With Patriot Pass, Republicans Finally Get Their Own ActBlue

Online fundraising

Via Politico, Republicans will finally build a central digital fundraising hub, something the Democrats have benefited from for fourteen years in the form of ActBlue:

Following weeks of closed-door discussions, Republicans have agreed to create a new platform dubbed Patriot Pass, which will be used to cultivate and process online donations. The GOP — whose jungle-like ecosystem of vendors has long fought bitterly over contracts and dollars — has struggled in the past to create such a unified system.

The accord, revealed for the first time to POLITICO by officials at the center of the effort, has received the explicit blessing of party leaders. Under the arrangement, Data Trust, the RNC’s designated clearinghouse of voter information, will form a joint venture with Revv, a donation processor used by the Trump campaign. The two entities will form the nucleus of Patriot Pass.

ActBlue processed approximately $1.6 BILLION in donations for over 14,000 Democratic candidates in 2018, including more than half of all individual donations made to House and Senate campaigns. Some candidates ran all digital donations through ActBlue, while others used it to supplement their own fundraising systems. The platform brings three basic benefits to the Democratic side:

  • Donation processing for candidates who may not have other options
  • Trust, since grassroots donors know that a campaign on ActBlue is what it claims to be
  • Cross-campaign one-click donations

Around half of all emails are now opened on mobile devices, making that last attribute particularly important. Who wants to enter a long credit card number into a tiny screen? With one-click donations, someone can give to one campaign, store their payment info, then donate to any other campaign on ActBlue with a single click. A boon to impulse-giving! And a big positive for the entire Democratic movement.

Assuming that nothing goes catastrophically wrong during implementation, Republicans finally seem to be catching up. In this case, catching up probably means, “raising more money”. As I put it in Campaigns & Elections a couple of months ago, “Given that the Trump campaign raised upwards of $240 million from grassroots donors largely recruited via Facebook in just a few months in 2016, Republicans would seem to be leaving money on the table if they don’t make it as easy as possible for supporters to give down-ballot.” Perhaps someone was listening.


Written by
Colin Delany
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