Matching Funds would Make Grassroots Campaigns More Powerful

US PIRG: “U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s study examines the impact of a small donor matching system similar to those proposed in the Government by the People Act (H.R. 20) and the Fair Elections Now Act (S. 1538). Both of these bills propose a program that would match small contributions with public funds at a rate of six-to-one or more, and establish lower maximum contribution limits for candidates who volunteer to participate and demonstrate viability by meeting qualifying thresholds for small donor fundraising.

  • Without a small donor matching system, candidates received 33 percent of their funds from donors giving less than $200. Under the proposed system, 74 percent of the total funds would come from small donors and their corresponding matching funds.
  • Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has raised 77 percent of his contributions from small donors compared to former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton’s 18 percent, but Clinton is currently outraising Sanders by more than three to one. With a small donor matching system, Sanders would close the gap significantly, trailing Clinton in fundraising by just 7 percent.”


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