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ActBlue Friends Facebook with New Donate Tab

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, August 18 2010

ActBlue's staffers will tell you that they're on a mission to "normalize" the act of making small-dollar political donations, so that kicking in $5 or $10 or $25 becomes as routine and intuitive an act for people as posting to Twitter or sending a friend a text message. As part of that quest, the online Democratic fundraising clearinghouse just launched a Facebook app that allows individuals to add an ActBlue "Donate" tab right to their Facebook profiles. ActBlue communications director Adrian Arroyo explains the deeper thinking at work:

[F]undraising is a means, not an end, and the logic behind this integration isn't just about driving more money to Democratic candidates and committees. It's about driving Democratic (and democratic) participation. It's about teaching donors that they don't have to be bankers or billionaires to have an impact on our political future, and about demonstrating to politicians and the press that those donors can deliver. 

In other words, ActBlue is doing for our political lives what Facebook has done for our social lives. We're working towards a future where political giving is as easy as sharing a link, or reconnecting with an old friend. The $140 million that ActBlue has sent to over 6,000 Democratic candidates and committees speaks to the power of that vision. 

ActBlue has proven itself quite popular on the Democratic side of the aisle -- as Arroyo says, $140 million in online donations and counting, since 2004 -- but as part of their push to get more people to know their story, and more candidates and organizers to use their tools, they've started rolling out short videos highlighting Democratic candidates and fundraisers who sing the platform's praises. First up is Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida."What ActBlue means for me, and it represents to all of us in Congress, is liberation," says Grayson. "Liberation from having to cater to lobbyists and beg rich people for money."