“The rapid success of WinRed is testament to unprecedented party unity behind the need to take on ActBlue — quickly and aggressively,” WinRed president Gerrit Lansing wrote in a memo.
The boon for WinRed comes as Republicans scramble to replace many of the in-person fundraisers that filled their coffers and combat Democrats’ advantage in online donations. Democrats up and down the ballot have routinely crushed their Republican counterparts in fundraising, largely from small-dollar donors who contribute through ActBlue, a Democratic payment processor that launched in 2004 and has morphed into a fundraising behemoth.
Top Republican officials have warned that the wide gulf between Democrats and Republicans in fundraising was creating a “green tsunami” of Democratic spending that is putting otherwise sleepy races on the map, especially in the battle for the Senate.
Republican officials are hopeful that WinRed can eventually help the GOP close that gap, pointing to the continued growth of the platform and widespread adoption among Republican campaigns. In his memo, Lansing said more than 90 percent of Republican House and Senate members are on the platform, and over 1,300 campaigns use it to raise money.
Small-dollar fundraising relies, in part, on ease of use and forming a habit for donors, something that ActBlue has mastered over the years. Features like one-click donations, which saves donors’ information on the platform and allows supporters to donate to any candidate just by clicking once, is key for building a reliable donor base not just for one candidate, but across the party.
There’s early signs that Republicans are starting to condition small donors in the same way. WinRed says donors who have an account on the platform, which enables one-click donations, have contributed over $416 million for the cycle. The platform said 317,000 donors have given to at least three campaigns.
Lansing’s memo says that, for the top-40 fundraising House and Senate campaigns (and national party committees), WinRed has processed 52 percent of all fundraising since the platform launched earlier this cycle.
Both Democrats and Republicans have seen online donations explode around President Donald Trump’s candidacy — especially in the coronavirus era — and Trump appears to still be a driving force for grassroots online donors.
WinRed says donation pages that mention the word “Trump” on average “convert double the amount of donors and money than pages that do not.”