Originally published by Arkansas Business on Monday, July 13th, 2015.
RaiseTheMoney.com, a nonpartisan online fundraising company in Little Rock, signed on 71 new campaigns in June, totaling more than 500 accounts since its founding 18 months ago by Chris Stewart, the company’s CEO.
“As a former candidate, I know it’s hard to raise money,” Stewart said in a press release. “We’re knocking on doors and spreading the word that we can do it better and less expensively. Our goal is to provide our clients a low-rate with more added value.”
Stewart, who ran for justice of the peace in Pulaski County in 2012, has practiced law at Stewart Law Firm of Little Rock for nearly nine years. He also served as political director for Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s 2006 gubernatorial campaign. RaiseTheMoney.com offers clients four types of accounts: political, church, nonprofit or social. Setting up new accounts can take users as little as five minutes and accounts are approved the same day, a company press release said.
“RaiseTheMoney.com has based its sales approach on guerilla marketing,” the company said. “It is seeking out candidates to let them know there’s a better choice at a better price for online political fundraising. The processing fee comes out of the contribution so essentially the candidate isn’t paying anything out of their pocket. The company is not afraid to take on its competition.”
The fee to clients is 4.9 percent of each campaign donation, plus 25 cents for processing — a disclaimer stated clearly on each account’s homepage.
The client pays only when a donation is made. The company offers several discount codes, which can cut the transaction fee to as low as 3.9 percent plus 25 cents. Campaigns for churches or nonprofit organizations are charged a 3.9 percent fee, while social campaign accounts charge a 5.9 percent fee, all of which include the additional 25 cents.
“The simple flat-rate pricing structure eliminates any fee concerns for political candidates who don’t have to worry about set-up fees, monthly fees or hidden costs,” the company said.
RaiseTheMoney.com is ultimately a “business venture with business goals,” according to the release. “The company is laser-focused on making money for its shareholders. As a venture capital startup, there is a board and there are shareholders. So its fiduciary responsibility to investors is of utmost importance.”
In addition to acting as a “complete cross-platform,” meaning the website is compatible with any device, the company prides itself on offering clients more and more ways to accept contributions. RaiseTheMoney.com’s long-term plan for creating an “ever-evolving number” of contribution methods starts with the recent launch of its “Contribution Box Wizard.”
“It gives the candidate multiple choices from which to receive a contributor’s payment information so a donor doesn’t have to look at a long form,” the company said of the patent-pending payment option. “In other words, it is similar to a ‘simple pay’ retail format.”
In addition, the website offers a “Quick Contribute” option, which allows donors to save their contribution information on a candidate’s website, information they can access at any time and then select the amount they want to give with a single click. There is also a crowdfunding feature available that allows donors to set up a crowdfunding campaign on behalf of a specific candidate or organization.
To track its donors’ information, the company has integrated with NationBuilder, a Los Angeles company that offers online community organizational tools that connect communities and businesses with desired parties via client-created and managed websites. When using the company’s app — which won the Reed Award from Campaigns & Elections magazine for the “2015 Top Political Digital Application” — all payments are processed through deals withTinyCandidate.com and VoteRockit.com. The latter was used during by Hutchinson during his 2014 run for office.
For more information, visit the company’s website or call (886) 935-0302.