Christmas is over and there’s just four days (and counting) till the fiscal quarter closes for every political party at midnight eastern on Dec. 31. And that means those, like me, who are on e-mail fundraising lists for our major political parties can expect a steady stream of pitches for the next 96 hours. Let’s start with the one, above, from Liberal Party HQ, issued in the name of Christina Topp, the party’s senior director of fundraising. She says the party has already raised $4 million this quarter but she wants at least $1.4 million in the next four days to match what the Liberals estimate the Conseratives will take in. Mark Jarvis, on Twitter notes:
@davidakin I assume they work on calendar year then? So 14,000 post Xmas 100$ donors? Tough slog.
— mark d. jarvis (@markdjarvis) December 28, 2014
In the 4th quarter last year — the first fourth quarter after Justin Trudeau became leader — the Liberals raised $4.7 million. That was the Liberal’s best quarter ever in the 31 quarters going back to 2007 when fundraising rules and reporting requirements changed.
UPDATE DEC 31 at 1600 ET
Here is a snapshot from the latest Liberal fundraising e-mail. If they have hit $4.9 million this quarter, they have already hit their all-time best quarter since 2007 rule changes.
[The rest of this post created on Dec 28]
The Conservatives raised $5.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2013 and that was that party’s best quarter outside of an election year. (They raised more in two quarters in 2011 and in 2008). As this is the final fourth quarter before the next general election — see screen shot below of latest pitch from Conservative HQ — it seems reasonable to expect that the Conservatives will, in fact, bring in $5.4 million although I bet they bring in more. In quarters were there has been an election, the Conservative fundraising machine has topped out at $8.2 million.
Note also what Topp says in her e-mail — “if we out-raise the Conservatives this quarter — for the first time ever…” That’s true under the most recent reporting requirement change back in 2007. I put together a graph below based on quarterly data. The Liberals have been getting better and better but what it is also striking is the remarkable consistency of Conservative donations. Even through all that Duffy scandal, which I know for a fact caused a lot of Conservative donors to suspend their monthly contributions, they money kept coming in. I believe if you click on this chart, it will blow up into a size that makes it a bit easier to view.
Meanwhile, the NDP keep chugging along. That party has done a decent job of revamping and modernizing its fundraising machinery and though the total amount the party brings in still lags the CPC and the LPC, it’s a dependable base upon which to build political operations. Here’s the e-mail blast I got from the NDP this morning, over the signature of Dave Hare, the NDP director of operations. Read closely:
Did you get that first sentence? We’re just $425,721 away from a million dollars. Now, that’s putting a spin on things! Likely more accurate to say: We’re barely halfway towards our goal with four days left in the quarter! Now, to be fair, I’m not sure what this “$1 million goal” is all about. In the fourth quarter last year, the NDP raised $3.7 million — which was their best quarter since 2007 — so surely we can expect they’ll come close to that again.
Some other fundraising tidbits (all data here from data from Q2 of 2007 to Q3 of 2014):
- Worst fundraising performance in one quarter: NDP in the third quarter of 2007 raised just $594,479.
- Best fundraising performance: Conservatives in the 2nd quarter of 2011 (while the election was underway) $8.2 million.
- Worst Conservative quarter: The third quarter of 2011 — the one after the 2011 election — when they hauled in just $3.07 million.
- Worst Liberal quarter: 3rd quarter of 2007. Just $793,835 raised.
- Contributions after 3 quarters in 2013: CPC: $13,479,576.31 | LPC: $9,907,249.64 | NDP: $5,759,729.88