Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Republicans raised nearly $60 million on their new digital fundraising platform "WinRed" in April, sources tell Axios, its largest single-month fundraising haul ever.
Why it matters: The GOP is on pace to bring in roughly $400 million from small-dollar donations via WinRed in its first year of operations. Republicans have for years trailed Democrats in soliciting small-dollar donations online prior to launching WinRed.
Details: In April, WinRed brought in $59.755 million across more than 1.6 million small-dollar donations. The average donation amount was $37. About 180,000 donors went on to become campaign volunteers.
- Currently, there are 787 Republican campaigns, ranging from local races to the presidential election, that use the tool.
- Roughly 20,000 new Republican fundraising pages have been created on the platform since it launched.
The big picture: WinRed, which launched last July with the backing of President Trump’s re-election campaign and Republican Party leaders, is the GOP's answer to Democrats' 15-year-old online fundraising tool, ActBlue.
- ActBlue, a payment processing software used by most of the major Democratic presidential candidates, was founded in 2004. It pioneered small-dollar donations and fundraising tracking for most Democratic candidates.
- It was used by Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 primary campaign against Hillary Clinton to solicit millions of small-dollar donations.
Yes, but: While April's numbers show enormous improvement from the last presidential cycle and promise for the future of the GOP's online fundraising efforts, Democrats still trounce Republicans in small-dollar donations via ActBlue.
- In the first quarter of this year, ActBlue raised $533 million over 4.3 million donors, while WinRed raised $129.6 million. WinRed said more that 1 million donors gave on average 3.2 times.
- ActBlue, as of last summer, had roughly 9,000 candidates and groups that use its platform.
Be smart: WinRed was built much later than ActBlue, so its functionality is geared heavily toward modern-day mobile users.
- WinRed's features are highly optimized for smartphone donations. In particular, the platform uses a variety of "upsell" buttons and functions that make it easier for donors to set up things like recurring monthly payments.
The botton line: WinRed has quickly been able to mobilize small-dollar donations, helping Republicans make up for years of lost ground in the small-dollar digital fundraising arena. But the GOP still has a long way to go if it wants to catch up to the Democrat's 15-year head start.
Go deeper: Tech takes over political fundraising