In the hillside vineyards of Napa Valley, a close-knit community is coming together to support Democratic candidates around California that could be the difference in taking back the House.
Before the 2016 Presidential election, Julie Jenanyan had never been involved in politics. After watching her sister canvass and phone bank, she wondered what she could do to help.
“I thought, ‘What can I do?’ said Julie. “I live in this great community, so I decided to create an online fundraiser that would appeal to my like-minded friends and neighbors. I wanted to effect change and flipping Congress felt like it would be the most impactful.”
But she wanted to make the process of donating simple: “People want to be involved, they want to do something, but they don’t know where to begin or where exactly to donate their money.”
Julie founded Blue Wave Napa Valley to bring the Napa Valley community together to fundraise for Democratic candidates in “flippable” California districts. With the help of organizers, activists and Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-5), the group decided to center their efforts on California Democrats Katie Hill (CA-25), Harley Rouda (CA-48) and Mark Levin (CA-49).
Blue Wave Napa Valley has two goals:
- To harness the collective power of the community; and
- To provide a straightforward and understandable way to donate money to several candidates at one time.
Julie brought together a passionate steering committee, but still needed to find a fundraising tool that would allow her to easily process and distribute political donations to the candidates. A quick Google search brought her to Crowdpac’s slate fundraising, where anyone can set up a fundraising page for their favorite candidates in just a few minutes.
Crowdpac’s fundraising tools helped maximize Blue Wave Napa Valley’s crowdfunding efforts.
“The whole concept is brilliant. I couldn’t have done this without Crowdpac.”
Since its launch, Blue Wave Napa Valley has raised over a quarter of their $100,000 goal. With a slate, Julie can easily distribute all of the funds raised among the three candidates, who receive the disbursements directly.
Crowdpac’s tools allow individuals like Julie to fundraise for their favorite candidates and causes without having to set up their own legal entity or work through complicated campaign finance laws.
So what does this first-time political activist advise others looking to help fundraise for political candidates?
Start with your personal network.
“We did something a little risky and that was to create a database of our own personal contacts and developed a mailing list of as many names as possible. You gotta start with something.”
Blue Wave Napa Valley
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