Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberal Fundraising Momentum Stalls with 'Scary' Numbers, Says Top Party Official

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Liberal Fundraising Momentum Stalls with 'Scary' Numbers, Says Top Party Official

Article excerpt

Liberal fundraising momentum stalls

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OTTAWA - The federal Liberals are partly blaming the Ontario provincial election for a slowdown in fundraising going into the summer months.

The Ontario vote, however, doesn't appear to have had a similar impact on the federal New Democrats, who gained ground in their second quarter party fundraising drive.

Newly released fundraising numbers, deemed "scary" by the Liberals' fundraising director, show the Liberals raked in more than $2.8 million in the second quarter of this year.

But that's roughly $100,000 less than what the party collected in the same three-month period in 2013 when Justin Trudeau was chosen to lead the Liberals.

The party also saw a decline in the number of donors, from just over 38,000 in April, May and June of 2013 compared with the slightly more than 32,000 who gave the party money over the same time frame this year.

In a fundraising message delivered to party supporters earlier this week, Christina Topp, the Liberals' senior fundraising director, said her party's numbers are troubling.

"Q2 fundraising numbers were just released and they are scary," Topp wrote in her email.

She thanked supporters while encouraging them to do more.

"Our own progress is incredible -- we've rallied over 30,000 donors for the past five quarters!" she wrote. "But they (the Conservatives) are pushing on strong and we need your help to keep up our great momentum."

Nonetheless, another party official said the Liberals are pleased with the latest numbers given that fundraising efforts were scaled back to accommodate for the Ontario provincial election.

"We have kind of the same broad donor base (as the Ontario Liberals)," said party spokesman Olivier Duchesneau. "So if you take that into account, I don't think the three per cent (decline in donations) is very significant. We're maintaining our results from last year."

Last year's results may have also been boosted by the so-called honeymoon effect, when political leaders tend to enjoy a high level of public support in the months after being elected.

Trudeau was chosen to lead the Liberals in the first month of last year's second quarter. …

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