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National Third Parties Raise Money

Courtesy of the Federal Election Commission, we have information on fundraising by the national committees of some of America’s alternative parties.  For each party, I list in the order their 2019-2020 fundraising, their 2021-2022 fundraising, and finally, their January 2023 fundraising.

First, the Constitution Party, which appears to have done less well recently:

Then the Green Party, which until recently was considerably smaller than the Libertarian Party, but is now catching up:

And finally, the Libertarian Party. The $85,518 for January 2023 is the worst month they have had in a long time. Why?

Let’s break contributions down into itemized (>$200.00) and unitemized (<$200.00)
January 2023
Itemized individual contributions: $12,536.00
Unitemized individual contributions: $72,982.48

Note that itemized contributions are much less than unitemized contributions. We can compare with the two previous biennial periods:
Itemized individual contributions $1,926,342.92
Unitemized individual contributions $1,913,019.47

Itemized individual contributions $2,162,822.78
Unitemized individual contributions $1,898,128.26

The levels of itemized and unitemized contributions are about the same. It the month unusual?  Let’s go backward from January 2023 through the prior reporting periods:

Year End 2022
Itemized individual contributions $44,937.71
Unitemized individual contributions $60,136.68

(i) Itemized 105368.80
(ii) Unitemized 75553.42

(i) Itemized 36482.48
(ii) Unitemized 49905.57

End of September
(i) Itemized 63887.22
(ii) Unitemized 65445.75

End of August
(i) Itemized 115409.39
(ii) Unitemized 94393.55

End of July
(i) Itemized 55751.67
(ii) Unitemized 76013.61

End of June
(i) Itemized 116178.86
(ii) Unitemized 100155.10

End of May 2022
(i) Itemized 239656.62 [This is the national convention ticket block.)
(ii) Unitemized 87854.48

And, finally, four years ago, in January 2019
(i) Itemized 91392.00
(ii) Unitemized 76347.00

What is visible is that small-ticket donations to the LNC have held up, but, to judge from January, large-ticket donations just crashed.


  1. George Phillies George Phillies Post author | February 27, 2023

    Jim: very well said. We spend money, not per cent signs.

    ROI is only valid if you spend the same amount of money on two paths to raising money. If you spend less money, you can improve the ROI a lot, and still be worse off.

    Greens catching up…in terms of raising money (only)

  2. Jim Jim February 27, 2023

    The current LNC seems to care more about “general fundraising ROI” and the cash position than the top line revenue number. They have been cutting fundraising expenses in order to get there.

    Looking at the December financial report put out by the LNC:

    Jan 2022 fundraising: $140,697
    Jan 2022 fundraising expense: $28,300
    Jan 2022 fundraising ROI: 397%

    Dec 2022 fundraising: $95,061
    Dec 2022 fundraising expense: $16,620
    Dec 2022 fundraising ROI: 472%

    Less fundraising, but spun as an improvement because the ratio improved. Then throw in the improved cash position relative to other years – improved cash position by the way the LNC calculates it, not by the way they have to report to the FEC – and the year was a big financial success.

    But, there is only so long they can chip away at expenses before revenue crashes and the charade collapses. It seems reasonable to assume that larger donors get more attention than smaller donors, so if fundraising expense is cut, the resulting loss in revenue will be seen more among the larger donors.

    It looks like you misspoke on the Green Party. They seem to be in decline, not catching up to the Libertarian Party.

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