Political Crowd Fundraising is an innovative way of raising financing from donors online or even at events. Instead of raising a huge chunk of the campaign funds from a few wealthy people, the general public participates at scale. Crowd funding facilitates the collection of small amounts of money that have been raised by many ordinary people. This concept is not necessarily new; people have been making political contributions in the past. Crowdfunding provides a digital distribution mechanism for an old concept.
This concept became popular during President Obama’s election in 2008. Its power was however evident in his subsequent reelection campaigns in 2011. That year, Obama’s presidential campaign was able to raise a total of $118.8 million. Of this amount, 72% was as a result of donations of under $1000. 48% was from donors who gave $200 or less. President Obama’s main challenger Mitt Romney’s figures were significantly lower. Only 18% of the campaign funds came from donations of under $1000 and 9% from those who gave $200 or less. Romney’s funds came from a wealthy few. Obama raised more money than Romney, about $60 million, thus helping to clinch the election.
Some saw Obama’s win in 2011 as turning point in campaign financing where campaign funding was no longer exclusively funded by large corporations and millionaires. These “big boys” would then would then try to tailor policy to suit their own interests. However, this was not really the case. Both candidates actually received an incredible amount of campaign funds from the large corporations and millionaires. Consequently, they still are a force to reckon with in as far as political elections are concerned.
The evident correlation between the political contributions and voting is one advantage associated with political crowdfunding. Donors, who have contributed to a campaign, however little they may have pledged, are more likely to turn out and vote. Their contributions act as incentives for them to show up in large numbers come Election Day. The candidate who raises the most amount of money has a greater chance of being elected. According to some estimates, the voter eats up close to 80% of the campaign funds.
The public has become accustomed to listening to a great deal of propaganda and political rhetoric from political parties. This is usually bankrolled by the big corporations during election time. The emergence of Political Action Committees (PACs) has also made things worse. Crowdfunding helps to alleviate some of these problems.
The political teams place ads or promos on theirs and others’ sites. Individuals can choose to pledge money in support of any particular campaign. The money can then be used by the campaign team for paying for needed campaign expenses which could include everything from advertising to travel.
A crowd fundraising campaign that is properly managed can be a priceless asset and a means to reach the political stakeholders. It can end up going viral and in the process attract the attention of other traditional media platforms. A successful campaign shows the prospective donors what plans the candidate has for them. If the ideas resonate with the donors, it can help to be a positive feedback loop for raising capital and increasing voter turnout.
Crowd fundraising presents an important phase shift in political participation: it can help to fill a needed funding gap in your campaign financing. Contact us for more information.