Plus Three Technology Helps Democratic National Committee Achieve a 600% Increase in Online Contributions
Plus Three LP, a strategic marketing and technology services agency today announces that the website platform it developed for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has contributed to a 600% increase in online contributions in the third quarter of 2003. Hired to help the DNC upgrade their online communications capabilities, Plus Three rebuilt their website (www.democrats.org), adding an internal transactional database and an email delivery platform. Launched in February 2002, under the moniker "Demzilla", the initiative is credited with helping double online contributions to the DNC since its inception, including a 600% increase in the most recent quarter.
"To win campaigns you need three things: money, message, and mobilization. The tools Plus Three has helped the DNC build allow us to maximize our performance in all three areas," said Doug Kelly, Director of Technology for the Democratic National Committee. "We've been able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of activists across the country to communicate with their representatives, register with democrats.org, and actively participate with the Party. Voters can go to www.democrats.org and see what the Democrats are doing on the issues they care about most, and then find out how they can get involved."
In February 2001, Terry McAuliffe was elected as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and quickly ordered a top to bottom review of the DNC's technology operations. McAuliffe brought in QRS Newmedia, a Washington, D.C. communications technology consultancy, to conduct the assessment and develop a blueprint for leveraging new technologies to ensure that the Democrats' nominee for president would have the best foundation upon which to build a victory in 2004. QRS Newmedia selected Plus Three to build "Demzilla," the database platform at the core of the DNC's new technology infrastructure.
The project had three overarching goals," said Laura Quinn, Managing Partner of QRS Newmedia, "to enable the Democrats to reconnect with grassroots voters, to raise money — in particular among small donors, and to move their message more quickly and more effectively. To execute this successfully, we knew we'd need a development partner that was very flexible, and willing to understand the DNC's unique organizational needs. Plus Three provided all that and much more."
When Terry McAuliffe took over as Chairman, the DNC had email addresses for about 70,000 voters. Today they maintain more than 1.7 million email addresses from voters across the country, significantly lowering their fundraising costs.
"Before this initiative was complete we outsourced email communications, but as our list grew our costs grew. We felt penalized for our success," said Kelly. "By bringing the technology in-house, we no longer have to do a cost-benefit analysis about whether to communicate with voters when an issue breaks. Every communication now delivers net benefit."
"It was very important to voters that the DNC speak to the issues they specifically cared about, and that the website enable them to take action, which required a high level of personalization," said Juan Proaño. "With the Demzilla platform, the DNC has the means to message voters more quickly, more frequently, and in a personalized manner, as events occur. And by basing our development on open source software, the DNC can continue to evolve and grow their platform very cost-effectively as technology improves."
"We had to build a better engine to reach out to the Democratic base," said Kelly. "An engine that would allow us to establish stronger ties with voters, and mobilize them quickly," says Kelly. "Plus Three has been a great partner in this effort."