You are here

  1. Home
  2. News & Media
  3. Press Releases
Asmaller textAnormal textAlarger text


Small Dollar Contributions Drive Fundraising in 2017 New York City Race

Monday, February 1, 2016

Empowering voters is at the heart of the CFB’s mission. The campaign finance program gives candidates a strong incentive to fundraise from the New Yorkers they hope to represent by matching small contributions with public funds. This helps ensure that the voices of everyday voters are heard throughout the political process.

To show that the incentive is working, after each campaign finance filing deadline we recognize the candidates who’ve raised the most contributions of $175 or less from NYC residents. The results from the latest filing (due on January 15) are now in.

The top small-dollar fundraiser for the past six months was John Doyle, candidate for City Council District 13, with 187 contributors. Doyle is the first non-incumbent to break into the top five in the 2017 cycle.

Three other candidates are also making an appearance for the first time in the 2017 small contributor top five ranking. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (District 26), Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo all break into the top five for this disclosure period with 167, 157, and 155 small-dollar contributors, respectively. Public Advocate Letitia James rounds out the top five with 126 contributors who gave $175 or less (this is James’ second appearance in our rankings). 



($175 or less)

John Doyle


Jimmy Van Bramer


Eric Adams


James Oddo


Letitia James


The program matches the first $175 a city resident gives to a qualifying candidate with public funds paid at a $6-to-$1 rate. So, a $10 contribution by a city resident is worth $70 to the candidate (out-of-town and PAC contributions are not matched).

Altogether, candidates for city office reported raising nearly $365,000 in more than 3,800 contributions of $175 or less from New York City residents. With the public matching funds added in, those small contributions could be worth $2.5 million to those candidates, not far off the $3.5 million in total contributions (of any size) candidates reported for the period. Details on the candidate filings are available at the CFB's public database.

These stats should give some comfort to NYC voters that the 2017 elections will be about them, and not bought and paid for by wealthy donors. In an election season where, as reported by The New York Times, “just 158 families” have given the majority of the money fueling the Presidential campaigns, we could all use a reminder that it doesn’t have to be this way.