"Democracy Engine is a bellwether for politics. The need is there, the organizations are there, the people are there. This is the kind of fundraising innovation the Left has been waiting for."

- Lara Bergthold, Chair of the Board of Directors, People For the American Way

"What I find most compelling about Democracy Engine is that my customers don’t need a merchant account. They can be up and running with little hassle in just a few hours. And, as a developer, the API is much easier to work with than traditional gateways like Authorize.net. I highly recommend Democracy Engine to all my US-based customers."

- Jim Gilliam, Founder and CEO, NationBulder.com

"What makes Democracy Engine such a powerful tool is its flexibility. Each time we came up with a new way we wanted to fundraise for our candidates, we discovered that the platform could accommodate our needs -- it really could go with us. … The power and simplicity of this platform allowed us to engage our existing members, significantly grow our list, and dramatically multiply our technology investment into serious hard dollars for our endorsed candidates."

- Ilana Goldman, President, Women’s Campaign Forum (2005-2009)

"In the 2008 cycle, HRC PAC started using Democracy Engine, and we were instantly impressed. Democracy Engine's system is incredibly easy to use, allows for instant updates and editing, and made reporting effortless. Many of our donors and bipartisan candidates have thanked HRC for having such a simple and useful system."

- Mike Mings, PAC Director, Human Rights Campaign

"Together, Jonathan, Erik and Josh make for a truly innovative team. They have worked hard to build a visionary yet practical platform, one that will be taking politics well into the 21st century."

- Jackson Dunn, National Finance Director,
Democratic National Committee (2001-2005)

“Integrating our processing system with Democracy Engine's API was a breeze and their technical support while we programmed and tested was exceptional.  In less than 48 hours we were ready to go ... taking new customers live now takes less than a day.”

- Chris Lundberg, CEO, Salsa Labs

"Perhaps most importantly, in Jonathan Zucker we never had a vendor or consultant, but rather another member of our own team, with the same goals and mission -- it made a huge difference to have a trusted professional on our side when launching a new and important initiative."

- Ilana Goldman, President, Women’s Campaign Forum (2005-2009)

"As a political consulting firm, we've set up a lot of clients to accept online contributions. We're used to the lengthy process that you go through via traditional gateways like Authorize.net, in which most of the time they're asking for information that political campaigns almost never have. Your sign-up and validation process could not have been easier: a simple process asking for information we have on hand and one day later our client was accepting online donations."

- Kevin Yee, Stearns Consulting, San Francisco

welcome to the future of fundraising contact us

About Us

Democracy Engine is a flexible, completely self-contained donation processor that channels funds between donors and causes of any size. With a suite of simple and effective online tools, we provide a solution for anyone who donates, manages, tracks, raises, or receives financial contributions on behalf of candidates, organizations, committees, or causes.

Democracy Engine is the most inclusive platform in the industry—donors have the freedom to contribute to organizations, candidates, and causes at any level, from individual donations in local races to multi-candidate  contributions in national campaigns. Democracy Engine is a nonpartisan entity, so you can raise or donate regardless of political affiliation.

Recipients of donations processed through Democracy Engine have access to a toolkit of unparalleled flexibility and have nearly infinite options to customize the experience through our API. Our universal platform ensures that organizations won’t have to change fundraising systems as they shift focus between state, local and national elections. Democracy Engine also integrates seamlessly with established fundraising and data management systems. Because the platform has been written with campaign finance regulations in mind, it allows organizations to focus less on internal administration and more on the business of raising money for the candidates and causes they support.

Our users receive the benefits of both cutting-edge technology and an experienced legal team, which together act as a reliable and time-tested partner in managing the constantly changing world of campaign finance. Between its versatility and its basis in campaign finance expertise, Democracy Engine makes every donation more effective.

Our Team:

Jonathan Zucker, CEO

zucker.jpg Jonathan Zucker is one of the most innovative minds in political technology, and is the pioneering force behind Democracy Engine.

Before forming Democracy Engine, Jonathan was the executive director for ActBlue—the nation’s largest source of funds for Democrats—and transformed the organization into a fundraising powerhouse with more than $87 million raised.

Jonathan has served as national director of operations for finance at the Democratic National Committee, where he presided over the DNC’s record-breaking $100 million major donor program in 2004, and at a wide variety of progressive and Democratic organizations as a field organizer, fundraiser, administrator, and attorney, including the Interfaith Alliance, Human Rights Campaign, Gill Foundation, and the Democratic Leadership Council.

Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University and a law degree from Georgetown University.

Erik Pennebaker, Chief Technology Officer


Erik Pennebaker leads Democracy Engine’s technical development efforts.

Erik’s unparalleled knowledge of Web-based fundraising systems and understanding of complex data management for bundling operations made him a pioneering member Hillary Clinton’s groundbreaking campaigns for Senate and the presidency. During the 2008 election cycle, the system he created for then-Senator Clinton was the online heart of her more than $221 million fundraising effort.

Erik has been a pioneer of online fundraising for over a decade, providing Web-based fundraising support for Senator John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid, developing donation infrastructure throughout the 2006 Senate campaigns, and overseeing Senator Kerry’s multimillion dollar bundling operation for various Democratic candidates.

Erik earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign’s College of Engineering. Currently, he offers a variety of online fundraising services and technical support through his Wet Gecko Project to clients ranging from grassroots organizations to former Vice President Al Gore.