Frequently Asked Questions

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You send a micro-donation to the campaign of the listed politician. Technically speaking, you donate money that gets routed through our payments processor, Democracy Engine, to the political action committee (PAC) of whichever candidate is listed on the post where you hit “Keep It Up”.

Example: The post depicted below features West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (Democrat). He is up for re-election in 2024 (Senator are elected for 6 year terms). Every time “Keep It Up” is hit, a micro-donation is sent to Joe Manchin’s political action committee. In this example, ChangeRoots troublemakers (users) sent Joe $1,456.75. Joe can use that money to run campaign ads, pay campaign staff and throw events to help him get re-elected to the Senate in 2024.

You send a micro-donation (1) to a fund that ultimately gets sent (2) to the campaign of whoever runs against the politician listed on the post (3) in the next election cycle. Technically speaking, you donate your money to what’s called a “nominee fund” for a specific race.

Nominee funds: Nominee funds are a tool that enable people to donate to the eventual nominee in a specific federal race. Set up before primary elections, nominee funds give people a way to fund future opponents in specific races.

How it works: A donor gives to a nominee fund for a specific race by hitting “Do Better” on a ChangeRoots post. Our payments provider, Democracy Engine, holds the money in escrow until that primary is won. Then Democracy Engine immediately sends all of the money in that fund, to the nominee.

Example: The post depicted below features West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (Democrat). He is up for re-election in 2024 (Senator are elected for 6 year terms). Every time “Do better” is hit, a micro-donation is sent to the nominee fund for his seat. That money is held by Democracy Engine until a Republican wins the 2024 primary election for that seat. We send all of the money in that nominee fund to that primary winner as soon as the election results are verified. In this example, ChangeRoots troublemakers (users) sent Joe’s future Republican opponent $657.25. That Republican candidate gets to use that money in their 2024 Senate campaign against Joe Manchin.

Here’s what’s important:

  • Donating to a politician’s future opponent is one of the strongest messages of disapproval you can send to a politician. Politicians think twice when their own actions cause people to donate to their opponent. Especially before there is even an announced opponent.
  • Donating to a nominee fund increase the likelihood the incumbent faces a strong challenger. Incumbents often go unchallenged or run against weak challengers because they have a huge cash advantage. Competition is good for democracy

We post tweets and news article snippets about politicians onto our feed. We choose which tweets and snippets go on our feed based on a combination of the following characteristics:

  • It has high twitter engagement (likes, comments, retweets)
  • It is about a politician that has high name recognition
  • It is about a politician in a highly competitive race
  • It is about a relevant issue leading the news cycle
  • It represents an alternative perspective to a relevant issue - e.g. provides a conservative perspective to a liberal leaning feed item

Choosing what goes on the feed content is the most critical, challenging and interesting part of ChangeRoots. We are human and will most definitely get it wrong from time to time. We will sometimes be blind to our own biases. We will have hypotheses about what you want to see that are completely wrong.

We commit to you that we will learn from our mistakes, consistently do better and always strive to create a delightful experience.

We’d love your feedback, hit us up at info@changeroots.com.

ChangeRoots is post partisan.

Post partisanship calls for leaders that focus on common ground, look for win-win solutions, make decisions based on evidence and show civility towards all people, including those in the other party. To put it simply, post partisan leaders are people we want our children to emulate.

Said another way: No affiliation to political parties, just a bias for good ideas.

Learn more

See our answer to “How do you choose content?” above.

Content on ChangeRoots is selected from various sources by our internal team.

In a word: Self-interest.

Politicians primarily care about getting elected. The data shows that the more money a politician has relative to their electoral opponent, the more likely they are to win their election.

Micro-donations to politicians (“Keep It Up”) send strong positive feedback by making it more likely they win their next election.

Micro-donations to politicians’ opponents (“Do Better”) send strong negative feedback by making it more likely they lose their next election. Do Better donations also increase the likelihood a strong candidate challenges that incumbent.

Every time your total donations surpass a minimum of $10, we charge your card and send your donations to the politician(s) you’ve selected.

We do this for two reasons. First, campaign finance rules don’t let us charge you upfront and reload your wallet (like the Starbucks app). Second, the fees we pay on each transaction make it unprofitable to charge users less than $10 (for now at least).

How it works: If you donated $0.25 on 39 different posts on our feed, we track that you’ve pledged to donate $9.25, but we don’t charge your credit card yet. The next time you hit “Keep It Up” or “Do Better”, we charge your credit card and send your donations to all the politicians you selected.

There is one fee: our payments partner, Democracy Engine, collects 4% + $0.30 on every transaction as a processing fee. Meaning they take $0.70 out of a $10 donation.

Separately, ChangeRoots earns whatever each user generously decides to tip us. Tips are added on top of donations. So if a user decides to tip ChangeRoots 15%, for each $10 a user donates to politicians:

  • $11.50 is charged to their credit card
  • $9.30 goes to the politicians selected
  • $0.70 goes to Democracy Engine
  • $1.50 goes to ChangeRoots

The tip amount you select is added each time you contribute a minimum of $10 to politicians.

Tips are added on top of donations. So if a user decides to tip ChangeRoots 15%, for each $10 a user donates to politicians:

  • $11.50 is charged to their credit card
  • $9.30 goes to the politicians selected
  • $0.70 goes to Democracy Engine
  • $1.50 goes to ChangeRoots

ChangeRoots is a for profit, mission-based, company. We believe it is profoundly important to find sustainable business models to solutions that improve our world. That way, we won’t rely on donors and can reliably predict how much revenue we earn each year.

The Federal Elections Commission (FEC) requires we collect this information.

ChangeRoots is not a PAC. However, our payments processor, Democracy Engine works with a PAC to handle earmarking and distributing donations to campaigns in a compliant manner. Donations to candidates or nominee funds are earmarked donations to Democracy Engine Inc. PAC (FEC ID C00468314).

Your contribution history can be viewed on the “My contributions” tab of your profile. Your profile can be accessed by clicking (desktop) or tapping (mobile) the icon in the top right of the app.

Click “Get help here” on this page.

We can be reached at info@changeroots.com. We love hearing from our troublemakers or anybody that takes the time to write to us. Please send us your thoughts and feedback, even if its critical.