In last week’s column comparing the state fiscal rescue plan put forward by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-03) with the tax-cut plan backed by Republican Assembly Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21), we wrote : “This situation might be different if New Jersey Republicans had taken the time to build a base of small dollar donors and activists. But as fundraiser Ali Steinstra noted at the March NJGOP Leadership Summit, broad-based Republican fundraising can only be accomplished by appeals to the party’s conservative base.
The GOP establishment in New Jersey is barely on speaking terms with its base, so the ground has not been prepared. We have no equivalent to what the NJEA and the Norcross super PACs will throw against us, so pissing on a hornet’s nest probably isn’t a good idea. At this moment in time, it is more likely to motivate the kind of turnout that will cost us another four or more seats in November.
Assembly Leader Bramnick has a sensible, Republican plan that addresses the problem of spending and taxation. It avoids drawing fire from well-organized, well-funded interest groups. Those on the ballot this year have a choice to make.”
Apparently we had failed to notice that under the leadership of Chairman Doug Steinhardt, the Republican State Committee (NJGOP) has been pioneering new methods of grassroots fundraising, including the use of “investor reports” to set goals and inspire donors. The idea of investor reports was summed up by Chairman Steinhardt: “You don’t invest in a business without a prospectus or something else that lets you know it’s a good investment. We created these with the same idea in mind. It’s been very successful.”
Some highlights of the NJGOP’s success:
- There were just 68 active donors when Chairman Steinhardt took over.
- As of March 30th, there were more than 1800 active donors.
- Of these 79% were small dollar donors (under $200).
- There has been a 29% increase in new donors in 2019.
- 2019 had the best first quarter fundraising since 2015 (accomplished without a Governor in office and after the set-backs of 2018).
- The NJGOP team of 3 full and 2 part time employees have logged 20,000 miles to grass roots events as of April 30 vs 25,000 in all of 2018.
Chairman Steinhardt noted that that the NJGOP was “reconnecting with Republicans and it’s showing.” Kudos to the Chairman and his team.