ICYMI: CNBC: Small-Dollar Donor Fatigue, Major Donor Hesitation Drives Trump Campaign Cash Crunch

Key Point: “[T]here may not be much that the former president or his campaign can do to win back these key donors, the sources explained. The drop in Trump’s small-dollar contributors could be [a] significant obstacle as the former president faces the well-funded incumbent president, Democrat Joe Biden.”

CNBC: Behind Trump’s campaign cash crunch: Small-dollar donor fatigue, major donor hesitation

By: Brian Schwartz

  • Since late last year, members of Trump’s team have been warned by Republican Party advisors that their small-dollar donor base could be shrinking, said the sources, who were granted anonymity to discuss internal campaign matters. Some have even been told there may not be much that the former president or his campaign can do to win back these key donors, the sources explained.
  • In January of this year, Trump’s campaign reported raising around $3 million from small-dollar donors, according to data from OpenSecrets. This may sound like a lot of money, but consider that Biden’s political operation raised nearly $2 million in just one day, Feb. 29, according to a campaign spokesman for the president.
  • The drop in Trump’s small-dollar donations is magnified by a second problem: Many wealthy Republican donors have yet to commit to giving millions of dollars toward a pro-Trump political action committee, or to using their extensive networks to raise money for the campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.
  • Beyond Trump-specific entities, some donors are also hesitant to fund the Republican National Committee, or a newly created joint fundraising committee that will raise money for the RNC, Trump’s campaign and dozens of state GOP parties, according to people briefed on the matter. Their reluctance stems, in part, from concerns that the RNC will use the money not to help elect Republicans, but to pay for Trump’s extensive legal fees, sources said.
  • Earlier this year, Trump threatened to blacklist Haley donors from his campaign. “Anybody that makes a ‘Contribution’ to [Haley] from this moment forth, will be permanently barred from the MAGA camp. We don’t want them, and will not accept them,” he wrote on Truth Social Jan. 24. But the threat only made it that much harder for Trump’s campaign to recruit former Haley donors to the team, some of whom they spoke to as recently as March 4. So far, few of them have made the leap from Haley’s camp to Trump’s.
  • The previous Haley fundraising advisor also described how the CEO of a major investment advisory firm told him they did not want to give to Trump or the RNC, out of concern that being publicly associated with the former president would be embarrassing.