Joe Biden invited me to a different sort of fundraiser on Monday.
For all new readers: Welcome! I am currently on the mailing lists of 1 candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, but I’ve been on 28 mailing lists! This blog breaks down recent emails with charts and excerpts. If you already know all of this, feel free to skip to the next chart!
I signed up to all mailing lists either on May 21 or the day the candidate announced, whichever was later. Using a different email address, I have donated at least $1 to all candidates who have been on a debate stage (I have given additional donations to my preferred candidates through my personal email, but the campaigns have linked the two accounts together and may ask for more as a result).
When showing breakdowns by campaigns, there will usually be 2 numbers. Emails to my non-donor account will be indicated by a darker color/top bar in horizontal bar charts. Emails to my donor account will be indicated by a lighter color/bottom bar.
Unless otherwise specified, all other charts combine the donor and non-donor numbers, as they are roughly 1-for-1, so the percentages and relative differences don’t change much. You can divide the numbers in half to get the rough estimate for what someone not signed up twice would be receiving. The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.
If you want specific data on any particular day, feel free to drop a comment!
Once again, Joe Biden sent me 3 emails as both a donor and a non-donor.
Of those emails, one of them had two asks, both for a donation and for me to attend an event.
The event in question was a virtual grassroots fundraiser, and the cost to attend was literally “whatever you’d like.” This is a joint venture between Pete Buttigieg and Biden, with Pete asking Biden questions, some of his own, and some submitted from the attendees. Unlike previous fundraisers for candidates, there were no listed ticket prices. It literally was “make a donation through this link and you get in,” just like with the “free” stickers.
Grassroots fundraisers are really important to me. They are based on the idea that the experience of a political fundraiser, often regarded as high-dollar closed-door events in the past, should be equally available to folks chipping in $5, $25 at a time.Pete Buttigieg
This idea of small donors making big differences has really been stressed by multiple candidates throughout this primary. While some, like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders said no to any sort of fundraising event, others, like Pete here, held fundraisers at a variety of price points. They were two different ways of including as many people as possible into their campaign.
Honestly, I’m glad to see Joe is trying this approach. I have checked out some of his virtual fundraisers in the past and been completely priced out. Especially in today’s economic world, it’s hard to feel included when you’re expected to give an entire car payment just for a chance to hear your candidate speak.
In addition to his fundraiser, Biden wanted to remind me that I hadn’t joined his focus group yet. He also wanted to offer me a sticker with a new collage design that the Students for Joe group had a competition to design.
I have to say, when campaigns open up their design to volunteers, they frequently get really cool and creative results. So many of my favorite campaign designs from all of the candidates came from non-staffers being given the license to take the brand and go wild. Elizabeth Warren’s artistic quotes come to mind, and Andrew Yang’s “Yang Gang.”
Maybe it’s a sign that campaigns should be more trusting with their supporters and their brand…