Okay, so what exactly is a skimmerhat?
A skimmer hat is a style of hat popular among political rallies. However, what we are is a non-partisan crowdsourcing platform dedicated to connecting citizens to political candidates based on shared ideas rather than party, and creating an easy way to contribute to those candidates.
Yeah, but what does that mean?
Well, it means skimmerhat is a better way to find and fund candidates. We believe in a two step process: (1) Education, and (2) Action. Skimmerhat provides the tools to quickly and intuitively educate voters on candidates’ ideas, regardless of political party, as opposed to the laborious task of sifting through articles and web content. And, using our matching system, you can be paired with federal candidates from across the country who share similar values about issues you believe are important. However, we don’t believe education is enough. Voters must take action if they want to change the system. Once you align with a candidate, we encourage you to take the next step – action – and become a donor to that candidate using our donation form on every candidate page.
So, you want us to give money so you can make money?
Skimmerhat does take an 8 percent fee from every donation to pay for credit card processing and overhead, but your donation does much more than keep the power on for our laptops. It funds candidates who believe what you believe, and gives them the resources to change the world.
Donations build an infrastructure for victory. Without a healthy donor base, candidates with even the best ideas stand little chance when pitted against establishment-backed candidates, especially those who have been entrenched in office for decades.
We believe ideas are powerful, but actions change history. We’re idealists. It’s why we started skimmerhat, but we will be the first to say that “knowing the issues” will only get you so far. Voters must go from passive support, to taking action. And, that action is DONATING. Together, great ideas, backed by fundraising, are an unstoppable force to transform our country.
Well, I don’t have much to give. How much of an impact can I make?
Small donors – defined by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as those who donate less than $200 – are a key for candidates of all shapes and sizes. If you want to see how small donors have shaped elections, just look at Ron Paul and Barack Obama. As recently as February 2012, roughly half of the total donations for each of their 2012 presidential campaigns came from small donors.
When you think about the power of the Internet to mobilize large groups of people (helllloooo, SOPA), you will quickly realize how small donors, when united behind a cause, can make a substantial impact.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
What is your cause? It sounds like you don’t like incumbents or traditional parties.
Our only goal is to shift the balance of power back in the voters’ favor. We do this by giving voters a new way – a better way – to find, support and fund candidates outside of the prejudice of partisan politics. We know that not all incumbents are bad. And, not all challengers are good. Our mission is simply to level the playing field in favor of voters, and away from whomever the ruling class decides to be the future leaders of America.
You think there is a need for this?
We didn’t create the need for skimmerhat. The voters did. Congressional approval ratings are at an all-time low, sitting around just 10 percent. But, incumbent re-election rates are healthy, sitting at 85% as recently as 2010 (and traditionally higher than that). Additionally, people are leaving traditional parties in record numbers in what is a decades-long decline.
People aren’t just disappointed. They’re upset, angry, and ready for action. Clearly, there is something wrong. We believe the responsibility for changing the system ultimately falls on us, the voters. If Americans aren’t happy, we can change it because we hold the power over politicians, not vice versa.
But, we need new tools for that revolution to take shape.
Skimmerhat is that tool because it gives all candidates the potential power of national fundraising. And, why is this important? The spending imbalance is vast in Congressional elections; in 2008, nearly 70 percent of candidates held at least a 5:1 advantage over their competitors. To make matters worse for challengers, the cost of beating incumbents is rising, which makes donations all the more important.
Is skimmerhat a way to vote out incumbents?
If skimmerhat users think it’s time for the incumbent to go. That’s the beauty of crowdsourcing donations. It is a way to even the playing field, regardless of party affiliation, or time served. We want voters to find and donate to whatever type of candidate they choose, as long as they align with their ideology.
Why can’t I just go through a candidate’s campaign website to donate to him/her?
You can. We won’t be mad at you (well, maybe). But, we think skimmerhat users will see it as more than just the donations. We’re facilitating a movement of Americans showing that we, collectively, can improve the way the political process works through the strength of one’s ideas, such that a candidate no one has ever heard of in Wyoming can be supported and funded through a connected and active donor base from Americans all across the country. As such, we believe skimmerhat users will be loyal to our system because by using our system, they help keep it up and running.
But, if I live in Mississippi, why should I donate to a candidate in Wyoming?
A single Senator’s vote can change the fate of a nation. So, if you believe in his/her ideas, you should definitely try to get them in office, regardless of the state they directly represent. Skimmerhat gives local or regional candidates for Federal office the potential power of national fundraising because that candidate can, and probably will, affect your life when he/she casts a vote in Congress.
You are concentrating on Federal – Senate and House – candidates then?
Yes, at first. Skimmerhat will initially open up to Federal candidates, but we do plan on opening up to state and local candidates as well. There are many layers to government and we want to help you make sense of and take action in all of them.
Alright. You have me. I think this sounds cool, but how does it work?
We’ve designed every aspect of our site to match our mission: educate voters, and turn them into donors. Our navigation methods quickly match voters with candidates, and then transition them to the candidate page, where a donation form provides an easy way for visitors to make their contributions. We also provide crowdsourcing elements, like an “up/down” voting module, where registered users can promote candidates within the site, as well as contributing to their campaign.
You sound legit, are you sure you don’t have ulterior motives, like everyone else who is involved in politics?
Yep, we’re absolutely positive. Although every person – including us – has their own policy opinions, you will never, ever see that reflected through skimmerhat. We built this platform for you to make of the country what you want. That’s the power of crowdsourcing, and democracy as a whole. Please handle it with care.
How do I contact someone with skimmerhat?
We hope that you share our belief that America can improve the way it finds, supports and funds candidates. If we rally together we can — and, will — change our future. Any questions, thoughts or advice can be emailed to us at email@example.com.
We like to read email (as long as you’re nice…but you don’t have to be).
Okay, so what exactly is a skimmerhat?