Online campaign consultancy Engage – who, helmed by Patrick Ruffini and Mindy Finn, helped out on Scott Brown’s upset in January – released a new wrinkle to their iContribute platform today:
Through iContribute Slates, political action committees can now raise money for directly for a slate of endorsed candidates. PACs can easily set up their pages, pick the candidates they want to highlight, and offer supporters a chance to support selected candidates with a contribution of whatever amount they wish.
Last month I discussed why the right doesn’t really need an ActBlue-esque clearinghouse for online fundraising – and Slate is a good example of why (despite Ruffini’s contention otherwise within the post). Slate isn’t as much a fundraising tool as it is a chance for a PAC to become transparent and helpful to other campaigns – it’s more about communication than money.
Tim Pawlenty’s FreedomFirst PAC, which Ruffini cites in his post, is a good example. A donor could cut the PAC a check of up to $5000, which would then be distributed among various candidates. Or, through Slate, that donor could give $2,400 each to eight different candidates. Not only does that add up to a lot more, but it lets the PAC share contacts with the campaign – and someone who donates $50 today may be able to donate another $50 in two weeks, or may be interested in helping out in other ways, like making remote GOTV calls.
When ActBlue launched, it transformed passion into money. Slate transforms donors passionate about one candidate or committee into potential activists for others.