In fact, observed Le Devoir, the Ignatieff effect was so pronounced that the Liberals managed to raise more money in December that the Conservatives, ($ 832 000 against 826 000 $, still considering only donations of $ 200 and more).
I wouldn't suggest that the Liberals can keep pace with the Conservatives in the near future, because that is a pipe dream for the foreseeable future, but the above certainly validates a sense of optimism. Rossi and Ignatieff have both recently publicly referred to impressive fundraising in the "last few weeks", so the trend doesn't look a blip.
In terms of public perception, any indication that the Liberals are on the move under Ignatieff will serve us well. The importance of money is beyond obvious, but the optics of growth in fundraising allows the narrative of "resurgence" to continue, a sense that we are getting our act together. A simple thing like fundraising numbers are pretty important in terms of perception, and the linked article speaks to the beneficial presentation.