Today is Blogosphere Day, and we have chosen to celebrate Act Blue. Apart from channeling over $16,000,000 to Democratic candidates in 2006, about five times as much in direct contributions to Democratic candidates in than any other PAC, one of the things I most like about Act Blue is how it started small. Act Blue was not an operation that lined up several large progressive donors before its launch, but rather simply a great idea that a few enterprising, grassroots progressive activists decided to undertake on their own. As a result of their efforts, now anyone can raise money for whatever Democratic candidates they like, now the blogosphere can quantify its direct fundraising contributions to Democratic candidates, and now Democrats have been able to help eliminate their long-standing financial deficit against Republicans.
Act Blue is very much the sort of innovative, but underfunded, idea BlogPac is looking to fund in our ongoing Progressive Entrepreneur Contest. For those of you who missed the original announcement of the project, here is a reminder of the prizes, rules, and how to enter:
You can see the rules for this contest, including how to submit an entry, by clicking here. The five winning projects will receive up to $5,000 directly from BlogPac, a featured post here on Open Left, and a fundraising letter to our email list. The winning entries will be decided by our panel of judges, which include representatives from some of the most influential, enterprising organizations in our movement: Gina Cooper of Yearly Kos, Susan G of Dailykos, Adam Green of MoveOn.org, Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog Lake, Justin Krebs of Living Liberally, Ben Rahn of Act Blue and, of course, Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers of BlogPac. Given the panel of judges, even submitting an entry to the contest guarantees that your idea will be reviewed by a wide variety of progressive, “open left” leaders who can help it take flight!
Almost any project is open to consideration in this contest. It can be national, regional or local. It can focus on media, culture, social networking, direct action, research, elections, messaging and much more. It can work to expand the audience of progressive radio, book more progressives appear as commentators on cable news networks, or find ways for progressive bloggers to have access to health care. It can produce strategy guides for grassroots activists run for party office, train a new generation of activists in civil disobedience tactics, or help produce a progressive documentary. The only requirements to be considered for the contest are as follows:
The project on progressive infrastructure, not public policy. This contest is not trying to pass or propose specific legislation, but instead to build upon the architecture of the progressive movement.
The project cannot have received more than $25,000 in donations / revenue in the past calendar year.
Sending a description of your project, how it will help progressive infrastructure, how much money it needs, and how it will use that money to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Already, we have received more than two-dozen submissions for the contest. Keep them coming! There are a lot of good ideas out there in the progressive blogosphere, and we want to help those grassroots innovations get the support they need to really blossom. The deadline for submissions is 10 pm eastern on Tuesday, July 24th. That means you still have five days to enter, but it is best not to put these things off to the last minute.