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Sun Nov 18, 2018, 01:33 AM

Let's hear it for ActBlue!

ActBlue, the Democratsí Not-So-Secret Weapon

By Lisa Lerer

There have been a lot of Democratic winners this election cycle. Many are historic firsts. More than two dozen are veterans. And more than 100 are women.

But all have at least one thing in common: ActBlue.

The online giving platform emerged as the piggy bank of the Democratic resistance in the 2018 midterms, funneling nearly $1.6 billion in contributions to Democratic candidates and causes. Thatís more than an 80 percent increase over what it brought in four years ago.

And while ActBlue wasnít the sole source of small-dollar donors for Democrats, it was certainly a powerful one: The candidates, committees and organizations who used the platform ó more than 14,500 of them ó paid credit card transaction fees and, in turn, got to outsource their financial collections to tested, easy-to-use software. (The group, a nonprofit, funds its staff of about 100 through donations.)

[...]

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/16/us/politics/on-politics-actblue-democrats.html



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Y'all been hiding actblue from me; I never had it so easy and simple to donate before.

27 replies, 2878 views

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Let's hear it for ActBlue! (Original post)
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2018 OP
PaulX2 Nov 2018 #1
Eric J in MN Nov 2018 #2
BigmanPigman Nov 2018 #3
Heartstrings Nov 2018 #5
NBachers Nov 2018 #4
KY_EnviroGuy Nov 2018 #6
lunatica Nov 2018 #7
iluvtennis Nov 2018 #8
DFW Nov 2018 #9
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2018 #10
DFW Nov 2018 #11
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2018 #12
DFW Nov 2018 #13
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2018 #15
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2018 #16
DFW Nov 2018 #20
Hermit-The-Prog Nov 2018 #22
Blue_true Nov 2018 #18
DFW Nov 2018 #21
Blue_true Nov 2018 #23
DFW Nov 2018 #24
Blue_true Nov 2018 #27
JNelson6563 Nov 2018 #14
Demovictory9 Nov 2018 #17
LAS14 Nov 2018 #19
Niagara Nov 2018 #25
YessirAtsaFact Nov 2018 #26

Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 01:39 AM

1. I Told Party Chair To Pump Actblue 10 Years Ago

 

I was ignored.

I was right.

Make giving easy.

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Response to PaulX2 (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 01:48 AM

2. Which party chair? NT

NT

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 02:53 AM

3. I donate a little each month, have been for over a year.

I get tons of messages from them (actually the people they support or are affiliated with) in my gmail. I think Daily KOS is connected to them too.

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 03:18 AM

5. I do as well...

Not much, but every little bit helps.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 03:04 AM

4. Yup, they let me place checkers all over the board. I always include the tip, to keep 'em chugging.

Money well spent!

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 03:33 AM

6. Agree and a big shout-out for ActBlue.

I've used them for years but never more heavy than this past election.

They made me aware of when a campaign was struggling for funds, or when the Repug was pulling ahead......

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 03:51 AM

7. Oh! Heck yeah!

An Internet organization worth every cent and donít think it didnít make a huge difference. Itís as trustworthy as they come!

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 04:10 AM

8. Used ActBlue to donate to the Dems in the midterms. First used it to do Hillary donations for

2016 primaries and General Elections.

Very easy to use.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 04:30 AM

9. I'm glad that SOME people had positive experiences with Act Blue. It was the opposite for me

It didn't take long before they started flagging half of my contributions for "review," and then they started categorically denying my contributions altogether. I asked for help, and they gave me some mumbo-jumbo phony (and useless) tech "support." When I then found out that they take 4% for themselves out of every contribution, in addition to the credit card companies' fees, I gave up on Act Blue altogether. I have seen no reason to start up again. If I want to contribute $1000 to some campaign that is struggling and needs every cent, the last thing I am going to do is have Act Blue subtract $40 for themselves before a cent gets to my candidate. When I sent $1000 to Beto, he got $1000, not the $920 he would have gotten even if Act Blue HAD been accepting my contributions.

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Response to DFW (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 04:57 AM

10. talking about campaign fee?

From the "Campaign FAQ"


For Campaigns

What is ActBlue?

ActBlue is a Democratic fundraising website that your campaign can use to process credit card donations. ActBlue does not charge a setup fee. There is a 3.95% processing fee associated with your account, which covers the cost of getting contribution from the donor's credit card to your campaign.

https://secure.actblue.com/content/campaign-faq


Seems awfully cheap, to me. The candidate's campaign doesn't have to deal with online processing of credit card donations, and the reach is global. Beats the hell out of every candidate setting up their own online contribution processing site and getting it known by everyone who might want to contribute.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 05:53 AM

11. The 3.95% fee seems quite opaque

And their software sucks. Not only that, they are miserable in their tech support. After a year, I gave up. I just spend a euro per contribution on a stamp and send checks from my U.S. account to the candidates directly. That way, I don't have to deal with Act Blue's "we are flagging your contribution" or their "your contribution did not go through." My cards "go through" everywhere worldwide EXCEPT with Act Blue. I have had it with their BS (and totally useless) explanations as to why, and how to fix it. I gave up on them long ago, and have no intention of going back. While in the States, I have heard from plenty of other Democrats that have had exactly the same issues with Act Blue that I did, so it's not like I am unique in my experiences or my decision to write them off.

If it works for you, fine. If it works for others, fine. I have no problem with that. It does not work for me, and it does not work for others that have had the same non-support from Act Blue that I did when I tried. I am not recommending anyone for whom they work to stop. I am only saying that not everyone has had the positive experiences with them that you describe.

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Response to DFW (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 06:31 AM

12. it bothers McConnell and the GOP

As the article states, actblue funnelled "nearly $1.6 billion in contributions to Democratic candidates and causes" during the 2018 midterms.

The politico article it references states:

"The GOP leader said Republicans were getting swamped in the hunt for online givers and that he has charged his political team with coming up with a solution to enable them to compete in 2020."

Money troubles: The GOPís problem with cash
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/12/republicans-fundraising-donations-2020-983243?nname=playbook&nid=0000014f-1646-d88f-a1cf-5f46b7bd0000&nrid=0000014e-f115-dd93-ad7f-f9152b350001&nlid=630318



This was the first time I've used actblue to reach candidates I would otherwise have not donated to. I had no problems. Apparently, there were enough small contributors who were successful in donating through actblue to throw a scare into the Republicans.

This is a good thing for all of us. It would be nice to get feedback from the over 14,500 candidates, committees, and organizations that used actblue this year to see how they feel about it.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 06:43 AM

13. Agreed that candidate feedback would be useful

If enough of them came to the conclusion that Act Blue's help was a crucial factor in their electoral success, then that might encourage Act Blue to improve their software glitches and get some tech support that lived up to the name.

If they collected $1.6 billion then they took in over $60 million for themselves. One would think that with that kind of money, they could hire some software experts to update their programs and still have enough left over for coffee in the morning.

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Response to DFW (Reply #13)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 03:23 PM

15. here's one from last year, when it was smaller


Jon Ossoff, the upstart Georgia Democrat running to fill the seat of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, has used ActBlue to help raise $23 million (and counting), enabling him to mount a serious campaign for a district thatís been in Republican hands for almost 40 years. ďThere is zero chance that we would be able to raise this much money on any other platform,Ē says Greg Berlin, a consultant for Ossoffís campaign.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/06/the-2-billion-powerhouse-behind-jon-ossoff/

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Response to DFW (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 03:30 PM

16. your bookkeeping sucks; 0.0395 % is tiny

If you sent $1000 to Beto, he didn't get $1000. His campaign has to process that donation to meet the requirements of the law. It costs money to do that.

Also, from before the election:
That puts O'Rourke's tally at nearly $40 million ó an astonishing sum not just for a challenger but for any Senate candidate anywhere, ever.

Donations flowing through ActBlue alone account for $25.4 million of that ó another eye-popping sum that shows the power of harvesting donations from hundreds of thousands of low-dollar supporters, rather than having to rely on the relative few who are willing to cut a check for $2,700, the current legal cap.

"I don't know the last Democrat who's raised that much money," said Jennifer Duffy, managing editor at the Cook Political Report and a top Senate campaign handicapper.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/2018-elections/2018/10/02/actblue-donors-alone-sent-25-million-beto-orourke-costliest-senate-race-2018



The bandwidth, the reach, the processing of donations, the web site, and the report to the candidate provided by ActBlue are cheap at 0.0395 %.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 02:54 AM

20. I don't think so

Their fee as I saw it was 3.95%, or .0395% of the total, not 0.0395%. or .000395% of the total. If you can convince me that they only take 3.95 cents out of every $100, then you have my apologies. If it's $3.95 out of every $100, then I'll accept yours.

And their software still sucks.

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Response to DFW (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 07:54 AM

22. sorry about that % stuck on a multiplier!

Sorry about that -- it's 0.0395 cents per $1, or 3.95%, as you correctly state.

My bookkeeping sucks for putting that % (!) in there and yours does by forgetting the costs associated with donations.

It is still a tiny amount for what the candidate receives. The centralization and scale benefits make it a good bargain for campaigns from small local offices to national elections.

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Response to DFW (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 06:00 PM

18. I use ActBlue.

I use my debit card. Never had an issue. ActBlue requests a tip (you don't have to give one) of I think 10% and 20%, that pays the staff.

I have used it since I sent my first donation via the woman that started it. I did two more donations that year and got a Christmas card from the entire staff and the woman that started it, maybe 9 people total. Absolutely have never had a problem with the portal and I trust the people who run it and the software immensely.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 03:05 AM

21. It's not universal

But I heard from plenty of other Democrats back home that they had immense problems trying to contribute with Act Blue. The first year or two, I had no problems. Then they started flagging my contributions for review. I asked why, Their answer, they had no idea, but maybe because my contributions were coming from overseas, even though the account and credit cards were in Dallas. The answer4 that they had no idea was not exactly reassuring.

Then they started refusing my credit cards altogether. I asked why, as no one else on this planet was refusing them. They gave me some BS explanation how to fix it, which was utterly useless. So, I went back to direct contributions or checks. If Act Blue works for you and you are cool with their fees, be my guest. It does not work for me and I am not cool with their fees. The first year. I must have made forty or fifty contributions through them. I didn't get a Christmas card, but I wasn't contributing for the goal of getting a Christmas card from them. I was contributing to help the candidates in question. Fortunately, I am still quite able to do that without Act Blue.

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Response to DFW (Reply #21)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 02:12 PM

23. I was likely among the first people to contribute.

That may be why I got a Christmas card that first year. I have contributed a lot more since that first year and have not gotten a card, but I am perfectly ok with that because they are so valuable.

My guess is your foreign address maybe caused the flag. You appear to be politically savvy and well connected, so you likely know more about campaign contributions that I do. But if you look at campaign contribution rules, foreign donations fall into a special bucket, versus domestic ones like mine. A foreign agent can get us banking accounts as easily as you or I can and make donations from overseas. That is just my insight into the matter.

The thing that I love about ActBlue is that it allows an unknown democrat who has not attracted any attention to get funds and punch above their weight early on against a well funded republican (I don't contribute to democratic primary contests unless one of the democrats is wholly unacceptable to a progressive person), instead of getting knocked out as soon as they step out of their corner.

Cheers;

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 05:39 PM

24. My donations were all strictly domestic as far as legality goes

US (Dallas) based credit card, US bank account, US-born US citizen, US address. The actual order would have come from Europe, but always from the same IP address, so I get flagging it once, not twenty times out of fifty. Then one time out of the blue, they said my credit card was not good, which was incorrect. I notified them, and they sent me some useless mumbo-jumbo as to how to fix it, and their "solution" didn't work. When I was in the States, I asked some fellow Democrats at a few fund-raisers I attended, and they said they had similar problems, and had just ceased to use Act Blue altogether. I'm sure it still works from enough people that they are still doing fine, but it is NOT flawless, and they are not universally loved. I am fine with anyone using them if they feel comfortable with it. I am not. They don't need me and I don't need them. The world won't stop turning because of that.

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Response to DFW (Reply #24)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 07:43 PM

27. We all work for the same goal, regardless of how we contribute money. Take care. nt

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2018, 07:39 AM

14. I use it liberally!

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 03:42 PM

17. I gave thru this org this year

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Fri Nov 23, 2018, 06:01 PM

19. Kick!

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 06:16 PM

25. Kicking for visibility! n/t

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Original post)

Sat Nov 24, 2018, 06:35 PM

26. I gave about $500 to 10 or 12 different candidates through them in 2018

I didn't have a single problem.

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