There are several advocacy groups that have been fighting to overturn the decision of Supreme Court regarding Citizens United. These groups include Public Citizen, besides Common Cause along with People for the American Way. A new group was added to this list in March 2015. It is the End Citizens United PAC. It wants to overturn this controversial decision of the Supreme Court too. But it wants to do so by helping to elect more Democrats in the US Government.
End Citizens United has an aggressive strategy. It is founded by three former specialists who were looking after online fundraising for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They are also running Mothership Strategies which is a consulting firm. It is clear that they have a mindset towards list building as well as big volume fundraising. Earlier all this was being done by some dedicated non-profit agencies.
This PAC has a methodology of sending out urgent solicitations through e-mail. At times, these amounted to even seven each day. These would have messages that would ask people to send their donation so that they become a founding member of End Citizens United. They need to rush as Republicans are chipping away at various finance laws related to the campaign. Hence there is urgency in order to restore Democracy. Hence action needs to be taken immediately. The minimum contribution being requested was of $5.
It was a highly successful strategy. It helped End Citizens United to raise $11 million. All this was mainly through small donations that were being collected online.
The founders of End Citizens United are Greg Berlin, Jake Lipsett along with Charles Starnes. They feel that Citizens United has unleashed huge amounts of political cash. This way it has become simply impossible for the Democrats to pass their Party agenda. This is why End Citizens United has been created so that Democrats are elected who can change all this.
This strategy was very different and unique in the world of political fundraising world. Typically, non-profits tend to build up relationships with their supporters by going through several actions. But End Citizens United was buying extensive lists and then asking people to make donations.
Non-profits tend to organize protests and such other events. They will circulate petitions. This is the way they would advocate for any legislation, or against it. They are looking at grassroots engagement with their supporters and not at soliciting money from them.
Besides, End Citizens United was sending these emails to those donors who had already funded several non-profits that were looking after campaign finance reform.
Hence these fundraising tactics by End Citizens United are not very common in the case of candidate campaigns or party committees. But this is being used as a way to keep engaged with the supporters too.