Friday, 14 July 2023

DeSantis’ Bet To Win The Money Race: No Spam, No Tricks

 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is betting his campaign that a more ethical approach to fundraising will build donor trust and help the GOP out-raise Democrats in the long run.

DeSantis’ team says it is staying away from the tricks and gimmicks that are a staple of political fundraising in both political parties, according to The New York Times. The Florida Republican’s presidential campaign has pledged to avoid spammy and irritating fundraising tactics, such as desperate pleas and fake deadlines.

To reinforce that message, the DeSantis campaign headquarters in Tallahassee has a wall devoted to tens of thousands of small-dollar donors. The first name and last initial of each person who has contributed to the DeSantis campaign is written on the wall in blue, red, or black script.

“We want our staff to look at that wall, remember who supports us, to remember why we’re here,” DeSantis campaign manager Generra Peck told the Times.

The Democratic Party fundraising machine, which rests on its online platform ActBlue, has long held an advantage over the GOP. Democrats typically have deeper pockets that can translate to more advertising and better awareness. The Republican Party’s answer to ActBlue, a platform called WinRed, was built 15 years later and has not yet helped the GOP match Democratic fundraising.

Former President Donald Trump is the most successful online fundraiser the Republican Party has ever had, according to the Times. Much of Trump’s success can be attributed to fundraising tactics that the DeSantis campaign has now sworn off.

The DeSantis campaign believes that tactics that Trump and numerous other politicians across the political spectrum have embraced have hurt fundraising as small-dollar donors become weary from constant pleas for money.

These types of tactics include things like setting the default for online donations as “recurring donations” so donations are made every month when the donor only believes that they are making a one-time donation, according to a separate report from The Times. Those who gave had to “wade through a fine-print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out.”

The DeSantis team is betting that a more measured approach will lead to long-term gains and help Republicans cut into the money advantage held by Democrats.

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