Crowdpac

Fundraising

Updated June 25, 2018

12 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

10/25

Cost

25/25

Differentiation

24/25

Effectiveness

5/25

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Free option for campaigns
  • Intuitive interface
  • Direct donations’ low cost
  • Practical for smaller campaigns

Cons

  • Conditional campaigns expensive
  • No Apple Pay support
  • No audience analytics
  • Recently banned almost all campaigns related to Republican and conservative causes

Crowdpac is a crowdfunding website started in 2014 and based in San Francisco. Its easy-to-use layout allows fundraising for campaigns, catering to both candidates and causes in the U.S. Despite Crowdpac’s relative youth, it’s already helped political challengers out-fundraise incumbents and has been covered by news outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Fox News, amongst others.

Overview

Crowdpac’s design is straightforward: visit the crowdpac.com, make an account, and create a campaign to fundraise with. After inputting some basic campaign information, pertaining either to the candidate or the cause, classify your campaign by political issue, add pertinent tags, and “tell your story.” Crowdpac allows you a written campaign description, a campaign photo, and a video pitch. Once you’ve created your campaign, you can begin crowdfunding.

Crowdpac, while primarily a crowdfunding platform, also heavily integrates social media. In this way, users not only donate to campaigns, but also use them as online communities. Users’ Action Feeds allows them to interact with campaigns, pinning tasks on their Action To-Do Lists and commenting on posts. Campaigns can also post Actions to reach campaign members through their Action Feeds, keeping virtual communities involved and providing direction for organizing efforts.

With its communities feature, users can find and join new issues, allowing campaigns to connect and expand. This online organizing allows for networking between campaigns, attracting new donors, volunteers, and supporters. Combined with the monthly donation feature, Crowdpac’s communities feature serves as a form of donor stewardship by keeping campaign members engaged and active.

Outsider Campaign Crowdfunding To Banning Republicans

What differentiates Crowdpac from other fundraising platforms such as Revv, Anedot, and ActBlue is its emphasis on crowdfunding outsiders. While these other platforms may be more appropriate for examining donation data, Crowdpac is a free platform with zero startup or monthly costs. Simply starting a campaign takes minutes and doesn’t require technical expertise. Of equal or more importance to outsiders is Crowdpac’s conditional campaign pricing, which avoids upfront fundraising costs and takes pledges rather than donations – allowing outsiders to test the waters before deciding to declare candidacy.

Crowdpac was the only online crowdfunding platform that was non-partisan, allowing independent and Republican candidates to crowdfund, while ActBlue serves solely Democrats. However, after the company’s former CEO Steve Hilton, a conservative commentator stepped down and new CEO Jesse Thomas filled the role, the platform has announced that they’re temporarily suspending Republican campaigns to combat “Trumpism.”

Don’t get us wrong; we fully respect the rights of a private organization and its decisions; but this move — propagated by the platform’s users, according to Thomas — alienates a broad demographic.

“We find ourselves grappling every day with campaigns fueled by Trumpism that skirt the thinning lines between overt hate speech and the rhetoric and actions used to stir up racial animosity legitimized by the President of the United States,” Thomas wrote in a corporate blog post. “For that reason, over the next 10 days, we will be suspending any fundraising campaigns on our platform featuring Republican candidates as recipients until we can figure out how to systematically confirm that those campaigns and candidates align with the values of our community in a way that Trumpism does not.”

Some Republican and conservative-leaning campaigns that meet the values of the community will be “grandfathered” and accepted on a case-by-case basis. All the while, Democrats, unaffiliated users, and those from the third party ranks (e.g., Libertarians, Green Party members, etc.) will be allowed.

Pricing

For pricing, Crowdpac offers two plans: direct donations and conditional campaigns. Direct donations immediately transfer 100% of donations to your campaign – donors pay additional credit card processing (3.75% + 30 cents per transaction) and have the option to tip Crowdpac for its services. This is cheaper than Revv (4% and 30 cents per transaction), Anedot (3.9% and 30 cents per transaction), and ActBlue (3.9%), yet places additional fees on donors.

Conditional campaigns, however, record pledges that are not converted into processed donations until the campaign is completed. If uncompleted, pledges are not converted into donations and are not processed. Conditional campaigns charge 8% and a 30-cent fee per transaction (3.75% and 30 cent fee for credit card processing, 4.25% for Crowdpac). Unlike its direct donation pricing, this cost is placed on the campaign. The advantage of a conditional campaign comes with a higher overall price, though a price not paid upfront.

Verdict

Crowdpac is a unique tool meeting an interesting need. It is truly one of a kind, and works at absolutely no cost to campaigns. There is little risk involved with using Crowdpac, and the potential for large grassroots benefits is huge. Unfortunately, this easy layout results in reduced reporting and analytics when compared to more data-intensive platforms like Revv and Anedot – making it less helpful for those interested in analyzing performance.

Further, we have to sadly downgrade Crowdpac’s rating, severely, because of its newest policy towards Republican campaigns. The company maintains that they’re a nonpartisan platform that brings ordinary people closer to the political process. But, this isn’t the case when banning a significant segment of the American electorate.

Note: Telegraph rated Crowdpac as “Spiffy,” scoring 89 points before it’s new policies regarding Republican campaigns. Due to the new policies and how they affect the categories of effectiveness and user interface, we currently rate Crowdpac with a “Hodgepodge” score of 65.


Screenshots

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

10/25

Cost

25/25

Differentiation

24/25

Effectiveness

5/25

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