Liberal fundraising momentum stalls with ‘scary’ numbers, says top party official

The federal Liberal party appears to have lost some of its fundraising momentum while the New Democrats are gaining ground.

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal party appears to have lost some of its fundraising momentum while the New Democrats are gaining ground.

Newly released fundraising numbers, called “scary” by the Liberals’ fundraising director, show the party 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.

And 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 slightly more than 32,000 who gave the party money over the same time frame this year.

The Conservatives, meantime, also took in less money in the second quarter of 2014, but from more donors.

Nearly 36,000 people donated $4.7 million to the Conservatives under Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the same period.

In the second quarter of 2013, the Tories collected $4.86 million from 30,437 donors.

The New Democrats took in about $1.5 million in the quarter from 21,013 donors.

That’s up significantly on both counts for the Official Opposition, which saw donations totalling more than $1.37 million from fewer than 19,000 donors in the second quarter of 2013.

In a fundraising message delivered to party supporters earlier this week, Christina Topp, the Liberals’ senior fundraising director, said the 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.”

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