Compared to alternatives, winning is better- and we've got math to prove it.

Compared to alternatives, winning is better- and we've got math to prove it.

It’s been an awesome (and exhausting) few months at PowerThru. So awesome, in fact, that it took us a few days to quantify all the winning that just happened and write it down in one place. Nov 6, 2012 was a good night for Progressives, for the country, for math – and for our little company that works so hard to make all three of those succeed for our clients. Here’s some top-line highlights of the awesome that was election season 2012, and some detailed stories about how we can help YOU win next time too. Between August and November, PowerThru helped clients:

  • Add over 200,000 new Facebook fans.
  • Build over 20 new websites and microsites that were seen by tens of millions.
  • Send over 8 million emails asking people to donate, call, like, share and vote.
  • Raise over $1 million dollars online.

So it was a BIG election. But we love the little stuff about this work: from getting the CSS on your website just right to just getting the fundraising email out the door. So here’s a few stories from the campaign trail about what we remember and loved, and who made it possible: USAction had their best 4 weeks of fundraising since the Fab 5 fled Wisconsin and emailed the True Majority to ask for help. By the time it was time for counting, emails (written mostly by Sara) helped them raise over $40,000 in less than 4 weeks. USAction members also made thousands of calls to Wisconsin and Ohio supporting Tammy Baldwin and Sherrod Brown, as well as the President, thanks to the calling program run by the whole team at PowerThru. All three of them won on election night, just in case you were out of the country for the last few days.

Environment America Voter Action needed to raise some money online to support their big, gutsy effort to knock on millions of doors and talk about why Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren and other candidates were the right choice for the environment. They worked with PowerThru to implement a series of email arcs, starting from the Convention and running right up to Election Day. Drew loved working with old friends to beat their fundraising goal by 50%, but he REALLY loved doing it with 4x as many donors as they’d anticipated — Karl Rove losing and our friends #winning? Now that’s change we can believe in.

Mike Nellis ran what seemed like every online campaign in North Carolina. And while not everybody won that we wanted to, we did help continue to push this purple state towards blue – including electing 2 incredibly strong, progressive women to statewide office: Elaine Marshall and Janet Cowell. Even the races that didn’t come out our way on election night had their high points. Like helping progressive champ Patsy Keever raise 400% more money to (almost) win the NC-10th. Before Mike got involved, she’d raised about $35,000 a quarter. With Mike’s help, she raised $123,023 Aug-Nov and ran an incredibly competitive campaign that used online voter-targeted advertising, volunteerism and more social media than you can shake a stick at to get her within striking distance. She’ll be back, and so will we.

Laura helped everyone run smart, targeted Facebook, Twitter and Google ad campaigns and write better emails. But she paid special attention to helping African American Voter Rep – the largest urban voter registration and participation project targeting African Americans in the state of California – ramp up online with a new website and a social media presence that grew by over 1,600% on a small budget. To anyone who doubts that groups with short timelines and small budgets can make big changes – just ask Laura how African American voter registration is doing in LA and you’ll realize the error of your ways.

Chris (as usual) found new and awesome ways to extend the functionality of Salsa. Our favorite was his customization of the Peer-to-Peer fundraising tool, which helped the good people at Minnesotans United for All Families raise over $150,000 for marriage equality (and subsequently make one of Drew’s favorite ads of the season). A big story of the night was how so many states overwhelmingly supported the right of loving same-sex couples to get married. And a big part of how we won that victory was by empowering families and friends of families to tell their own stories. The peer-to-peer fundraising pages in Salsa that Chris helped build with our buddies at Wide Eye were one of the season’s most effective ways of using people-power to raise money.

Jon worked on dozens of sites this fall. But it’s safe to say that many of our favorites were from the new SuperPAC American Bridge. Not only are our friends Sam and Laurin a blast to work with, but it gave us a chance to work on some of the best URLs of the season:, and more. That these sites were featured on Good Morning America, DailyKos, Huffington Post and more is awesome. That they were seen by millions of people and helped shape the narrative of the election is why Chris and Jon are indispensable.

Colin churned out beautiful and compelling social media images for Facebook all fall. From explaining why Adrienne Brody and Pam Anderson want to save carriage horses to 30 reasons why Elaine Marshall rocks over 30 days, if pictures are worth 1,000 words, Colin may have said more than any of us in October. He also was the brains and writing behind helping Environmental Action run a fierce campaign to get the moderators of the 4 Presidential and VP debates to ask about climate change – which added over 20,000 new email members to their list and got them mentioned in media sources ranging from the New York Times to the Huffington Post. Climate Change didn’t come up in the debates, as you might have noticed, but we sure as hell got “climate change in the debate” when Hurricane Sandy hit a week before the election and re-shaped science, math, the election and the public’s understanding of leadership on environmental issues.

There were lots more good things done – by us and by clients and friends. To everyone who made calls or donated money or turned a friend out to vote, you’re awesome too. But there’s something to be said for a company that puts its values and people first and never gives up a chance to raise some hell, help a good cause or get someone who deserves to be in office elected. We did a LOT to make that vision a reality this fall. Everyone on our team was given one afternoon to take a nap, and eat a big sandwich in honor of this winning.

Now, it’s time to get back to work. So, how can we help you win your campaign?