Why is WomenCount crowdfunding?

In an era when super PACs and dark money have outsized influence on the political process, individual political giving matters more than ever. Every vote counts—and every dollar gives you a voice. It may feel like our voices are small, but they aren’t. And we are stronger together. We are putting fundraising into the hands of our own personal networks on behalf of women running for office. And having fun while we’re at it.

Aren’t there already groups raising small dollar contributions?

We are tired of the never-ending donation requests from candidates, political committees, and other organizations. We’re tired of being told, day after day: “If you don’t contribute $5 by midnight tonight we’re all GOING TO DIE!” There are better ways for people to be involved in politics. We’re creating a more accessible, impactful—and fun!—way to support women candidates.

How is this really different?

Two ways:

  1. It takes away the randomness of giving. Instead of the barrage of disconnected donation requests, you can give to a slate of women based on ideology, geography, electability—or some other reason that speaks to you. Think Birthday Girls, Golden Girls, Champions of Gun Reform, Most Vulnerable Freshmen … you get the idea. Don’t see the group that matches your interests? You build the slate of your dreams and start fundraising!
  2. We’re taking the “ask” away from the candidates and giving it to you. Instead of being solicited directly by a campaign or political organization, you and your friends, relatives, co-workers, and other like-minded types will do this together.

Why should I participate? What’s in it for me?

We’re giving you a way to tell your friends what’s important to you, why you care, and how to make a difference. When you donate through crowdfunding you will be part of a larger community. It’s a way to have a voice and make it louder. Imagine how your $5, $10, or $25 gift can be multiplied again and again when you encourage your networks to give.

Does crowdfunding really work?

Crowdfunding isn’t new, but it’s new to politics. In 2014, more than $16 billion was raised through crowdfunding. Of that, $9.5 billion was spent in the US. But that money went to fund art projects, new technology, and countless other efforts. It’s time for us to use the power of crowdfunding to change politics.

Who’s this for?

All of us. Politics is for anyone who cares about who is elected, what laws are made, how our nation is run. And crowdfunding is easy.

Note: We think this effort will be especially popular with young women (and men) looking for more familiar and impactful ways to get involved with politics.

Why should I care?

Women make up 51 percent of the US population and 56 percent of voters—but only 19 percent of Congress. Do the math: That means 81 percent of Congress—and those making policy decisions—are men.

Women bring different life perspectives to policymaking. Women also introduce and pass more legislation, are more likely to work across the aisle, and communicate and collaborate more effectively and creatively than men. More women in elected office means better politics and a better country.

Why hasn’t anyone does this before?

It is difficult for people who are deeply involved in politics to understand how much is broken, or how many opportunities exist to make a difference and change the conversation. And if politics is broken, nobody should expect to find new, innovative ways to get things done on the inside. When you see things from the outside, it’s pretty clear. We looked around, we saw what was working, and we brought it to politics.

How is this different from groups that are raising money to support women candidates (e.g. Emily’s List)?

There are groups that endorse Democratic women candidates and raise funds to support those endorsed candidates. (With huge success!) WomenCount doesn’t make endorsements—we don’t pick a select few candidates to support. And we put the ask into the hands of our users. So you and your friends, family and co-workers select which candidates to support. WomenCount is unleashing the power of crowdfunding on politics.

How does it work?

It’s easy. When you visit womencount.org, you make a choice: Find a pre-selected slate of women OR build a slate of hand-picked candidates. Once you choose, you checkout, and that’s it. The site walks the user through all of the steps. And the WomenCount platform takes care of the distribution of funds as well all necessary FEC compliance and reporting requirements.

What’s a slate?

A slate is a collection of women candidates. You can “find a slate” of pre-selected candidates or you can “build a slate” and choose the women you want to support.

What if I want to support just one woman?

Go for it! That’s called a slate of one and the platform lets you do that easily. Just go to “build a slate” and select the woman you want to support. Then, checkout.

What’s a team?

A team is a collection of donors. A team supports a slate of candidates. Once you make a donation to slate of women candidates, you can start a team and begin fundraising. Or you can start by joining a team and supporting that team’s slate if you’re not ready to reach out to your networks. You can even start a team without making a donation. Just create an account to get started.

What’s the leaderboard?

The leaderboard ranks the teams based on how much money each has raised in support of its slate. It can also be ranked by number of donors.

How is the platform itself funded?

Thanks for asking. When you check out, a small fee is deducted for credit card costs, bank fees, and some administrative expenses. It does not support maintenance of the platform or the organization and people who are running things on a day-to-day basis. We rely on your generosity to keep the operation running. Every donor has an option to add an extra amount at checkout to help WomenCount with its operations. Please consider supporting our work!