NFTs have revolutionized the world of crowdfunding. Instead of relying on platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise money, many people are using the proceeds from NFT sales to support charitable causes. In the first few months of 2022 alone, activists and organizations raised millions to eliminate medical debt, protect reproductive rights, and help those affected by war.
NFTs have been used to raise money in just about every sector — including politics. Even former presidential candidate Andrew Yang sees the opportunity to use NFTs and Web3 to drive fundraising and community-building efforts. And he isn’t alone. As the U.S. election season grows closer, one politician, in particular, is using the technology to raise money for his next campaign.
The Colorado governor is seeking your help
In preparation for his 2023 re-election bid, incumbent Colorado governor Jared Polis announced the launch of his very own NFT collection.The 2,022 tokens in the collection are set to include illustrations of various objects that hold personal meaning to Polis and the state of Colorado, such as a rainbow-colored mountaintop (go Nuggets!), and a digitized image of Polis’ dog Gia firing lasers from her eyes.
These NFTs won’t be tradable on the secondary market, and will primarily function as digital souvenirs for Polis’ supporters. As such, they’re designed to be as approachable as possible, even for those among his supporter base who are non-web3 native. Priced at $52.80 a pop, should this collection sell out, Polis’ campaign team will have a cool $100,000 (and change) to work with. Supporters will also be able to use these NFTs as tickets to various events planned near and during Polis’ eventual campaign cycle.
In a show of due diligence on the Polis campaign team’s part, the collection is also slated to be hosted on the environmentally-friendly Flow blockchain. So far, it’s the very first instance of a U.S. politician of this stature integrating blockchain-based methods in their overall fundraising strategy. However, ‘stature’ is the operative word, as Polis is far from the first U.S. politician to dip their toes into the Web3 space. He’s just the highest elected one.
Among the first, but far from the last
Months before his announcement, Democratic candidate for congress Shrina Kurani offered NFTs as part of a strategy to further incentivize donations for her campaign efforts. In the end, she raised just $6,610 via the initiative.
That didn’t deter future U.S. politicians from integrating NFTs into their fundraising strategies, though. Republican senatorial candidate Blake Masters has also been very public about his support for NFTs and crypto, minting NFTs for his campaign himself. And of course, we have Polis’ recent efforts to tack on to that list as well.
Arguably, Polis’ biggest success with this initiative isn’t the funds he’ll raise for this campaign, but the deeper level of engagement he will achieve with his supporters. After all, NFTs are all about community.