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2018 Impact Report

Field & Fundraising

Official SDP Races

In 2018, Sister District supported 32 races. This included 25 races with full field support and fundraising (one special election and 24 races in general elections), three Sister District alumna seeking reelection (fundraising only), and four digital-only endorsements.

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Median raised
per candidate


Median percentage of
total candidate raise
attributable to SDP

Total raised for all candidates: $763,443

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Volunteer hours
(18 doors/hr)


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Volunteer hours
(25 calls/hr)


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Volunteer hours
(10 cards/hr)


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Volunteer hours
(150 texts/hr)

Total volunteer field hours 38,235

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Of fundraising went to women candidates


Of fundraising went to candidates of color


Of fundraising went to LGBTQ candidates


Of fundraising went to races decided by 5% or less


Of canvassing was for races decided by 5% or less


Of phonebanking was for races decided by 5% or less

Unofficial Fundraising and field

In 2018, our teams engaged in a variety of activities that weren’t officially sanctioned by SDP, in addition to supporting their Sister Races. Volunteers used their team as a hub for other civic engagement and electoral activities.

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Total volunteer field hours for unofficial races 7,277

Total Volunteer Fundraising & Field

Overall, in 2018 our teams raised almost $1,000,000 and made over 1 million voter contact attempts in the field for Democratic candidates and causes.

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Total raised

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Field Program Growth

Field Program Graph

Candidate Fundraising Growth

Candidate Fundraising Graph

Our programs have also expanded on every metric since 2017, with a 116.38% increase in candidate fundraising over 2017 and a 309.54% increase in the number of donations received over 2017.

Donation Graph

Electoral Success & Impact

Demographics of 2018 Slate

The Sister District 2018 slate was diverse in terms of candidate demographics, experience, and geography.

Closing the Gap

Wins & Losses

The Sister District 2018 slate was diverse in terms of candidate demographics, experience, and geography.

Closing the Gap

Closing the gap between D and R performance and competing in places where Democrats have not historically competed are just as important as wins and losses. Most of our 2018 races were decided by less than 5%.

Closest Vote Margins

Many of our 2018 races decided by fewer than 200 votes – a powerful reminder that every vote counts.









Growth in Slate Size

In 2018, SDP supported more than double the races, in 7 more states, than in 2017.

Graph showing 15 candidates in 2017, 32 in 2018

Candidate Satisfaction with SDP

We requested candidate feedback and found that candidates and their staffs were highly satisfied by the support SDP staff and volunteers provided.

Question & Average Rating

Satisfaction with SDP fundraising. Rating: 9.8

Satisfaction with SDP field support. Rating: 9.5

Satisfaction with SDP volunteers. Rating: 9.7

Value of SDP fundraising compared with other national groups’ fundraising. Rating: 9.1

Value of SDP field support compared with other national groups’ field support. Rating: 8.3

Value of SDP compared with other national groups that offered any support. Rating: 9.3

Note: 31 people representing 21 campaigns responded. Questions were rated on a 10-point scale.

  • 97% of respondents rated SDP’s support superior to other national organizations offering support this cycle.
  • 68% of respondents gave SDP a perfect rating of 10 compared to other national organizations they worked with this cycle, indicating that they felt that SDP was the best of the groups that offered support to their campaign.

Candidate Satisfaction with SDP

“Sister District was vital to helping us accomplish our fundraising goals… Not only that, but they filled the gaps in our field program, helping us to reach out to voters who would typically not receive much communication from us… I truly believe those two things helped us to not only win, but win BIG.”
– Jaime Reimers, campaign manager (Winnie Brinks, MI-SD29)

“The benefits of field work in postcards, phone calls and actually knocking on doors was beneficial to our overall field program. The financial support was more than I ever dreamed. It allowed us to expand our program in ways we never dreamed possible… Sister District’s support made that a reality.”
Tammy Story (Senator, CO-SD16)

“In addition to incredibly successful fundraising efforts (which I cannot understate the value of!), SDP provided enough volunteer support to send postcards to our entire universe of turnout Democrats. Remote volunteering is hard to do, but SDP found highly productive ways to contribute.”
– Kelson Northeimer, campaign manager (Kristin Seale, PA-HD168)

“I’ve worked with dozens of organizations over the years that provide support to candidates. Not only are they [SDP] providing candidates and their teams support that really doesn’t exist for state legislative races, they managed expectations well, and delivered on all of their objectives. The fundraising and digital support early on was crucial in showing to statewide and other national partners the importance of this race.”
– Sheena Kadi, campaign manager (Faith Winter, CO-SD24)

“Sister District offers real, practical support in the areas that matter most to a campaign: finance & field. Many organizations make promises, but Sister District actually delivers.”
– Maxwell Doyle, campaign manager (Tammy Story, CO-SD16)

“I love being connected to the larger community of Democrats throughout the nation who understand how campaigns work, and provide the concrete support we need for field, fundraising, and communications. SDP members don’t mess around – they jump in with both feet and get to work, which is exactly how I like to run my campaigns. SDP is using the power of collective action to reduce the negative impact of gerrymandering in the state of Michigan.”
Winnie Brinks (Senator, MI-SD29)

Volunteer Statistics

Team Growth

As of January 1, 2019, SDP had 76 total teams/affiliates across states. We saw a net gain of 37 new teams and affiliates in 2018.

Graph showing growth from number of teams from 32 to 57

Email List Growth

Email list growth chart

*Note: The spike of opt-ins in October 2018 is likely due to a combination of data entry backlog, intentional recruiting through digital ads and partnerships, and strategically-timed media appearances by SDP leadership.

Our list of actively subscribed members grew by nearly 15,000 in 2018:Graph showing subscribed members grew from 20,685 to 34,316 in 2018 List Demographics


Age demographics graph


78.79% Female

*Note: Statistics come from a TargetSmart list match as of 11/29/18 where 24,662 contacts matched (the remaining contacts did not match for various reasons).


Our email list includes volunteers from all 50 states, as well as the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C. The states with the most signups, in descending order, are:

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Washington
  5. Illinois

Team Satisfaction

We conducted a feedback survey with our team leaders to gauge enthusiasm and morale among our teams. We found that most teams are highly satisfied with their candidates and contributions to our mission.

Question & Average Rating

How satisfied are you with the official Sister District candidates you were assigned to work with this cycle? Rating: 9.1

My team felt good about their work, even for Sister District candidates that did not win their races. Rating: 8.3

My team feels that they helped move the needle in critical state elections. Rating: 8.2

My team feels like a valued part of the Sister District organization. Rating: 8.3

My team feels energized to continue working with Sister District in 2019. Rating: 8.2

My team feels that Sister District helped to deepen their commitment to civic engagement. Rating: 8.3

Team and social cohesion is a key reason why volunteers stay connected to Sister District. Team leaders responded that the two most important factors that keep them involved with Sister District are: 1) the volunteers on the team, and 2) the candidates themselves.

Download the PDF: 2018 Impact Report