In 2017, small-dollar donors around the country stood up to the hateful, dangerous actions of Trump and the GOP by diving into advocacy and activism. We still have more work to do, but these supporters showed us just how much grassroots movements can achieve. In a tumultuous year, their power was truly a bright spot. Keep scrolling to see what we learned from a year of resistance.
Small-dollar donors were a force to be reckoned with in 2017. They were always ready to respond to the GOP’s disastrous actions, from the first travel ban in January to the tax bill fight at the end of the year. As a result, they raised a staggering $522 million for Democratic candidates, progressive organizations, and nonprofits.
AVERAGE CONTRIBUTION SIZE
TOTAL GROUPS RAISING MONEY
A record-breaking number of candidates and organizations raised money on ActBlue in 2017. Brand-new candidates chose to run for office, and advocacy organizations led the fight against Trump and the GOP’s policies. And small-dollar donors were excited to help fund these groups with grassroots contributions. With so many candidates, organizers, and donors engaged this early in the election cycle, Democrats will have the resources they need to compete in more races than ever in 2018.
Even though congressional elections were more than a year away, we saw a gigantic surge in the number of Democrats using ActBlue to run for office at every level.
MORE CANDIDATES FOR STATE LEGISLATURE THAN 2015
MORE CANDIDATES FOR U.S. HOUSE THAN 2015
MORE CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR THAN 2013
In 2017, folks from coast to coast joined the fight against the GOP. Our people power is growing every day Trump is in office. Concerned citizens are in this fight for the long haul.
Grassroots donors made over 16 million contributions in 2017. That’s 6.9 times the number of contributions we handled in 2013 and 2.6 times the number of contributions we handled in 2015.
More than half of all 2017 donors gave for the first time in 2017. It’s been amazing to see what grassroots movements can do when more people get off the sidelines, recognize the importance of supporting the candidates they believe in, and take action for the first time. Interact with this chart to see when 2017 donors made their first contribution.
The map below shows that small-dollar donors across the entire country were motivated to give.
The pace of news felt faster than ever in 2017, but small-dollar donors never missed a beat. They kept up with breaking news and Trump’s never-ending tweets and jumped into action during natural disasters. We took a closer look at some of the busiest days.
Many people made their first donation ever via ActBlue in response to Trump and the GOP’s harmful actions in 2017. Hover over this chart on desktop to see how many donors gave for the first time each day. Days in pink include the news of the day.
Grassroots donors were tuned in and ready to fight back almost instantaneously. Below you can see contributions by minute for two different days — May 3 (blue), a busy but steady day given that Republicans were working on their health care bill, and May 4 (orange), the day House Republicans passed the bill. You can see just how immediate small-dollar donors’ response to the news was. Our engineers work hard to ensure that our platform is ready for spikes like these, because donors need us more than ever during these big moments. Hover on desktop to see how many groups received contributions and how many forms were used for donating each minute.
Virginia is unique because it holds statewide elections in odd-numbered years, so political pundits saw its elections as a referendum on Trump’s agenda and job performance. Voters overwhelmingly came out against him, nearly flipping control of the state house. These incredible wins demonstrate what can be achieved when smaller campaigns have access to top-notch resources like our tools. Statewide, 76% of all Democratic candidates and 93.8% of all Democratic winners used ActBlue to fundraise.
SEATS FLIPPED BY DEMOCRATS
SEATS WON BY DEMOCRATS
OF CANDIDATES THAT FLIPPED SEATS USED ACTBLUE
Our Tandem Fundraising feature makes it easy for supporters to use a single form to split a donation between multiple groups. The graph below shows Tandem Fundraising for every day in 2017, with the size of the circles representing the total Tandem dollars for each day. You can interact with this chart to see how many groups were using Tandem Fundraising and what news was breaking, from hurricanes to wildfires to Republican legislation.
Our mission is to provide the best grassroots fundraising tools possible to candidates and organizations of every size and budget. We believe a first-time city council candidate should have access to the same exact tools as a presidential candidate. We’re constantly testing features and designing new ones to make sure Democrats, advocacy organizations, and nonprofits have a competitive edge.
We launched an integration with Account Updater late in 2016 that automatically updates lost and expired credit cards used for recurring contributions at no additional cost. This ensures donations make it to the causes and campaigns small-dollar donors support, no matter what, and that these donors can continue to make new donations with a single click. Account Updater is quickly becoming a vital feature that has already saved millions of dollars in grassroots contributions and made the giving process easier for donors.
ActBlue Express allows donors to give to their favorite candidates and causes with a single click. There are over 4.4 million ActBlue Express users on our platform, and they’re twice as likely to give to multiple candidates or organizations compared to non-ActBlue Express users. 64.5% of all contributions in 2017 were made via ActBlue Express.
We’re always working to help campaigns and organizations meet donors where they are — and increasingly, they’re on their phones. 40.8% of all contributions in 2017 were mobile. We made Apple Pay available on all ActBlue forms to give folks another easy option for donating via mobile.
% OF TOTAL MOBILE DONATIONS VIA APPLE PAY
TOTAL DOLLARS RAISED VIA APPLE PAY
More than any other year, 2017 showed us just how powerful small-dollar donors can be. In the face of an administration that feeds on prejudice, folks around the country chose to give to Democrats who were standing up for their constituents rather than special interests, advocacy organizations leading the resistance, and nonprofits addressing our most urgent needs. We believe there is no limit to what this grassroots movement can achieve if we keep up this momentum, and we look forward to getting our country back on track in 2018 — together.