Randy Bryce (also known as @IronStache on Twitter) tasked GPS with building his online brand following his viral video that launched his underdog campaign to repeal and replace Paul Ryan.
By the end of the 2018 cycle, no congressional campaign in the entire country received more grassroots donations. According to the New York Times, Bryce raised $4.52 million from small donors — or 61% of his total.
The next closest House campaign? $2.36 million and 34% of their total.
GPS Impact was able to sustain and build Randy Bryce’s online fundraising efforts even after the Bryce campaign played a part in forcing Paul Ryan to retire. We did it by working directly with campaign to build a relationship with activists with content that matched Randy Bryce’s voice and treated small-dollar donors with respect.
Instead of screaming at supporters and treating them like an ATM, we focused on Randy Bryce’s bio as U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and ironworker. GPS Impact worked with the campaign to build out his policy vision for giving working people a seat at the table of our democracy again and build relationships with progressive organizations and supporters.
We even had some fun — sending emails with Simpsons gifs, animations of Randy surfing a blue wave on an iron beam, and producing an “Stacheco” card in response to an out-of-touch tweet from Paul Ryan about how his tax scam will allow a family to buy a Costco membership card, which costs only $1.50 a week, while the rich got millions.
The GPS Impact-produced Stacheco card was offered within hours of Paul Ryan’s tweet for a monthly donation of $6 a month and became one of the most successful tactics of the campaign in generating recurring contributions. And we actually produced and mailed out plastic Stacheco cards to donors, leading many to post their cards on social media.
Throughout the election, GPS Impact worked with the campaign to produce direct-to-donate advertisements that capitalized on key political moments, which saw a tremendous ROI, and develop content that was different from other campaigns. Organic social and email content helped to drive earned media and combat a barrage of increasingly negative and divisive attack ads. And we often saw how supporters were motivated to give by things that some digital firms rarely do, such as long emails, no-ask emails, and wonky policy-based emails.
Lastly, GPS Impact also provided strategic communications and general consulting services to assist the campaign in debate prep and crisis communications — services few “digital firms” are capable of providing.