How to set up an ActBlue account
Be ready to take credit card donations for your campaign
ActBlue is the most popular payment vendor for Democratic political campaigns. It has certain advantages, including:
- Frequent small-dollar donors already have ActBlue accounts, and so their donation to you will be frictionless and easy.
- People can create donation forms that give money to a list of candidates. For example: “Swing Districts in Florida,” “Progressive Prosecutors,” or “Women Running for the General Assembly.” If you find yourself on a popular list, you could get a flood of $1 donations.
- Any staff you hire will probably be familiar with ActBlue, including their URL tagging system for tracking where different donations are coming from.
Fortunately, it’s pretty straightforward to sign up for your own account if you’re starting a political campaign. Let’s walk through it step by step.
Choose whether you are a candidate or a political organization. If you are campaign staff setting up ActBlue for a political campaign, choose “Candidate.”
Fill out the contact information. Generally it’s good to use candidate info here, but use your judgement.
Fill out basic candidate information — you don’t have to include a website.
ActBlue is designed for Democrats, as is My Campaign Guide, so hopefully that question is easy to answer. Then select whether your campaign is Federal or State/local, — Congressional races are federal and overseen by the FEC, while some larger-district races like County Commission are local. By this point, you should know the jurisdiction of your race and have already downloaded the relevant candidate handbook.
Fill out as much information as you can on the “Additional campaign details” page. If ActBlue doesn’t have enough information, they’ll send an email afterward asking for clarification before they finish setting up your account.
Next, input your address. This should be the same address you send to the election organization overseeing your campaign (City Clerk, Supervisor of Elections, Division of Elections, etc).
If you are campaign staff filling out this form for your candidate, you can use the “Add administrators” page to make sure that both you and the candidate have full access to the account.
Finally, you have an opportunity to add a logo for your campaign. If you don’t have one yet, don’t worry; it’s easy to add this later.
The remaining screens just ask how you learned about ActBlue and other closeout information. That’s it! ActBlue will send you an email within a business day or two either confirming your account or confirming any final details they need to set the account up. At that point you’ll want to connect the campaign bank account to ActBlue so your credit card contributions get automatically deposited there in batches.
Next, go ahead and create your first contribution form so you can start taking credit card donations. Here’s a guide from ActBlue on how to do that.
Want to take all this with you?
We are working on an ebook incorporating all the campaign information gathered in this site. We can let you know when that’s available so you can take the campaign guide with you and review it offline.
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