“The biggest problem in GOP fundraising is that we don’t treat donors well”

by William A. Jacobson at legalinsurrection.com

We made a mistake.


We once donated to a Republican Senate candidate through WinRed back in the 2020 cycle. We have endured three years of non-stop, abusive, insulting, and threatening text message and email solicitations from a wide variety of Republican candidates, some we had never heard of. Yes, a lot from people soliciting for Trump, but that’s a minority of the messages. I received two today that were borderline profane; I wish I had screenshot them, something about a candidate having “balls”.

There’s no way to turn off the texts, blocking doesn’t help because they keep coming from different numbers. I’ve “unsubscribed” from more email lists than I can count, but they keep coming from new lists.

I’ve posted about this problem several times on Twitter.

So it was no surprise to me when I saw this article at WaPo, How Republicans texted and emailed their way into a money problem (archive) about how abuse of online donors is hurting Republicans this cycle:

In the years after Donald Trump lost the presidency to Joe Biden, Trump sent so many emails and text messages asking for money that Republican consultants warned his mailing lists could become useless. The former president’s friends told him that they were being asked for too much, too often, and Trump himself ordered aides at one point to slow the solicitations. Some of his fans, pockets emptied, mailed handwritten letters apologizing for not being able to give more.

Now, as Trump and Biden prepare for a rematch, Trump’s vaunted small-dollar fundraising operation is not bringing in as much money as it once did….

The Republican National Committee also raised much less money from small-dollar donors in 2023 than it had in 2019, contributing to budget problems for the party. Officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee were shocked by the low returns on their investment in the strategy ahead of the last midterm elections….

“The biggest problem in GOP fundraising is that we don’t treat donors well,” said John Hall, a Republican small-dollar fundraiser who runs the digital firm Apex Strategies. “Sending eight emails and texts a day that promise an artificial match, threaten to take away your GOP membership, or call you a traitor if you don’t donate doesn’t build a long-term relationship with donors.”

Small-dollar fundraising firms have warned some GOP clients to lower their expectations. When former vice president Mike Pence launched his presidential campaign, officials at Targeted Victory, a small-dollar digital firm, warned him that “returns were way down because of oversaturation,” according to Marc Short, his former chief of staff.

It rings true to me. It was my ‘lived experience”.