Grassroots fundraising in its simplest context is money solicited from ordinary people without any stipulation of amount contributed, in order to provide funds that will mobilize a movement and achieve a specific mission that will benefit a particular group of people. Grassroots donation has no limit in the sense that any one person can contribute on a recurring basis, to ensure that the movement will be able to have a sustained means of carrying on with its activities.
While grassroots raised funds were originally focused on projects intended to serve the community in which the funds were raised, it came to a point when political candidates had to resort to grassroots funding in launching their political bid. This was deemed acceptable as a grassroots funding purpose since supporting a political campaign, if supporting a political candidate will help push the movement toward success.
Inasmuch as raising of grassroots funds depends on the efforts of volunteers who take actions in soliciting and collecting donations, the political candidate who will utilize the money donated will not be beholden to the donors. If he or she succeeds in getting elected, the politician will be expected to honor his pledge to the multitude of grassroots donors by focusing on policies and projects that will benefit the general public; particularly the sector or public concerns requiring positive government actions.
Although there were other presidential aspirants like Howard Dean, Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders who utilized grassroots fundings for their political campaign, only Barack Obama succeeded in getting elected as President of the United States (POTUS). As POTUS, President Obama made good on his promise to make healthcare available for the less fortunate Americans, and to introduce policies that protect the welfare of immigrant workers.
However despite getting re-elected, political divide did not allow some of President Obama’s healthcare and immigration policies to gain full legislative support. Moreover, the current Trump administration, whose president is politically backed mostly by business institutions and wealthy members of society, continues to carry out actions that would repeal or modify some of Obama’s grassroots-oriented policies; including those addressing climate-change and gun-ownership laws.
Bernie Sanders launched another bid to get the Democratic Party’s nomination as 2020 presidential candidate. However, Senator Sanders is mostly making a repeat of his 2016 advocacies. That being the case, he is currently unable to expand his grassroots base beyond his loyal supporters. Senator Sanders was able to raise around $18 million as grassroots-supported campaign funds.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has come to the fore as another grassroots presidentiable seeking for Democratic nomination as presidential candidate to run against Donald Trump. Senator Warren was able to raise $19.1 million in grassroots funds to launch her campaign.
She stands firm on her position of not accepting big-dollar contributions coming from wealthy donors. After all, Senator Warren’s political agenda is to fight for the working class people. She vows to advance policies that will require funding paid in part by hefty taxes she intends to impose on America’s super rich people.