Fast forward to the end of June, and we can now share that Australian Conservatives have raised a whopping $788,600 AUD since their launch in February- mostly from small-dollar donors-with an average donation of just $42.
If you exclude the one-time transfer from the Family First Party (which merged with Australian Conservatives a few months ago), the average donation drops to just $35.
That's approaching Bernie Sanders territory, and it's unlike anything that anyone's ever seen in modern Australian politics.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to AC's small-dollar fundraising prowess-with the two most important being Senator Bernardi's consistent, principled leadership, and the party's supporters' generosity and enthusiasm. But a third, and I believe a very important factor, was the party's website redesign earlier this year.
When the party first launched, back in February, it used a free website template-lightly modified-from NationBuilder. On February 20, we set about designing a new website focused on list growth and online fundraising. The results were immediate.
After launching the new website:
- The party saw a month-over-month increase in non-membership donations of 40%. That means that the receipts from people voluntarily donating, rather than donating as part of a party membership purchase, increased by 40%-including, for example, people who "chipped in $5" after signing up for email updates.
- The party saw its first month where direct, non-membership website donation receipts exceeded membership fees. To be clear, Australian Conservatives has a large and rapidly growing membership base-but it would be a mistake to credit their fundraising haul solely to membership sign-ups. In the month following the launch of their new website, non-membership donations accounted for 61% more overall dollars than membership fees, including a significant amount from supporters who bought their membership… and then gave more.
- The party raised $1.08 per supporter per email solicitation. That means that if an email had gone out to 10,000 supporters it would've raised $10,800 AUD. If you've ever sent political fundraising email, you'll know that those are tremendous returns, and a testament both to the party's energized supporters and the efficacy of its message strategy.
Put simply, AC's new website supercharged its online fundraising effort and allowed them to recoup the full cost of the website design and development within a week of launch.
Since the site's launch, we've been proudly watching as Australian Conservatives grow-swiftly-into Australia's most important and impactful conservative movement. Senator Bernardi has given Australian conservatives a voice and a home, and it's clear that the party's growth and success is only just beginning.
We're glad to have been able to play a small role in that early success, we're looking forward to seeing what's next!