BC Liberal fundraising takes a nosedive in Q2

By Shannon Waters August 5, 2020

The BC Liberals did not have much success getting supporters to open their wallets once the coronavirus pandemic’s impacts began to bite. Between April 1 and June 30, the party raised just over $283,400 — less than half the $638,200 it pulled in the previous quarter, according to second quarter financial disclosures released by Elections BC.

Amid the pandemic, all parties put their fundraising efforts on the back burner for months. A spokesperson for the Liberal Party said the move was designed to put the safety and wellbeing of British Columbians ahead of garnering political donations.

The Liberals continued to see the bulk of their support flow from larger donations — 392 donations of more than $250 accounted for nearly half of the party’s total haul.
But the coronavirus has done little to slow down the BC NDP’s fundraising machine. The governing party got more dollars from more donations in Q2 than it did during the first three months of the year.
The NDP pulled in almost $775,800 between April 1 and June 30, 2020 — nearly $100,000 more than the $679,200 the party reported raising in Q1. Once again, the bulk of the party’s haul — a total of $474,300 from more than 7,125 donations — came from donations of $250 or less.

This summer, the NDP began hosting online novelty fundraisers, including an MTV Cribs-style tour of a cabinet minister’s home.

The BC Greens also made some fundraising gains during the second quarter, receiving just over $142,500 April through June — up from $105,600 in the first quarter of 2020. The Greens saw more large donations in the second quarter with 92 donations of more than $250 compared to 73 in Q1.

Overall, the NDP received 7,733 donations — more than three times the 2,008 donations the Liberals received and over 5.5 times as many as the Greens.

The second half of this year’s annual allowance was paid on July 1 — $759,500 to the NDP, $797,000 to the Liberals and $332,000 to the Greens. In the first half of 2020, all three parties received more financial support via the subsidy than they did from their donors.

In what are set to be its final two years, the subsidy will drop in 2021 from $2 per vote received during the 2017 election to $1.75.
The maximum amount individuals can donate to any one political party this year is $1,253.15 — adjusted for inflation from the $1,250 contribution cap set in 2018.