The Democratic National Committee is crediting recent improvements in its use of technology for its small dollar direct response program having achieved a record fundraising quarter for the first three months of 2002.
DNC Chairman Terence McAuliffe sent a memo yesterday claiming that the program raised just over $8 million as a result of 235,706 donations from 205,514 people. The average gift was $34.
The program also garnered 34,636 first-time donors during the quarter, the memo said.
Overall fundraising for the first quarter of 2002 will be $26 million, the memo said.
“This past year we made great strides in narrowing the technology gap that existed between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party,” the memo said.
Republicans fundraisers have long claimed to be better at small-dollar direct response than Democrats.
The DNC claims to have nearly 1 million e-mail addresses, up from 70,000 last year.
The growth is probably from a “tell a friend” feature the DNC recently added to its Web site allowing people to give six of their friends' e-mail addresses.
The DNC also claims its active direct mail donor base will reach 1 million in 2002, up from 400,000 a year ago.
The announcement comes on the heels of President Bush's March 27 signing of the “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002,” or H.R. 2356, which after the fall elections will outlaw unlimited “soft money” donations — those to a party from businesses, unions and others for party building activities.
The measure would allow individuals to give $2,000 per election in “hard money” donations to House or Senate candidates, double the previous limit.
As a result, direct response drives for small-dollar hard money donations will become more important.