Thursday, July 31, 2008

2nd Quarter Fundraising Figures

The second quarter fundraising totals are out for all the political parties. The Liberal totals are disappointing to say the least, fundraising remains a large problem. For April to June 2008:
$912 378.43 from 9556 contributors

For comparison, the April to June 2007 numbers:
$1 268 043.45 from 9951 contibutors

The fundraising is up slightly from the first quarter ($848 129.37), but the contributors are down from 10 169.

Very bad numbers, if one is being fair, primarily because you get no sense of any momentum, that the Liberals are starting to master the new fundraising techniques. Why? I would argue this is the downside of the abstaining strategy, clearly the grassroots wasn't motivated to give, while their leadership gave up. I'm not arguing the wisdom of the strategy, but if you looking for cause, the posture of the elected party representatives seems the most obvious answer. Of course, other factors at play, but abstaination doesn't bring inspiration.

The Conservatives remain a fundraising juggernaut, although their totals are down year to year. April to June 2008:
$3 525 352.31 from 33833 contributors

Last year, for this period:
$3 768 122.22 from 36794

A slight drop, an even bigger drop from last quarter, wherein the Conservatives brought in $ 4 954 550.22 from 44345 contributors. The trend line for the Conservatives isn't good, but then again the money still flows nicely.

The NDP, less than the Liberals, but more contributors. April to June 2008:
$711 637.28 from 11941 contributors

The same period last year:
$722 760.09 from 11 773 contributors

In the last quarter, the NDP raised 1 119 647.67 from 13329 contributors. Year to year, pretty consistent, down noticeably from the last quarter. Still, very good numbers.

What else can you say?


Graph heaven.


Anonymous said...


As usual, you are the wizard of this. A tip of the hat to you for your excellent research.

I guess the contributions to the Victory Fund and momentum from the Green Shift will be revealed by late October. By then, the buses may already be rolling. Note also that the deadline for the leadership debts may limit the amount the money being donated.

Are the numbers for the Cons much better early in the year? Do this refer to a better use of direct debit in generating donations?

Finally, how are the numbers for the Greens?

I may sound like a quixotic parrot today. Please accept my apologies.

Steve V said...

"Are the numbers for the Cons much better early in the year?"

They're down from the first quarter, it's in the post.

I think the Green Shift should breathe some life into the fundraising, but like you say, we might not know until the election is already under way. End of October, if it holds true to form.

Anonymous said...

What you don't mention is the approx $800,000 raised by leadersdhip candidates to pay off their debt.

Steve V said...

Fair point, but you have to admit the leadership excuse gets old too.

James Curran said...

I do believe leadership is having a profound effect on both quarters. There's only so many $500 dinners one can attend. And hundreds of thousands have gone into leadership campaigns - along with many of the pro fundraisers attached to those camps.

Steve V said...


Agreed. I'm just saying it's not nothing but blue skies without the leadership angle.

kody said...

Steve's trying to keep it honest.

The rest of you have to face it: the sheer dollar difference is startling,

but the number of donors should put chills down the spines of Liberals everywhere. Conservatives are motivated, Libs are not.

Watch how that translates into actual voting (like say the 20 point drop in Quadra).

James Curran said...

Kody. Lay off the mushrooms.

Antonio said...

im not one to make excuses for the Liberal's pitiful numbers but the convention at the end of the year will cost the maximum amount allowed under donation rules.

so asking people for money before then will likely prevent them from going to the biennial.

then again if we have an election, there wont be a biennial

kody said...


you keep telling yourself that the 20 point drop in the Liberal stronghold of Quadra,

was merely a hallucinogenic fantasy.

And I guess Outremont was an acid trip,

and the Sask riding loss was a case of bad meth?

Let's meet back here in a few weeks and talk about the "Guelph overdose".

James Curran said...

It's not good to mix your meds Kody.

1. The Liberals won Quadra

2. The Liberal won Outremont

3. Guelph is an easy win for Valeriote

and 4. I've written substantially about the Sask riding.

kody said...


keeping the stronghold by a handful of seats and losing a twenty point spread,

is a good sign for the Liberals?

Outremont stayed Liberal???

And I'M the one who lacks a foundation of reality???

Alllrighty then.

Anonymous said...

You know, the numbers bug me only because they just don't seem to get the process. You have to ask for money. You have to give people a reason to give you money.

The liberals don't really do either very well. It's all polite and between the numbers, like a nice little church who just passes the basket around . . . discreetly.

I'm not saying they need to get out sledgehammers, but give me a message, tell me what I'll be defending, tell me what vision I'll be supporting - EVEN IF I KNOW IT ALREADY. And then say, "We need your support."

One thing I do know a great deal about is how the evangelical right gets their money, and if they taught the US republicans the formula, you can be damn sure that Hagee and the others taught their Canadian brethren the same. You look for predjudices and wedge issues and you milk them for as long and as deep as you can.

And you know how you counter that! The Democrats learned it in the US. You hammer your supporters with facts and you point out every beneath the radar scam that you're up against. And you make it clear to your supporters that to fight it you have to be able to compete with it dollar for dollar.

It to the Dems three elections to learn that, but after 5 years they got the ball rolling.

I still don't see that message clicking with the liberals yet.

I am not one to desire Canada follow in the US footsteps, but the ground rules politically are changing here, and the conservatives have bought the manual (so to speak) from their counterparts down south.

The liberals had better learn to do the same.

There, officially stepping off the soapbox now ; ).

There is one more aspect though. I am irritated that there was not one single high-level liberal response to Harper's mouthing off over the past 48 hours. Not one.

I don't expect a pissing match. But work with the media a bit, will ya. Have someone - Dion, Iggy, anyone - give a quote to the national press that points out 1) that Harper is back to his bullying in lieu of actual leadership, 2) the audacity of a government fraught with scandal demanding anything when they should be asking for forgiveness, and 3) makes it clear that Liberals support responsible, good governance and will make the decision as to when they feel confidence in the government has completely failed rather than responding to playground threats.

Surely there is someone in the Liberal braintrust who can respond with a worthy, succinct retort. But to just let the stage ring with Harper's threat alone in the media for two straight days only reinforces the negative paint that the conservatives continue to sling on the Liberals. I think that is particularly true in this case. Did the Liberals NOT think the conservatives would use their meetings to launch a few salvos. Why not place a few people on ready standby to respond. It's called free publicity - use it when you don't have the money advantage.

I don't buy the chess / checker analogies, but I do sometimes scratch my heads wondering what the Liberal leadership is thinking when it comes to engaging the conservatives - and engaging the media.

Deb Prothero said...

You can't discount the leadership money, even if you don't like the excuse. If $800,000 was added to the $912,378.43, that would be $1,712,378.43 . We can't know how many donors that is from this report but it may indicate why the numbers of donors to LPC in the quarter have dipped a bit.

People are giving to the leaders now and saving their donation room for the biennial. For example, I give a pittance every month ($25) for $300 a year; I save another $300 for events and that leaves me with 4-500 to attend the regional meetings or the biennial.

Since the last biennial was $1100, if I want to go to the upcoming one, I can't use my $300 for events or I won't be able to go because I won't have room within the contribution limits.

Maybe the other parties have a different way of doing their contributions. Or maybe I've got it figured out wrong.

wes mantooth said...

and, and they don't count households with more than one tv set.....

and other things of that nature

ron burgandy said...

see you around the bend 'number two'

Anonymous said...

There, calmer now ; ) with morning coffee.

The liberals can grown their fundraising if - and to some degree only if - they grow the number of people contributing. And you do that by making it a priority and doing it right . . . refer to part 1 of my novel above (sorry it was so long).

James Curran said...

Actually, as per my post today, the figure raised by leadership contenders was $977,300. And, added together with the $917K, we are approaching historical election-type fundraising territory.

The Pontificator said...


I think you are generally correct in your assumption that LPC may not be inspiring enough in its messaging or behaviour to elicit donations in the ranges of the other parties, but in my view there is another legacy from the past that is hampering performance – that of reliance on “outsiders” (formerly corporations and wealthy, non-card carrying inidivduals and currently non-sustaining or lapsed members, i.e. those who join only during leaderships or nominations).

Looking at the numbers above, the average donation to LPC is comparable to that to CPC, but bounces around quite a bit: $95 (Q2 2008); $127 (Q2 2007); and, $83 (Q1 2008), for an average per quarter of $102, while the numbers for the other two parties are completely consistent with past performance: CPC: $104 (Q2 2008); and, $102 (Q2 2007); NDP: $59.50 (Q2 2008); and, $61 (Q2 2007). Beyond inconsistency in message or appeal, I think this also indicates inconsistency of ongoing support. The other parties are consistent in soliciting regular donations from their core; LPC is not.

This could be further illustrated (similar to your allusion) by the contributor numbers. Just after the Leadership we heard from LPC managers that only between 5-7% of the LPC membership donates (the higher figure during Leadership). I would think that the ongoing membership of any party represents its core and that core party members should see donating as part of their obligations to supporting and sustaining a healthy party, regardless of any other motivation to donate.

Assuming for all parties a similar national membership (an iffy argument, I know, but useful for comparative purposes) of an average of 400 members per riding, or 123,400 members each, here’s how the percentages of member-donations would work out per party: LPC: around 8%; CPC: close to 30%; and, NDP: close to 10%. (I think that likely the NDP membership numbers are lower and therefore their percentage of member-donors would be higher, but at any rate...). Given our average donation rate we would raise similar numbers to the CPC (makes sense given the two parties’ relatively equal levels of popular (core) support) and about 40% more than the NDP.

So maybe LPC needs to illustrate better to its membership (or enhance) the value of being a Liberal Party member – the benefits should be clear.

Steve V said...


I completely agree, and the American analogies are relevant. Another issue, the inability to understand this medium and the fundraising potential. The party paid Trippi to come up here, I see like evidence that any of his techniques have been incorporated. What he used to do with Dean, and it was wildly successful, find an issue, then a call to arms "the bat", the donator completely tied to perserving something, immediate response, tapping into fresh emotion.


Good points all around, can't really disagree.

I'm not discounting the leadership donations, but nor do I think we should let that mask a real malaise.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that so much of the money the Liberals raise goes to paying the 9% interest on the 2 million dollars they borrowed to stay afloat.

Yes, they borrowed money to keep the party alive...and you fools want to let them manage the public purse again?

James Curran said...


Go back to Janke's blog. Drink koolaid. Drink.

Steve V said...

"Yes, they borrowed money to keep the party alive...and you fools want to let them manage the public purse again?"

Wait to you see what Flaherty does to make it look like he has a surplus.

James Curran said...

Dear Stephen Taylor, I mean Anon, please leave this blog. Thank you, TWDIKG.

Steve V said...


I just delete the foolish stuff.