Case Study

End Citizens United

Taking on the Koch Brothers and the ultra-rich with a massive grassroots effort.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision changed the landscape of American elections, opening the door for billionaires and special interests to spend unlimited, untraceable money.

Recognizing that meaningful reform requires grassroots action, End Citizens United (ECU) was established as a Political Action Committee March 1, 2015. Mothership Strategies was charged with building the massive base of grassroots supporters ECU needs to take on big corporate money — and putting these hard earned dollars to work defending champions of campaign finance reform while taking on corrupt politicians.

Mothership Results

$25M

Raised Online

3.5M

Citizen Supporters

1.8M

Individual Contributors

Building a Cutting Edge Online Fundraising Program

50% repeat donors MothershipTaking on the likes of the Koch Brothers and the ultra-rich requires not just the financial support of thousands of grassroots donors, but also the committed support of millions more who ECU can call on.

Through a cutting edge fundraising program, what started as just an online presence is now one of the most powerful voices in progressive politics, a brand supporters are excited to donate to. In fact, 50 percent of donors contributed more than once. Along the way, Mothership Strategies pioneered some of the most innovative email tactics that are redefining the way grassroots dollars are raised online.

Combining data with in-house expertise, we were able to get to know ECU’s list and tailor personalized experiences for each of our grassroots supporters. And our cutting edge tactics and proprietary software allowed us to get into more inboxes more often.

Branding a Movement

Under the direction of Mothership Strategies, ECU built one of the most recognizable brands in progressive politics. We married compelling graphics with a modern style to allow ECU’s message to cut through the clutter of all the cookie cutter campaigns out there.

Rethinking How to Persuade Voters Online

26M

Voters Reached With Online Ads

#8

Progressive Advertiser in Competitive Races in 2016

End Citizens United was among the Top Ten highest spending progressive groups in the 2016 Elections, and was in the Top Five in the in New Hampshire, Nevada, Missouri and North Carolina senate races. To cut through the noise of the 2016 Election and reach persuadable voters in battleground states, ECU required a precise and attention-grabbing advertising strategy. Mothership Strategies helped create a data-driven online advertising program that enabled ECU to play more efficiently and effectively in some of the most competitive races in the country.

By Election Day, more than 26 million voters in six battleground states had watched an ECU ad online. Our strategy of reaching key voting audiences across all screens and devices helped make history by propelling Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate, to victory in Nevada and helping Maggie Hassan unseat Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire.

We took the guesswork out of engaging persuadable voters in these states through superior targeting, innovative placements and a bias for delivering content created with the digital audience in mind. We looked past the traditional television model to grab the attention of voters and deliver a message we knew would resonate with them.

Expanding Our Impact

Because of the success of the Mothership-led online program and the salience of our message, ECU was also able to raise an additional $600,000 for its endorsed candidates who are committed to meaningful campaign finance reform.

And with the help of Mothership Strategies, ECU launched Fight For Reform, a new a state-level project working toward meaningful campaign finance reform at the local level. Through ECU’s support, campaign finance related ballot initiatives were passed in 2 states.

In just 16 months, End Citizens United was able to have a major impact at the local and federal levels, while building a broad and deep coalition of activists working toward meaningful campaign finance reform — all with Mothership Strategies as its digital partner.