DRIVING PAST A SOY FIELD SOMEWHERE IN ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILL. (enroute to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale)--With the Sept. 30 third quarter fund-raising deadline looming, White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) sent an e-mail fund-raising appeal on Monday designed to sharply increase the number of small dollar donors.
"We can prove that it's people, not dollars, that should be the measure for campaigns. So while the pundits track the mad chase for money, we will set our own course and our own goals," Obama wrote.
The strategy is to try to make the emphasis in political stories not how much a candidate raised but from how many people. When it comes to the number of donors, in the 2008 Democratic primary, Obama has locked up the bragging rights. He's got more than chief rivals Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.).
Obama has been the most effective in leveraging the social network power of the web for fund-raising, marrying it to some traditional fund-raising tools to gives donor incentives to give. At present, his newest approach is a "matching" program. He wants to maximize the 333,235 people who have donated--but still are below the federal cap of $2,300 for the primary. New donors who agree to be in the "match" program will be "matched" with "old" contributors.
The donor metric, the Obama team believes, gets too little attention is assessing a candidates strength. At present, there are a few metrics used to figure out how a campaign is doing: cash raised; cash on hand; polls; endorsements. Obama wants to add one more to the list: the donor army. Interesting, he set a goal by which he can be measured; 500,000 donations from 350,000 people. He's well on his way to reaching that goal.
"We're facing a hard deadline in less than a week. The financial reports filed after September 30th will set the tone for the last 100 days before people start voting and caucusing. The numbers will be a signal to voters in the crucial early states that our movement has the support it takes to win," Obama wrote.
for the entire letter, click below...
Text of Obama appeal...
All eyes are on you.
We're facing a hard deadline in less than a week. The financial reports filed after September 30th will set the tone for the last 100 days before people start voting and caucusing. The numbers will be a signal to voters in the crucial early states that our movement has the support it takes to win.
The pundits and political insiders keep asking: Are they for real? Will all those people with that Obama guy really make a difference? Can they actually change the entrenched old ways of politics?
You can answer yes right now.
So let's go. Here's the goal: 500,000 donations to this campaign from 350,000 people by midnight on September 30th.
We only have a few days, and it's going to be difficult. But right now, one of the 333,235 people who have already donated to the campaign is waiting to match your first online donation.
They're ready to give again so that your first gift has double the impact.
Make your donation now and be counted:
Most campaigns, and the pundits watching them, still measure success solely in dollars. And we will hold our own on that scorecard. But we can prove a more powerful point.
We can prove that it's people, not dollars, that should be the measure for campaigns.
So while the pundits track the mad chase for money, we will set our own course and our own goals:
350,000 people donating to the cause will show the breadth of support for a movement that seeks a new kind of politics.
500,000 donations will show the depth of people's commitment, with thousands of people giving in small amounts again and again.
We can do this with your help. And we can do it without taking money from Washington lobbyists or special interest political action committees like some other campaigns. There's power in numbers.
If you're ready to be part of this movement, now is the time to make your donation and be counted:
For the past few days, previous donors have been volunteering to give again in order to match first-time donations. Here are some of the matches that have been made:
A social worker in Newark, OH matched a chef in Chatham, MA.
A pastor in Fort Worth, TX matched a math teacher in Wheaton, IL.
A union organizer in Everett, WA matched a preschool teaching aide in Rockford, IL.
A graphic designer in Colorado Springs, CO matched a forklift operator in Miami, FL.
A high school principal from Lititz, PA matched a court reporter in Chico, CA.
A notary in Winooski, VT matched a basketball coach in Bothell, WA.
Someone else is waiting to match your donation right now. You can double your impact if you give today:
I know what I'm asking is hard. I know that politics and politicians have disappointed you so many times before, to the point where sometimes it seems easier just to tune out and walk away.
But what you have to remember is that when you walk away, the same old politics wins every time. That's what all the people who benefit from politics as a game are counting on.
That's why we need you. That's why I can't do this alone.
I am not just asking you to trust in my ability to change this country -- I'm asking you to trust in yourself. In your own instincts. In your own sense of possibility. In your own sense of what's right.
If you're ready to go down this path, there are 333,235 others ready to go with you.
Please join us.
Paid for by Obama for America
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