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Tuesday 12 January 2016

Irish General Election 2016 Public Online Crowdfunding Donations

Update Jan 2017

Ed Davitt disclosed all his small Seanad election donations even though he didn't have to.

Seanad General Election 2016

Seanad General Election 2016 campaigns on gofundme.

Harmon For Seanad - NUI Panel Goal €5.000
Oisín Coghlan for Seanad Eireann Goal €4.000
Lynn's Seanad Campaign (TCD Panel) Goal €1.800 Lynn Ruane Donate
Fund Rory Hearne's Seanad Campaign Goal €3.000
Ed Davitt for Seanad Eireann fund Goal €1.735
#Barry4Seanad Goal €2.000

Dail General Election 2016
A number of Irish general election candidates have set up crowdfunding campaigns, political fundraising was always a sort of crowdfunding, the difference here is that its semi-public, in that it can show you the name of the donors, as the donate, if the donors want to and they are using third party platforms to raise funds.

Senator Averil Power (IND), Cllr Paul McCauliffe (FF) and the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA) all set up campaigns using icrowdfund but have not raised any money with them, mainly I think because they didn't promote them. Paul McCauliffe's campaign has 20 days left.

Some other Independent candidates for the 2014 local election also set-up political fundraising campaigns but didn't get very many donations.

Some candidates and their supporters had been involved in the 2015 Marriage Equality referendum which used and had success crowdfunding during the campaign getting twice its goal.

Averil Power a is a Senator who left Fianna Fail when she saw she wasn't going to be the only candidate on the ticket to run for the party in the constituency of Dublin North Bay. Curiously Averil Power's campaign was set up by Friends of Averil Power and Paul McCauliffe's campaign by Elect Paul McAuliffe to Dáil Éireann, rather then specifically the candidate's.

Candidate themselves and not their agents are directly responsible for donations according to Standards in Public Office Guidelines for the General Election 2015 or 2016 page 15
It is the candidate who is required to comply with the requirements of the Act regarding the recording and disclosure of donations
The account should be in the candidate's name and he/she should be the authorised signatory on the account.

Donation law is set by the Electoral Act, 1997. and the Electoral (Amendment) (Political Funding) Act 2012.

Guidelines for the General Election 2015 or 2016 page 15

More and lower limits have been set for political donations in recent years and the various donation limits were set in 2012, a €1000 is the most that can be donated to a candidate in any year but only donations over €600 need to be disclosed, so the practice has been to donate below this limit, while crowdfunding sites allow people to publically list their donations of any amount as they are donated. A spending limit will be set when the election is called although it was around €37k in 2011,
The current limits set in 2007 are:

30,150 euro in a 3-seat constituency
37,650 euro in a 4-seat constituency
45,200 euro in a 5-seat constituency.
depending on how big the constituency was so really people are only aiming to raise 5 to 10% of the total spending limit in these campaigns. Read Elaine Byrne on poltical party's opaque spending of millions. Donation and spending in 2011 general election.

In 2016 Averil Power changed crowdfunding platforms to Indiegogo also set up by Friends of Averil Power. This while also having a paypal donate system on her website and holding Fundraising Nights At The Dogs.

Dublin South West candidate Paul Murphy of AAA-PBP set up a Anti-Austerity Alliance donation campaign with the use of American based political campaigning website system Nationbuilder which they have been using for a few years. Dublin Bay North candidate Michael O'Brien is also fundraising on the same website, as is Cork AAA. Nationbuilder also allows you to set a donations goal and allows donors to list themselves and share on social media that they donated. He subsequently put up a Gofundme campaign for his Paul MurphyPosters fund.

Paul Murphy TD and Cllr Mick Murphy were arrested and charged with false imprisonment for sitting down behind a car that the Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) was in and subsequently they were refused a license for door to door collections by the Tallaght Police Superintendent under the Street and House To House Collections Act, 1962. because she was of the opinion,
the proceeds of the collection or any portion thereof would be used in such a manner as to encourage, either directly or indirectly, the commission of an unlawful act.

One last push of this. Almost 1,000 people have shared it. If each of them gave €10 each... you get the idea! Thanks so...

Posted by Paul Murphy TD on Friday, January 29, 2016

As of 30/01/2016 Paul Murphy's Election Posters crowdfunding campaign raised €1.963 84 people in 13 days, not a huge amount of money but an impressive amount of people involved.
AAA have been asking for donations via their regular paypal Donation page on their main site as well as Paul Murphy's Nationbuilder website.

In Autumn 2015 Anti Austerity Alliance and People Before Profit Alliance merged to become the AAA-PBP a registered political party aiming to get 7 seats to become its own parliamentary group in the Dail to get more speaking time.

AAA and PBP intend to continue to organise and fund-raise separately at a local level, the Standards in Public Office have contacted and met with the AAA and the PBPA but neither has yet been confirmed as a third party, if they raise over €100 to campaign in an election you have to register as Third Party Third Party Forms - Standards in Public Office Commission. SIPO have indicated to me they are raising funds as accounting units of the AAA-PBP party

United People a newly registered political party have set up a Gofundme crowdfunding campaign.

Social Democrats candidate Ken Curtin Cork East

Interesting to note that Sandara Fay AAA DSW is listing her offline donations on her gofundme page as they occur.

Paul Murphy AAA DSW is the first person to hit his target (of €3,000) on his gofundme campaign while also having raised over €3,000 on his Nationabuilder site.

Summary of campaigns
Support Averil Power for Dáil Éireann (IND) Goal 10k, raised 0. (not promoted)
Support Averil for Dáil Éireann! (IND) Goal 10k.
Elect Paul McAuliffe to Dáil Éireann (FF) Goal 2k, raised 0. (not promoted)
AAA Election Appeal (AAA) Goal 10k, raised 0. (not promoted)
Paul Murphy. Goal 10k.
Michael O'Brien. Goal 3k.
Michael O'Brien Dublin Bay North AAA candidate Goal €2,000
donate cork aaa
United People. €6.000
Social Democrats Ken Curtin Cork East Goal €10,000
Henry Gaynor (IND) Kerry. Goal €10,000
Gearóid Fitzgibbon Green Party Tipperary Goal €3.600
Paul Murphy Posters AAA(PBP) Dublin South West Goal €3.000
Declan Bree Sligo-Leitrim. Goal €2.500
Declan Bree Sligo-Leitrim. Goal €2.500
Oliver Moran Social Media CampaignGreen Party Cork. Goal €500
BarbaraSmyth Independent, Longford. Goal €3.500
Bernie Hughes Independent Dublin North West. Goal €1000
Richard Murray Independent Candidate for Dublin South Central. Goal €3000
Brian Finucane Candidate for AAA People Before Profit. Goal €3,000
Anna Doyle PBP(AAA) Wicklow East Carlow General Election fundraising donated €600 to herself Goal €1000
John Halliagan Independent Waterford Goal €2,000
Thomas Kiely Independent Cork North Centra Goal €4,000
Sandra Fay Dublin South West. Goal €3,000
Ben Gilroy Direct Democracy Ireland Meath East. Goal €5.000 Created February 1, 2016 by Ciarán O'Dochartaigh
Direct Democracy Election Campaign. Goal €6,000 Created September 20, 2015 by Gerry Flood
Michael O'Gorman Independent Kerry Goal €3.000
Edward Quilty Waterford Direct Democracy Ireland
Ken Smollen Irish Democratic Party Goal €3,000
Sharon BriggsPeople Before Profit Wicklow Goal €800 Created by June Tobin Maher
Fiona Pettit O'LearyIndependent Cork South West €500 for ballot registration.
Fiona Ryan Cork South Central Anti-Austerity Alliance. Goal €500
Diana O'Dwyer AAA Dublin Central for Election Posters Goal €1.500
Save Mayo Peter Jordan Ballina and George O'Malley Newport 1st Independent Mayo candidates. Goal €1,500
Kate Bopp Offaly Independent. Goal €5.000
Cllr Mike Cubbard Independent Councillor on Galway City. Goal €1,000
Keith Gilligan Carlow-Kilkenny Independent (Right2change)
Declan Crowe Independent South Kildare. Goal €3.000
Tommy Holohan is the Anti Austerity Alliance Galway West / South Mayo Goal €1.500
Tom Moran People Before Profit Alliance Mayo Goal €500
Michael McDermott Direct democracy Ireland Cavan / Monaghan Goal €5,000
Keogan4Meath Election Fund Raising ?
Too many to list on Gofundme

Campaigns for Seanad
Lynn Ruane TCD panel.

Crowdfunding fees
icrowdfund 4 - 6% and 3% transaction +25c.
Gofundme 5% fee and 1.4% stripe transaction = 6.4%
Indiegogo 5% fee and 3% + 30c transaction. 8-10%
Paypal 3.4% for direct donation with Paypal.
Nationbuilder $29 minimun for complete campaigning service. 'No transaction fees'.

Party Donation
Sinn Fein
Anti-Austerty Alliance
Green Party
Fine Gael
Fianna Fail
People before Profit

Best to make clear that you have to be an Irish resident or Irish citizen to donate. I have noticed some people donating who are in Ireland but admit to not being in the constituency of the candidate, I know Dail members are national politicians but it would strange if a candidate was helped to get elected to any significant degree by lots of people donating from outside the constituency, (especially if they had fellow party candidates in the constituent of the donor).

Small donors meet candidates’ running costs Aaran Rogers Times Ireland January 9 2016.

Money makes the world go roundRTE Election 2016 Podcast 29/01/2016. Claire Byrne is joined by SIPO's Paddy Walsh, former FF TD Mary Wallace, and Prof Iain McMenamin.

Former FF TD Mary Wallace suggesting at 23 minutes into the podcast that Independent candidates can spend more on elections,but thats party spends for partty candidates, which is a benefit not a disadvantage. Paddy Walsh from SIPO seems to presuming that online crowdfunding would be anonymous, most people using credit cards, or credit card linked payment system you'd have to go to some lengths to donate anonymously to a candidates and the candidate can simply reject it if its over the anonymous limit.

There was a Irish politics specific crowdfunding website Icampaign.ie setup for the 2014 Local Elections with a few candidates using it but it didn't take off.

This is a blog version of thread I started Political Candidates Crowdfunding by Agents or Committees 3rd November 2015

2011 Election
Dylan Haskins published all his donations mostly gathered online via paypal, he got about €14,00 and having gotten enough votes to reimbursed 8.7k by the state donated 10 to charity.

UK elections

New blow for Labour as candidates struggle to secure crowd-funding donations Scottish Herald Jill Castle 5 Apr 2016 from Daily Mail?

The Reinstate 48 initiative Citizen Initiated referendums campaign.