Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about your donation or want to learn more about using ActBlue? We cover all the stuff you need to know below. 

If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us

 

Information for Donors

Getting Started with ActBlue

ActBlue Express

Data Integration

About ActBlue and ActBlue Technical Services

Other

Information for Donors

Where does my money go?

It goes directly to the candidate or cause you specify when you give.  Campaigns and organizations use the fundraising software on our site to enable you to make your contribution.  We act as the conduit for your contribution, passing the donation on.  The cost of processing the contribution (mostly credit card fees), comes out of your contribution. We are legally required to charge that fee.

As a non-profit, tips are how we pay our bills. We don’t profit from the contributions going through our site. You can add your tip on the contribution form where you enter your credit card information.

Are there limits on how much I can contribute?

Yes. Because it takes time and money to process a donation, there's a $1 minimum on all contributions made via ActBlue.

Contributions made via the ActBlue website are the same as those made in other ways (e.g. through the mail, at a fundraiser, etc.) and are counted against relevant contribution limits.

Contribution limits for 2013-14 are as follows. (Note that some differ from the 2012 limits due to the FEC's adjustments for inflation.)

  • U.S. House and Senate candidates — $2,600 per election to each candidate. (Primary and general elections are counted as separate elections, even if the primary is uncontested.)
  • Federal PACs (e.g. ActBlue) — $5,000 per year to each PAC.
  • National Party Committees (e.g. the DNC, DSCC, DCCC) — $32,400 per year to each national party committee.
  • Aggregated limits to Federal candidates — In 2013-14, you may give a combined total of up to $48,600 to Federal candidates (i.e. candidates for U.S. House and Senate).
  • Aggregated limits to PACs and Party Committees — In 2013-14 you may give a combined total of up to $74,600 to Federal PACs and Party committees. No more than $48,600 of these funds may go to Federal PACs and state and local party committees.
  • State and Local Party Committees — Combined $10,000 limit for party committees in each state.

For state and local campaigns, the contribution limits vary by state or municipality. We’ve built ActBlue so that each contribution form is pre-set to accommodate each jurisdiction’s contribution limits, but if you have follow up questions, you can be in touch with us or your own counsel.

There is no limit on the amount you can donate to superPACs or social welfare organizations listed on ActBlue.

Are my donations tax deductible?

No, political donations to federal candidates and committees are not tax deductible, whether they are made online or in person. Likewise, gifts and contributions to social welfare organizations and (c4)s are not deductible as charitable contributions, nor as a business expense to the extent that the funds might be used for lobbying activities.

How can I change or cancel recurring contributions once I have created them?

Your recurring contribution receipt contains a link that allows you to modify the number of months remaining on your contribution or cancel it altogether.

Unfortunately we cannot change the amount of the contribution, the day of the month it is charged, or the recipient. If you’d like to change any of these factors, you can cancel your recurring contribution and sign up for a new one that reflects the changes you’d like to make.

If you’d prefer you may contact us at any time to edit or cancel your contribution. Just provide your name, zip code, and information about the contribution.

I made a mistake while donating. Who should I contact?

You can email our customer service team or call us at 617-517-7600 and we can help you out. We’re in the office Monday-Friday from 9 AM - 5 PM EST. We return every phone call and email that we receive, and make every effort to do it within the same day.

How do I know your site is secure?

ActBlue is PCI compliant, which means that we have passed rigorous security tests to ensure that all donor credit cards are fully protected. We’re required to conduct quarterly security tests and annual external audits, so we’re always thinking about security. You can click on the green security certificate that appears in front of our web address to learn more.

How can I fundraise for my favorite candidate(s)?

You can create a contribution form for your favorite candidate or a group of candidates. Just log in to your ActBlue account and then search for the first person. Once you’ve found your candidate, click the “Create a Form” arrow next to their name. Fill out all of the prompts (check out the Contribution Forms section below for more tips).

If you’d like to add other candidates or organizations to the contribution form, you can click on the “Add” tab, find them in the directory and click add. We recommend sticking to just one or a few candidates. If you’re doing a group, make sure you give a reason why all of the candidates deserve support.

Once you’re done you can share the link to your contribution form with family and friends. Personal pitches work really well in persuading people who they should vote for and support.

Getting Started with ActBlue

How do I get my campaign, committee or non-profit listed on ActBlue?

Visit www.actbluesetup.com and fill out the short form. An ActBlue staffer will be in touch shortly to get you set up and fundraising in no time.

What types of organizations can be listed on ActBlue?

If you’re wondering if you can fundraise on ActBlue, check out the guidelines below. If you still have questions about your eligibility, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions.  

  • All Democratic candidates for federal office, federal political action committees, and non-federal 527 organizations may raise funds using ActBlue. ActBlue can list candidates for state office in every state except Connecticut, but campaigns in some states may require additional paperwork before we can set them up. Local campaigns in Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington D.C. as well as these cities and counties can also sign up for ActBlue as part of our local races pilot program. 501c(4) organizations may request an ActBlue Civics listing.
  • To begin the setup process, please visit www.actbluesetup.com
  • If we're missing a candidate, please let us know and we will post them ASAP. We list all Democratic candidates for each U.S. House and Senate seat, and do our best to add new candidates as soon as they emerge and register with the FEC.
  • We've included other groups and organizations that we think our user community would be interested in supporting. The organizations conduct different types of political activities, including issue advocacy, media campaigns, voter registration, get-out-the-vote and more.
  • ActBlue also lists social welfare organizations that reflect the interests of our donor community.
  • Is ActBlue active in X state/locality?

    We can help state candidates in every state besides Connecticut due to their current laws. Here is the large and growing list of localities where we are active.

    Can you help local candidates fundraise?

    Yes! We can help city and municipal candidates in a number of locations. Here is the list of where we are currently active. If your city isn’t listed, let us know and we’ll look into it. We can’t make any promises, but hearing from you will help us figure out how to prioritize our work.

    Can you help judicial candidates fundraise?

    We are not active in judicial races at this time.

    My favorite candidate isn't listed. Why not?

    See the previous questions for our listing criteria. If the candidate meets all of the criteria, it may just be an oversight on our part. Please help out and let us know.

    Is it possible to get a draft campaign listed on ActBlue?

    On a limited basis, draft campaigns for federal candidates can be listed on ActBlue. Please contact us for more information.

    How much does ActBlue charge?

    Visit our pricing page to get all the details.

    There is a flat rate of 3.95% that we charge on each donation you receive to cover the processing cost. That’s it. There are no set up fees and no last minute charges for the services we provide. That way you can do the math.

    For local campaigns and a few state-level campaigns, we are required to operate through merchant accounts. Although fees will vary depending on the type of card being processed, you can expect them to average around 3.95% as well. Donors and fundraisers can use our tools for free.

    I'm weighing my fundraising platform options right now. Why should I choose ActBlue?

    We'll help you raise more money. Period.

    We’ve never lost a legitimate A/B test and there are a lot of reasons for that. Our forms have been tested hundreds of times to maximize conversions. Our forms are mobile-optimized and can take PayPal. There are 570,000 (and growing!) ActBlue Express users who have saved their credit card information with us and they convert at double the rate of regular users. We’re a non-profit, so we’re only here to help you win!

    You can find a breakdown of the pricing and all the features here.

    Want to know more or set up a test? Drop us a line.

    What’s the difference between a hub page, a customized contribution form, and my overall account?

    A hub page is a place for supporters to find and join in publicly.

    A customized contribution form is one of the many variations that you can make via your ActBlue account. The options include a branded template, merchandise form, event ticket form, and email and web forms.

    Your overall account is all that activity put together. We call it your dashboard. It’s the money that comes in from all these sources and your ActBlue command station.

    What does it mean if I'm a "form owner"? Where do I find my forms?

    forms can only have one owner (unlike accounts which can have multiple users) and form ownership is automatically given to the person who creates it. Form owners can delete the form. Everyone who is a user on the committee’s account can edit the form and see the fundraising total.

    You can find and manage your forms under the “Fundraising” tab while you’re logged in.

    Where can I find my dashboard and contributor info?

    Click on the name of your committee under the “My Committees” menu when you’re signed in.

    This will bring you straight to your dashboard. To access your contributor data in real time, click the “Compliance” tab in your dashboard. Here you’ll find the reporting center, with everything you need to follow up with your donors and legally comply with your reporting body. We make it easy to use with instructions on how to handle your data and options to download NGP or .csv data. You can also view and download information from individual checks.

    Can I be an admin on more than one account? How do I switch between them?

    Yes, you can be an admin on more than one account. You can switch between them by choosing the appropriate committee from the “My Committees” menu after you’re logged in.

    I just created a contribution form, why doesn’t it show up on my hub page?

    Contribution forms will not show up until they receive at least $1 in donations. Once you receive your first donation, it will automatically be visible on your hub page. You can still share the link with supporters before you’ve received any donations. You should also make sure that you’ve checked off the line that says “Promote my form by displaying fundraising totals...” on the “Edit” tab.

    I just got my first ActBlue/ActBlue Civics check in the mail, what should I do?

    Your treasurer should deposit your check into your campaign savings account. If you lose or damage a check and need one reissued, you may contact us.

    In order to report your donor information, you should login to your ActBlue account and visit the “Compliance” tab on your dashboard. There you’ll find instructions on how to handle all of your donor information. You can download your data to integrate into NGP, view it in a CSV, or see details of individual weekly checks.

    If you have questions about how to access your donor information, please let us know.

    How do I receive my money?

    If you’re a federal candidate, a c4 non-profit, or a state-level candidate that did not have to set up a merchant account, you’ll receive a check each week containing funds from the previous week. We cut and mail checks every Monday, containing funds through Sunday at midnight.

    If you’re a local candidate or state-level candidate that had to set up a merchant account, the money will be deposited directly into your bank account.

    How can I request a check/get my money faster?

    If you receive checks from us, just give us a call. We can cut and mail you a check any day of the week containing funds raised through midnight of the day before.

    If you’re working on a large campaign that’s raising over $5,000 every day, we may be able to offer you wire transfers. Drop our political team a line.

    If you have a merchant account, you’re already getting your money as fast as possible. Because we act as a conduit, we process hundreds of thousands of dollars on a daily basis. We leverage the amount of money that we move to get fast processing times and great rates from our bank.

    ActBlue Express

    What are Express users and why are they helpful?

    Express users are donors who have saved their credit card information with ActBlue, and can donate with just one click. Because the Express donor universe is so large (725,000 and counting), your supporters are already a part of it. On average, 40% of your existing donors will already be Express users.

    Express users also donate 21.5% more frequently than non-Express users and contribute 8.5% more dollars over time.

    What is Express Lane and how can I get it?

    Express Lane lets Express users (people who have saved their credit card information with ActBlue) contribute instantly from an email. Donors just click the a link for a specific amount and their card is charged. The donors don't have to spend time filling out a lugubrious contribution form. All the work's done for them!

    We’re rolling out Express Lane slowly to federal campaigns and larger state campaigns. Contact us if you are interested.

    Will you match our list so we can find out which of our members are Express users?

    We’re happy to match your list to our Express users. On average, 40% of your existing donors will already be Express users.

    Data Integration

    Does ActBlue integrate with Salsa, Blue State Digital, NGPVAN, Trilogy and ActionKit?

    Yes, we integrate with all of the above!  We’ll push all your donor and fundraising tracking information directly into your database. If you have questions, contact us here.

    How do I download my donor information/compliance reports?

    Visit the “Compliance” tab on your dashboard. There you’ll find instructions on how to handle all of your donor information. You can download your data to integrate into NGP, view it in a CSV, or see details of individual weekly checks.

    How do I integrate ActBlue data with NGP?

    We offer one-step integration of our disbursement information into your NGP contributor database. If you’re an NGP Desktop customer, make sure you have downloaded the latest software update.

    Visit the “Compliance” tab of your committee’s dashboard and click on “Download NGP Data.” There you’ll find your data broken down by checks. For each ActBlue disbursement check, you'll need to download two files from the table below: your campaign's NGP fundraiser database file, and the contributor database file for that disbursement. Once you have copies of each file, select Imports from the File menu, then select ActBlue Import.

    ActBlue and ActBlue Technical Services

    Who are you?

    ActBlue puts powerful online fundraising tools in the hands of Democrats and social welfare groups. Our mission is to democratize power by making it easy for donors to connect with the candidates and causes they support.

    We’re a diverse bunch, and we hail from all over the political and tech worlds. Learn more about the ActBlue Team.

    What is ActBlue?

    ActBlue is a non-profit political action committee registered with the Federal Elections Commission and state electoral authorities in over 20 states. We are also registered with the IRS as a 527 political organization for many of our non-federal activities.

    What is ActBlue Civics?

    ActBlue Civics is an issue advocacy group that supports the online fundraising efforts of left/liberal social welfare organizations. ActBlue Civics is filed with the IRS as a 501c(4) organization.

    What is ActBlue Technical Services?

    ActBlue Technical Services is a non-profit that provides ActBlue with the technical expertise that maintains our infrastructure. They’re always working to innovate to make our software do more for you and make it easier for donors to give.

    Are you hiring?

    We’re always looking for engineers! Check out our jobs page for information and other openings.

    How is ActBlue funded?

    We’re a non-profit organization, so we rely on tips on contributions as well as our own fundraising campaigns to bring in income. The low fees charged on contributions only go toward processing fees. The rest we come up with ourselves.

    Other

    What's with this missing/broken link?

    Whoops! Please let us know. To be really nice, try to find the correct link and include that in your message, too.