Ben Rahn on Online Political Fundraising

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"Fundraising is being transformed in fundamental ways by new online tools. At a minimum, online tools for fundraising have opened the door to small donors in a way never before imagined. And with the growth in small donor giving, old assumptions built on major donor behavior, like donors making zero-sum decisions about who to give to each year, are being rewritten. These new tools allow us create peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns and build donor communities that expand beyond our own websites into exisiting online communities in fascinating ways.

Benjamin Rahn, one of the founders of ActBlue, spoke to the Roundtable in January about these new trends. ActBlue broke new ground in the 2004 elections by giving individuals and organizations the ability to easily raise money for candidates, regardless of whether they lived in the same state or district as the candidate. As a result, ActBlue was used to raise more than $17 million in 2005-06. Now the founders of ActBlue are expanding into the advocacy world, preparing its tools so they can be used to raise funds to support issue campaigns and non-profit organizations."