In 2013, a new nonpartisan group called CROWDPAC launched a new fundraising model for potential political candidates. Similar to Kickstarter, CROWDPAC allows candidates to raise money through financial pledges.
The pledges are not collected unless the candidate actually decides to run, giving them a chance to see how much support they have before making their decision.
As an example, Kathryn Allen was considering a run against Utah Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz so she started a CROWDPAC fundraising pledge drive.
She raised about $12,000. Not an insubstantial amount but not nearly enough to run against a sitting member of Congress who Chairs one of the most powerful House Committees.
Then Chaffetz had a townhall meeting were he suggested that people were deciding to buy iPhones rather than health insurance. The outrage that resulted from that tonedeaf and absurd comment turned out to be the catalyst for an outpouring of support for Allen.
As of today, she has raised over…