During the presidential campaign, the Obama campaign emailed fundraising appeals with subject lines such as “This is critical” and “Absolutely urgent” to lament how the Democrats were being outraised and outspent by Republicans.
But here’s something to consider: The Obama and Romney campaigns combined raised a record amount of more than $2 billion. Super PACs spent another $600 million. That paid for a lot of advertising and created a lot of work for us. Our cash budget, by comparison, is less than $1 million. To put that into perspective: Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife gave 10 times our annual cash budget in one day (Oct. 19) to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future.
But with the help of your contributions, we were able to review every TV ad in the presidential campaign, watch every debate and attend both national conventions.
We were able to send FactCheck.org Managing Editor Lori Robertson to Charlotte, N.C., for the Democratic National Convention and Deputy Managing Editor Robert Farley to Tampa, Fla., to cover the Republicans.
We were able to create “Spin Detectors,” an election feature that allowed readers like you the chance to submit campaign materials directly to us for our review.
The election is over, but our work is not done. Our focus has shifted from politics to policy — at least until the 2014 midterm congressional elections begin to heat up. We are already at work vetting radio and TV ads, interviews and proposals of political leaders on both sides in Washington as they haggle over how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
But we can use your help.
Last year, we were able to raise $107,000 from individual donors like you. This year we again have established a goal to raise $100,000 in individual, tax-deductible contributions to help defray the cost of improving our website and launching new projects. We hope to raise money, for example, to create a mobile application for iPhone and Android users, and to offset the unexpected cost of our new video hosting site.
You can help with a tax-deductible donation to the University of Pennsylvania with the express purpose of supporting FactCheck.org.
FactCheck.org is a project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center. The University of Pennsylvania is a 501(c)(3) organization and your contribution is deductible from U.S. federal income taxes to the full extent allowed by law.
We accept only individual donations, and we disclose any individual donor who gives us $1,000 or more. We do not accept donations from business corporations, labor unions, political parties or advocacy groups. You can find our annual and quarterly financial disclosure reports on our About Us page.
As always, we thank you for your past support and we will keep you apprised of our fund-raising progress. Have a healthy and happy holiday. We look forward to serving you in 2013.
– Brooks Jackson and Eugene Kiely