Bernie Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate, announced on Saturday that this quarter's fundraising total of $26 million came from 650,000 donors, each contributing an average of $30, Christian Science Monitor reports

In August, the New York Times reported “fewer than four hundred families are responsible for almost half the money raised in the 2016 presidential campaign, a concentration of political donors that is unprecedented in the modern era.”

However, Bernie Sanders is onto a new kind of fundraising -- a technique that should actually be taking place in every election in a Democratic society (too bad the United States is an Oligarchy). 

The bulk of Sanders' donations come from Americans who contribute a small amount of money - an average of $30. His campaign officials claim about 99 percent of the donations collected from his website were for $100 or less.

This quarter alone Sanders has raised $26 million with this strategy - which is only $2 million less than Hillary Clinton (whose fundraising tactics lean toward special interest groups).

This seems to prove that he has the support of "The People," and when we looked at how he spends the money, it's clear that the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist is fiscally conservative.

In this quarter, Hillary Clinton “expanded her campaign’s ground operations and launched a paid television campaign, spending around nine out of every 10 dollars she raised,” according to The Washington Post.

Meanwhile, “Sanders spent only an estimated $11.6 million – less than one out of every two dollars he raised."

If you want to know how a candidate will run the country as president, take a look at how a candidate manages money. Does the candidate treat campaign finances like an unlimited credit card? Or does the candidate cut costs and spend wisely?

Here's the stark difference between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton when it comes to spending money, as reported by The Washington Post:

  • Bernie Sanders has yet to begin running TV ads, while Clinton launched her first spots in Iowa and New Hampshire in August. She will have spent $6.2 million on airtime by the end of October. 
  • Hillary has more offices and more paid staff than any other 2016 candidate of either party. Most of her offices are based in New Hampshire and Iowa, where she has 17 field offices. Her Brooklyn headquarters also thrums with scores of paid staffers.
  • Aside from the large numbers of staffers and the cost of payroll, Clinton also pays the hefty price of private plane travel for herself and her aides. Clinton is using a rented jet almost exclusively these days, and flying several days a week for both public events and private fund-raising parties.
  • Bernie runs a lean operation. He flies coach and is accompanied by two or three aides, who often travel together on the ground in borrowed cars. When he's in New Hampshire, one of his sons, who lives there, often drives him around. The Senator also relies on local volunteers instead of paid staff when organizing an event.
  • Sanders holds events in a range of large-capacity spaces, from middle school gyms to basketball arenas, usually decorated only with an American flag or large campaign sign.
  • Hillary's campaign strategy is one that includes policy rollouts roughly once a week, accompanied by town hall-style organizing events held in school gymnasiums or similar venues. By design, the events typically draw a crowd of a few hundred -- nothing like the mega-rallies Sanders holds -- and her campaign has also invested far more than Sanders in putting on high-dollar fundraising events, holding nearly 60 such receptions over the last quarter.

Of the $136.9 million donated so far to support Democratic candidates, 12.7 percent has been raised by super PACs and other independent groups, according to The Washington Post:

  • Hillary Clinton's campaign has raised $75.1M and super PACs and other independent groups have raised $17.1M
  • Bernie Sanders has raised $41.1M and super PACs and other independent groups have raised $0
  • Martin O'Malley's campaign has raised $2.0M and super PACs and other independent groups have raised $289.4K
  • Larry Lessig's campaign has raised $1.0M and super PACs and other independent groups have raised $0
  • Lincoln Chaffee's campaign has raised $392.7K and super PACs and other independent groups have raised $0
  • Jim Webb's campaign has raised $0 and super PACs and other independent groups have raised $0

However, when it comes to special interest groups, nothing beats the GOP. Of the $322.9 million donated so far to support GOP candidates, 72.6 percent has been raised by super PACs and other independent groups. 

When you want to know who "owns" a candidate, keep in mind: Chris Christie's campaign has raised $0 and super PACs and other independent groups have raised $14.4M. John Kasich isn't far behind with $0 raised and super PACs and other independent groups raising $11.5M. 

Yes, Hillary Clinton's campaign did raise $17.1M from super PACs and special interest groups this quarter, but four GOP candidates have raised millions more: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson. 

What does Bernie Sanders have in common with Donald Trump and Rich Santorum? Neither GOP candidate has raised any money from super PACs or special interest groups. Actually, add James Gilmore to that list as well. He's in the same boat as Jim Webb's campaign - both haven't raised any money at all. 

What do you make of #FeelTheBern fundraising? Will it sustain Bernie Sanders in 2016? Sound off below!

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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