Fundraising

Donald Trump, a Billionaire, Gets Fundraising Help From Almost 74,000 Donors

The Republican front-runner took in $3.9 million in donations in the third quarter.
Photographer: PAUL FAITH/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump is not going it alone. 

Even though the billionaire real estate developer has pledged to fund his own run for the Republican presidential nomination, almost 74,000 people gave the candidate money in what his campaign on Thursday described as “unsolicited donations.”

Trump's campaign raised $3.9 million during the July-through-September period, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. Unlike the second quarter, when most of the money came from his own pocket, Trump only contributed $100,779 during the third quarter, the campaign said. Seventy-three percent of the donations he received came from individuals giving less than $200.

The donations underscore the interest he's attracting while some in Republican Party turn away from conventional candidates such as senators and governors. His support has soared in polls, displacing Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, who had been the front-runner early on and seemed hard to beat with a super-PAC that had raised more than $100 million to support him.

Trump has said he's prepared to spend $100 million or more of his own fortune to win the party's nomination. From all of the attention he's received, Trump hasn't needed to purchase expensive ad spots on television. He touted how his campaign only spent $4.2 million in the last quarter.

“While our original budget was substantially higher than the amount spent, good business practices and even better ideas and policy have made it unnecessary to have spent a larger sum,” Trump said in a statement. “To be number one in every poll, both state and national, and to have spent the least amount of dollars of any serious candidate is a testament to what I can do for America.”

It's unclear how many of his donations were from people buying his campaign hats, shirts, and hoodies, which sell for between $20 and $50 and count as contributions. The campaign's filing indicates Trump spent almost $900,000 on “collateral” with apparel companies for t-shirts, hats, and other souvenirs. 

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