Organisers of the upcoming Republican National Convention are $6 million short of their fundraising goal with just five days before the event kicks off — and Donald Trump may be to blame.
The host committee hopes to raise $64 million before the four-day event in Cleveland, but so far it has collected about $51 million in cash and $7 million through in-kind donations, USA Today reported.
Several high-profile companies including JPMorgan, UPS, and Ford have said they will not sponsor the convention, despite each donating $100,000 or more to the GOP event in 2012.
Wells Fargo is skipping the event after giving $500,000 last time. Some of those companies have said they would not contribute to the Democratic National Convention either.
The corporations have not explicitly blamed Trump for their decision to sit out the convention, but the presumptive nominee’s provocative campaign has had “some effect” on fundraising, host committee president and CEO David Gilbert said.
“It’s really hard to put a dollar amount on what the effect of the nominee is. People don’t give us a detailed explanation of why I’m giving or why I am not,” Gilbert told USA Today.
But Trump’s effect on fundraising is impossible to ignore. According to Cleveland.com, of the roughly $58 million in donations the committee has already raised, just $2 million has come since early April, when Trump racked up final victories in the Republican primary. And only $1 million has been raised since early May, when he became the party’s presumptive nominee.
Some major donors that are still participating in the convention have slashed their contributions dramatically. Coca-Cola dropped its funding 88%, from $660,000 in 2012 to $70,000 in 2016, according to Cleveland.com. And Walmart’s funding has decreased 90%, from $150,000 to just $15,000.
A total of 15 companies have scaled back their 2012 funding to some degree, according to officials from the Colour of Change PAC, an anti-Trump organisation that is petitioning companies to skip the convention.
The host committee is “aggressively” seeking last-minute donors, USA Today reported. But it may be tough to overcome friction within the party that Trump’s divisive comments have caused.
“If everyone is not behind one candidate, it’s extremely difficult for you to raise the kind of money you need to,” former convention planner Frankie Wyatt told Cleveland.com. “I’ve just never seen it like this before.”
The Democratic National Convention, which starts July 25 in Philadelphia, is about $1.3 million short of its fundraising goal, said host committee chairman and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, according to USA Today.
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