Wednesday, May 02, 2007

On fundraising

My Liberal friends who are concerned about these numbers...

Conservatives: $5.2 million from more than 45,000 donors
NDP: $1.2 million from almost 15,000 donors
Liberals: $531,141 from 4,365 donors

…may also want to consider these numbers:

Liberals: 31 per cent
Conservatives:30 per cent
NDP: 15 per cent
Greens: 13 per cent

These things need to be kept in perspective and viewed in context. Yes, fund raising under the new financing rules has been challenging for the Liberals, but I think they’re getting better and making more use of e-mail solicitations. Dion and other senior MPs have been active on the dinner circuit.

Let’s also remember the party is also now in the black, and I understand sufficient resources have been banked to spend the maximum allowable in the writ period. We even seemed to find some money to run these very good tv ads which I’ve been seeing regularly on Newsnet (when I’ve been in the country.)

As I’ve said before, and said often during the leadership race, you only need enough money to be competitive, and I’m confident the Liberals are there. After you raise enough to be competitive you can keep fund raising to run all the pre-writ attack ads and open all the fancy suburban campaign death stars you want, but it won’t necessarily make much of a difference, as we’ve seen.

Just as long as we have the financial resources to be competitive, I’ll settle for voter support over donor support every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

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Dan McKenzie said...

All that being said Liberals should bloody wake up and donate!

Olaf said...


Just as long as we have the financial resources to be competitive, I’ll settle for voter support over donor support every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

You don't see a correlation between voter support and donor support by chance do you? Obviously, the relationship isn't precise by any means, however a lack of donor support suggests to me their might be a lack of "grassroots" action and support, which could have far more implications going into an election than simply having the money to run national ads.

Jeff said...

All that being said Liberals should bloody wake up and donate!

You'll get no arguments from me there Dan...

You don't see a correlation between voter support and donor support by chance do you?

Olaf, I actually purposefully contrasted the fundraising and Decimal poll tallies to show that the link, while obviously relevant to a point, is limited.

Compare them. The Cons lead far and away on fundraising, yet most polls show them only slightly ahead or even statistically tied with the Libs in voter support. The NDP is second in money raised, well ahead, of the Libs, and yet well back in terms of voter support. And, despite having raised a fraction (don't ask me what fraction, I'm bad at math) of the Conservative totals the Liberals are neck in neck with the Cons.

Now, there may be lots of reasons why grassroots dippers and cons donate in greater numbers to their respective parties. As I said, Liberals need to do better.

But I think a far more telling measure of voter support than donation support numbers is, well, voter support numbers, and by that measure the Liberals are clearly competitive. As I said you only need to raise enough to be competitive, and I think we're there. Fundraising is important, but vote raising is moreso IMO.

Gauntlet said...

I'm with olaf. I think it's more serious than you're making it out to be, Jeff. If the two parties are that close, then election day (whenever it comes) will be determined by things like get out the vote efforts. The effectiveness of get out the vote efforts is going to be based on more than just financial resources. It's going to be based on human resources. Sitting at home and answering questions on the phone is not a test of what people are willing to sacrifice for their party.

For that, fundraising numbers are a better judge.

And all that assumes that the parties will be in the same relative voter support positions when the writ is called despite the fact that the Conservatives get to decide when the election is, and have millions to spend affecting those numbers before they do so.

Gayle said...

I am with you Jeff. Until recently I have never donated to the liberals, though I have often supported them. I have donated to the NDP.

I never donated to the liberals before because they never needed my money. I was happy to sit back and let the big money donors financially support my party of choice. When I donated to the NDP I did so knowing they would not get the same big money support as the liberals.

I think it is a matter of getting people like me out of that rut. I suspect a lot of liberal supporters are not aware the funding regime has changed and that the liberals need more grassroots donations.

I started my monthly donations when the conservatives ran their attack ads.

Red Tory said...

It's got to be deeply concerning to the Liberals when their fundraising is half that of the NDP! Pathetic. Lib supporters had better start to realize that the days of relying on big donors to pony up funds are gone.

Anonymous said...

Note also that the NDP campaign is active in only 40 to 50 ridings at most, while the Liberals have to be seen to be competitive in 308 ridings. The Dippers can make a buck bang for a long way.

Don't know how the BQ does in fundraising or is it straight from PQ coffers. This is a party that runs a 75 seat campaign, no more no less.

Dr. Tux said...

It's true that liberals need to raise more funds.

Yet it IS NOT at all clear that: 1) there is a precise correlation between voter support and donor support; 2) there is a precise correlation between 'grassroots action' and donor support; 3) Fundraising numbers are the best indicator of grassroots activity.

I'm mudding the water here, but the point is basically that if there is a correlation between donor support and voter support, it is not showing up in poll numbers.

This is not to say liberals shouldn't worry about fundraising, they definitely should. It may take a long time to rebuild the party as a grassroots funded party though.

Jeff said...

Jason, I agree grassroots support is important but I don't think low fundraising numbers are necessarily indicative of grassroots support. The fact is we've never raised a lot of money from our grassroots, and while that needs to change, that doesn't mean we don't have grassroots support. We've always had the grassroots support to GOTV in the past, they're just not used to donating, as we've usually relied on corporate donations. So, given that we've never raised much from the grassroots, continued low donation numbers, IMO, can't be construed as grassroots trouble.

Gayle, I think that' exactly it. Liberals needs to get the vote out that not only do we need your voter support, we need your financial support too.

Actually mushroom, that's 307 ridings for the Libs... :)