’16 Oct. ’18
Total Recurring Volume $4,462,063 $18,795,605 $34,616,588
% of Total Volume 7.8% 22.7% 13.3%

Customer Service

Oct. ’18
Total Incoming Calls 21,245
Email Conversations 58,528

Q3 2018: Biggest quarter ever

Topline Numbers

Q3 ’14 Q3 ’16 Q3 ’18
Contributions 2,304,231 3,342,271 7,782,934
Total Amount $82,656,488 $131,086,484 $385,176,557
Average Contribution Size $35.87 $39.22 $49.48
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 3,064 4,098 9,335


Small-dollar donors pushing for a sea change in November made Q3 2018 the biggest quarter in terms of dollars raised in ActBlue’s history. Grassroots donors raised $385,176,557 for 9,335 Democratic campaigns, progressive organizations, and nonprofits on ActBlue in Q3, more than double the amount raised in Q3 2016 before the presidential election. Q3 2018 also includes our three biggest dollar days ever: September 28th, 29th, and 30th.

Small-dollar donors raised over $11 million (crossing the $10 million threshold for the first time ever) on September 28th, the day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. The momentum continued over the weekend, with donors raising a staggering $16,853,013 on September 30th. And the records didn’t end there: Grassroots donors also made more donations in a single day than ever before on the 30th (307,320 contributions). All of this energy at the end of the month helped make September the biggest dollar month in ActBlue’s history, with $184,841,230 raised by passionate small-dollar donors.

This money is coming at a critical point in the 2018 election cycle. Sixty-eight percent of the money we disbursed to campaigns and organizations on October 1st was sent via wire transfer, which meant campaigns and organizations could start to use it that day. This unprecedented small-dollar support is empowering Democrats to compete with Republicans bankrolled by mega-donors in the final weeks before Election Day, when GOTV efforts and ad buys can make all the difference. And the GOP is beginning to realize its super PACs can’t keep up with Democrats’ people power.

Cycle-to-Cycle Comparison

2014 Cycle through Q3 2014 2016 Cycle through Q3 2016 2018 Cycle through Q3 2018
Contributions 6,795,206 19,206,237 33,665,261
Total Amount $258,734,705 $634,133,519 $1,297,262,888
Average Contribution Size $38.07 $33.01 $38.53
Unique Campaigns, Committees, and Organizations 4,828 6,196 14,039


We’re in the home stretch now, and there’s no telling how big the rest of this cycle will be — small-dollar donors raised more in Q3 2018 ($385,176,557) than in the entirety of the 2014 election cycle ($335 million)! With $1.3 billion already raised on ActBlue this election cycle by 4.3 million grassroots donors and counting, it’s clear more people than ever before are participating in our democracy and making their voices heard.

Total ActBlue Volume by Election Cycle

If you have questions about this post, get in touch with us at info@actblue.com. And if you’re looking to set up an ActBlue account for your group, contact support@actblue.com!