Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

One-Click Funding?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, March 10 2010

One further note on cold hard cash money from last night's session in Manhattan that had to do with the future of the left's grassroots in the Obama era.

A question from the crowd asked just how grassroots groups can get funding these days. Demos' Ben Barber made the point that social movements depend on social capital more than capital capital. Still, money's nice. The Nation's Katrina vanden Heuvel namechecked ActBlue as a model that has worked on the electoral side of Democratic politics (to the tune of $122 million since 2004 and counting). KVH suggested that a similar model might work for grassroots/non-profit groups. You might also see a distributed, small-dollar model work for progressive media outlets -- in a few clicks, for example, you might drop five bucks for the Nation, Talking Points Memo, what have you. (It would, in theory, also work on the right side of the spectrum, though there's no ActBlue equivalent in conservative circles.)

It's worth keeping in mind that, as ActBlue reps will tell you, the point of ActBlue isn't to be the PayPal of progressive politics. It's to, to borrow a phrase from them, normalize the act of small-dollar online giving. It becomes something you do online -- you tweet, check Facebook, email some folks, and make a small donation to the politicians/groups/publications you support.

Reps from ActBlue, though, will also tell you that they're going to be consumed by the election through November, so don't necessarily expect something like that to come out of their shop anytime soon.

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Glass Half Full

A new Pew study on open government data in the US; the FOIA exemption ruffling transparency advocates' feathers; social media bot farms; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Zucked Up

Mark Zuckerberg responds to criticism of "zero rating" Facebook access in India; turning TVs into computers; how Facebook is changing the way UK users see the upcoming General Election; BuzzFeed's split priorities; a new website for "right-of-center women"; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Mugs

No surprise here, but email list open rates are down; the real reason campaigns want to send you a free bumper sticker; Hillary Clinton wasn't alone in dodging inquiries from the House Oversight Committee about private email accounts; organizing opt-outs from high-stakes testing on Facebook; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Edges

Let the White House know what you think about the new homepage; why Democrats need a competitive primary to maintain their edge in political tech; California Highway Patrol reminded to not talk about how they track political protesters on social media; and much, much more. GO

More