Even though the Democratic base is energized, “the party has a serious fundraising crisis,” according to Politico. While the Republican National Committee raised $75 million over the first half of 2017, the Democratic National Committee only pulled in $38 million. Surprisingly, Republicans have taken the lead over Democrats when it comes to small-dollar fundraising.
The lack in small-dollar fundraising is a symptom of the Democrats’ recent struggle for grass-roots enthusiasm and passion for cold calling and knocking on doors. Those on Bernie Sanders’ campaign argue that the Trump campaign took their ideas and mimicked them to attract small donors. Both the Sanders campaign and the Trump campaign used powerful messaging, rather than “hiring the right people or using the right technology,” to reach voters.
Previously, Democrats were the champions of small-dollar fundraising, especially in Howard Dean’s and Barack Obama’s campaigns. However, Donald Trump outdid them both by raising $329 million in small donations. Now, to brighten their future, the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DNCC) need to update their tactics. This includes changing their current email tactic- attempting to “shock, depress, or shame people into action”- to empowering people to take action. Further, “instead of tricking people into donating, it should give people something to believe in, and show how they can win together.” However, this will not be easy for an ailing party with outdated outreach methods. Experts believe without an overhaul, “the Democratic Party is going to keep losing to Donald Trump and the Republicans in the money race, big and small.”