Some candidates turn to crowdfunding to finance campaigns

Some candidates in the provincial election are asking voters to put their money where their mouse is by using crowdfunding to finance their campaigns.

NDP candidate Angela Jo Griffin says it helps level the playing field against those with deeper pockets

Some candidates in the provincial election are getting creative with their fundraising, turning to crowdfunding to help finance their campaigns.

Angela Jo Griffin, the NDP candidate in Quispamsis, campaigning from her so-called virtual office - her smartphone. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
Angela Jo Griffin, who is running for the New Democratic Party in Quispamsis, is among those asking people to put their money where their mouse is.

"I didn't have a lot of money to start it up so I decided to go online," said Griffin, who calls the smartphone she uses to go on Facebook and Twitter her "virtual office."

"I'll put a post up that will say, 'I need $2,000 to get my signs up and paid for.' And people will respond saying, 'I donated $10.' 'I donated $20.'"

By comparison, Griffin's Liberal rival, Mary Schryer, has her party's well-oiled campaign machine behind her, including a campaign office, a vehicle and signs everywhere.

Schryer is not doing any online fundraising.

"I have a team out fundraising on my behalf," said Schryer. "So they've been on the phones, out talking to people."

But Griffin and other candidates in the Sept. 22 election who have had to do all of their own fundraising, say crowdfunding has helped to level the playing field a bit against the bigger parties with deeper pockets.

Madeleine Berrevoets, the Green Party candidate in Fredericton North, who also crowdfunds online, says it works.

"It's completely replaced traditional fundraising," she said.

The People's Alliance says, as far as they know, none of their candidates are doing any online crowdfunding.

The Progressive Conservatives say none of their candidates are doing it either.