September 10th, 2023
by Kelly Laco
Top lawmaker Elise Stefanik is helping Republicans grow their online grassroots donor reachability by injecting millions into a platform that is designed to give the GOP a boost ahead of the 2024 election.
Online donating platform WinRed was launched a few years ago as a GOP alternative to the Democratic Party’s small dollar donation platform ActBlue.
Traditionally, Democrats have had more success in fundraising online, but the GOP is working to quickly catch up, especially ahead of the next election right around the corner in 2024.
WinRed, which says it has compiled over 1.7 million individual small dollar donors that have given to three or more campaigns, has become critically important for Republicans by identifying and implementing creative ways to draw in grassroots supporters.
The platform says its total number of donors is well into the millions.
Supporters of House Republican Conference Chair Stefanik told DailyMail.com she has revolutionized WinRed and the GOP’s online fundraising push over the last close to four years.
Over that time span, Stefanik has injected $12 million total into over 183 ‘critical’ campaigns across the country.
And that includes nearly $2 million in direct donations.
WinRed works with Stefanik using her already-established grassroots supporters list in order to boost other GOP candidates.
It starts with an initial outreach campaign to Stefanik’s donor list that results in a 50/50 split of the donations between the chairwoman and the specific GOP candidate’s coffers.
Once a donor off of Stefanik’s list gives to the joint online campaign, the campaign will then separately target them to boost the new GOP candidate directly.
It’s a strategy that has seen large success – to the tune of $10 million raised from those donors that, for the first time, will donate directly to a new GOP candidate’s campaign.
And around 70 percent of those donors were first-time givers to a particular candidate – introduced to them through Stefanik.
For example, Team Elise shared a fundraising push for Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz.
‘I don’t reach out like this very often, but I’m asking you to read every word of this important message,’ it states.
‘The stakes couldn’t be any higher – things could get ugly without your help.’
She then goes on to endorse Crane in the message to grassroots donors.
Once one of the chairwoman’s donors receives that email and contributes through WinRed, the donation is split 50/50 between Crane and Stefanik.
Then Crane amasses his new financial supporter and adds them to his campaign’s own small donor list.
‘I am thrilled to see that our grassroots donors on Team Elise have generously funded targeted campaigns and candidates with over 12,000,000 million of grassroots donations with an average donation of 22 dollars,’ Stefanik told DailyMail.com.
She thanked her supporters on Team Elise who stuck by her starting 10 years ago when she flipped NY-21 from blue to red.
The effort to attract more small dollar donors is gaining momentum in the GOP largely due to Stefanik’s work.
And strategists say that the data shows a wave of momentum for the GOP heading into the 2024 election.
About 40 percent of donors brought in by the GOP chairwoman are considered ‘high quality’ meaning they have a saved profile account with WinRed and are set up to easily donate again in the future.
WinRed CEO Ryan Lyk called Stefanik’s approach to online fundraising ‘textbook’ that others should follow.
‘Chairwoman Elise Stefanik has been the tip of the spear in utilizing WinRed to support targeted campaigns and her efforts have resulted in millions of dollars being raised from grassroots donors where it matters most,’ he said.
A Republican digital strategist tells DailyMail.com that WinRed and Stefanik’s partnership is now the standard model that is being utilized by other campaign organizations, including the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) and the National Victory Action Fund chaired by former Senator Cory Gardner.
‘It has been critical in our effort to catch up to the Democrats in digital fundraising,’ the strategist said.
Although Republicans are still working to catch up to the Democrats’ dominance on online campaign giving, they are now on a more fruitful track.
ActBlue touts that it has raised over $12 billion since its launch in 2004 – well before WinRed was on the scene.
WinRed said it has processed $3.3 billion in donations since its launch at the end of 2018.
NRCC Chairman Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., says he is supportive of Stefanik’s work and ‘generous efforts’ over the years.
He told DailyMail.com that she is empowering their candidates in key battleground races by introducing them to her grassroots donors.
See the full Daily Mail article here.