ActBlue

ActBlue is an American nonprofit technology organization established in June 2004 that enables left-leaning nonprofits, Democratic candidates, and progressive groups to raise money from individual donors on the Internet by providing them with online fundraising software. Its stated mission is to "empower small-dollar donors".[1]

ActBlue
ActBlue logo.svg
Formation2004; 17 years ago (2004)
TypeNonprofit political action committee
Location
Executive Director
Erin Hill
AffiliationsDemocratic Party
Websitesecure.actblue.com

ActivitiesEdit

 
Co-founder Benjamin Rahn at a fundraiser in 2006

ActBlue does not endorse individual candidates.[2] The organization is open to Democratic campaigns, candidates, committees, and progressive 501(c)4 organizations. Groups that use ActBlue pay a 3.95% credit card processing fee. As a nonprofit, ActBlue runs its own, separate fundraising program and accepts tips on contributions to pay for its expenses.[3][1][4]

ActBlue was founded in 2004 by Benjamin Rahn and Matt DeBergalis.[5] In February 2016, ActBlue launched AB Charities, an arm of the organization that makes ActBlue's fundraising tools available to nonprofits.[6] Both the 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential nominees, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, used ActBlue during their primary and general election campaigns.[7][8] Bernie Sanders' 2016 and 2020 primary campaigns also used ActBlue for fundraising.[9]

Federal Election Commission reportingEdit

ActBlue reports to the Federal Election Commission all contributors to Federal campaigns, regardless of the amount.[10] When a candidate for a Federal election raises money through ActBlue, ActBlue serves as a conduit for election law purposes.[11][12] All conduit contributions are itemized and reported. By contrast, there is a $200 threshold for reporting individuals who contribute directly to a candidate committee. Many small donors, whose names would ordinarily be shielded, are thus exposed to the public.[13]

FundraisingEdit

ActBlue raised $19 million in its first three years, from 2004 to 2007.[14] In the 2005-2006 campaign, the site raised $17 million for 1500 Democratic candidates, with $15.5 million going to congressional campaigns. By August 2007, the site had raised $25.5 million.[15]

In the 2018 midterms elections, ActBlue raised $1.6 billion for Democratic candidates.[16] According to FEC data, from January 2017 to October 2018 Beto O'Rourke had raised $45 million through ActBlue for his unsuccessful run against Ted Cruz, 48% of which came from outside Texas.[17]

In 2019, ActBlue raised roughly $1 billion for a wide variety of campaigns.[18] The Daily Beast notes that between January and mid-July 2019, ActBlue brought in $420 million, and that "According to the organization, that total came from 3.3 million unique donors and was dispersed to almost 9,000 Democratic campaigns and organizations, with $246 million coming in the second quarter alone."[19]

In 2020, several fundraising records were broken. In the week following the killing of George Floyd, on May 31, over $19 million was raised, the highest single-day total so far that year. On June 1, that yearly record was again broken with $20 million in donations. Over half of donations in the week following the killing went to charitable (non-political) causes, including one ActBlue page devoted to a bail fund which raised over $1.5 million from over 20,000 donors.[20] In the day following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, over $30 million was donated through ActBlue, again breaking the single-day fundraising record.[21]

Related productsEdit

In 2019, the Republican Party created a rival platform, WinRed, to counter ActBlue's strength in small-donor fundraising.[22]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Pindell, James (10 May 2017). "How a Somerville nonprofit revolutionized American politics". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  2. ^ Willis, Derek (9 October 2014). "How ActBlue Became a Powerful Force in Fund-Raising". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 4 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Kroll, Andy. "The $2 Billion Powerhouse Behind Jon Ossoff". Mother Jones (July/August 2017). Archived from the original on 2018-04-11. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  4. ^ "Pricing". ActBlue.com. ActBlue. Archived from the original on 2017-07-12. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  5. ^ Wayne, Leslie (29 November 2007). "A Fund-Raising Rainmaker Arises Online". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 June 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Hill, Erin (17 February 2016). "ActBlue Charities is HERE". ActBlue. Archived from the original on 22 July 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  7. ^ "I just gave to Sheldon Whitehouse!". ActBlue. Archived from the original on 2019-05-08. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  8. ^ "Chip in to elect Joe Biden". ActBlue. Archived from the original on 2020-03-13. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  9. ^ "Case study: Bernie 2016". Revolution Messaging. Revolution Messaging. Archived from the original on 2018-04-12. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  10. ^ "What happens to my money when I donate?". Archived from the original on 2020-07-14. Retrieved 2020-07-14. As required by federal law, ActBlue reports and itemizes (that means list the donor name & information) for every single federal donation that comes through our platform, including donations under $200.
  11. ^ "Earmarked contributions". FEC.gov. Archived from the original on 2020-07-14. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  12. ^ "Why is ActBlue considered a PAC? | ActBlue Support". Archived from the original on 2020-07-24. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  13. ^ Primo, David M. (18 August 2019). "Personal Data About Small-Donor Democrats Is All Over the Internet". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2020-07-16. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  14. ^ Mosk, Matthew (11 March 2007). "Donations Pooled Online Are Getting Candidates' Attention". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 13 July 2018. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  15. ^ Helman, Scott (7 August 2007). "Internet-based PAC driving Democratic push". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 21 September 2020. Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  16. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (23 June 2019). "GOP to launch new fundraising site as Dems crush the online money game". POLITICO. Archived from the original on 16 March 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Lavine, Carrie; Zubak-Skess, Chris (October 25, 2018). "How ActBlue Is Trying To Turn Small Donations Into A Blue Wave". Fivethirtyeight. Graphics by Rachael Dottle. ABC News. Archived from the original on May 30, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  18. ^ Hakim, Danny; Thrush, Glenn (9 March 2020). "How the Trump Campaign Took Over the G.O.P." The New York Times. Archived from the original on 31 March 2020. Retrieved 28 March 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Resnick, Gideon (17 July 2019). "ActBlue Has Brought in a Whopping $420 Million This Year". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on 24 July 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (1 June 2020). "Protests Spur Surge in Donations, Giving ActBlue Its Biggest Day of the Year". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2 June 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^ "ActBlue shatters donation record in hours after RBG's death". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  22. ^ Isenstadt, Alex. "GOP to launch new fundraising site as Dems crush the online money game". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-06-25.

External linksEdit