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 Joe Biden and Donald Trump, though I have previously been on the mailing lists of 28 Democratic candidates! 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!
It took some time for the Trump emails to kick in, so I started officially tracking his list on July 7. I have been tracking Biden’s for longer, but I will start comparing them as of July 7. All of these emails are going to a new email, and I have not donated, filled out surveys, signed petitions, or otherwise interacted with either candidate’s emails.
The rules I try to follow for the various categories are laid out in The Framework.
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…