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New Democrats try to bolster donations with fundraising matching strategy

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh eats popcorn during a visit to the Rumble on Gray Street Fair, in Burnaby, B.C., on Saturday September 15, 2018. The New Democrat's latest fundraising effort promises that "core supporters" will match every dollar other contributors make to the party's cause.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
September 29, 2018 - 2:30 PM

OTTAWA - The federal New Democrats are pushing their supporters to get in on what's being billed as a donation matching program as the party looks to fill its coffers ahead of a looming contribution deadline.

Sunday marks the financial close of the third quarter for fundraising and parties like the NDP traditionally put on end-of-quarter pushes to boost numbers before they become public.

The NDP is trying to claw its way back up the financial ladder after the party pulled in $4.86 million from 39,053 donors last year, far behind their opponents. The Tories raised $18.84 million from 94,786 contributors in 2017, outflanking the Liberals by nearly $5 million.

An email blast to supporters this week promised the NDP's "core supporters" will match every dollar that contributors make towards the party's cause before the Sept. 30 contribution deadline — essentially a strategy to have regular donors contribute alongside casual contributors.

"Invest in our NDP team — and every dollar you give will be matched," reads a New Democrat donation website that carries the headline: "Double your impact."

The website gives supporters the opportunity to contribute suggested amounts between $5 and $35 — or to type in any amount they choose in a box.

The party relayed a similar message to supporters in an email blast, saying: "Get in on the matching — give $3 right now and double your impact!"

That email, from Sept. 26, says the NDP team is meeting Monday and needs to be able to green light every part of its plan for the fall.

"Our core supporters know that — and that's why they're helping us hit our goal by matching every single donation until tomorrow at midnight. It really is the best kind of matching."

What the NDP hope is that people who don't usually contribute a lot will be enticed to make small donations, while also prodding more generous donors to open their wallets to the fullest.

"Our matching campaign works on an aggregate basis in conjunction with major donors who understand the importance of engaging small-money donors across the country to achieve the party's overall fundraising goals," said party spokesman Guillaume Francoeur.

Elections Canada requires parties to report fundraising details on a quarterly basis as part of the country's campaign finance laws, which also include limits on donations.

Francoeur said the party tracks all donations to ensure no one person exceeds donation limits. If contributions go over the maximum allowed by law, Francoeur says the party's donation database alerts staff and excess amount is returned to the donor in question, in accordance with the Elections Act.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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