United Rural Democrats (URD) is a political action committee focused on providing support to democrats running for office in traditionally red, rural districts. With over a thousand seats lost in rural areas since 2010, URD was founded to reprioritize areas vital to the long-term success of the Democratic party. Unlike other organizations, URD started off as a popular Twitter account, with tens of thousands of followers. Since their launch as a PAC last year, they have grown to become a fundraising juggernaut that has supported dozens of candidates from State Houses all the way to the U.S. Senate.
The main challenge with URD was that our team had to build an online fundraising apparatus from scratch and then scale the organization’s online presence and impact. Our team was tasked with finding the best online channels for fundraising and with building an email program ethically and effectively from the ground up in a way that highlighted URD’s mission and aligned with organizational growth goals.
Messaging that cuts through
In order to produce a successful email program, we needed to curate an authentic and impactful message. URD’s message has always been one of hope, where more Democrats are elected from rural backgrounds and communities. We made that motif the centerpiece of our communications, with an emphasis on the need for greater investment in rural areas. We worked with our partners to identify audiences within target areas to deliver our message to. Through AI-powered email warming services and careful segmentation, we were able to sustain a very high email deliverability rate.
Social media & automations
Since URD’s notoriety began on Twitter, we set up a direct message automation targeting both new and existing followers to detail important accomplishments and upcoming fundraising deadlines. We were able to reach hundreds of followers daily through this automation. After seeing the success of this fundraising tactic, we replicated it across other clients and have raised tens of thousands of dollars for URD and other causes. Our team continuously curates organic fundraising posts, leveraging trending moments online, to generate additional streams of revenue.
By tapping into our affiliate network, we are able to fundraise where others are not. Our partners primarily include newsletter aggregators and moderators of online communities, where we are able to post our message with a redirect to ActBlue. Through online organizing, we are able to acquire new emails and donor data while building support and excitement, which translates to dollars. These partnerships allow our team to explore out-of-the-box ways of raising money for clients and activate a prime audience in what has otherwise been a relatively challenging fundraising environment.