Meet The Millennial Delegates Trying To Crowdfund It To The Conventions

“Bernie has broken fundraising records during his campaign by asking for small donations. If all Bernie Supporters could contribute $3 and share this fundraiser, my trip would be funded in no time!” she wrote on her GoFundMe page. As of June 9, she had raised about $650.

McFadden's out-of-pocket expense is expected to be between $3,600 and $4,100 — much more than she can afford as a freelance event planner. “It’s a hefty cost to go and serve your country,” she told Refinery29 by phone.

That hefty cost comes mainly from the price tag of the hotel stay, which is organized through the convention itself and can run up to hundreds of dollars per night. Tucker's lodging costs were quoted to her by her state Democratic party as $500 per night for a five-night stay, and McFadden's at $769, a price McFadden considers exorbitant.

“The price is a deterrent on purpose,” she said. “I just feel like if the Democratic party really wants this to function properly the way it’s supposed to, why would the prices be just so high?"

However, she pointed out the ways that delegates' hands can be tied when it comes to options for finding cheaper lodging.

"You want to be there to participate in these conversations," she said, noting that the hotels were hubs for meetings and scheduled transportation. Not being present means missed chances to network with other delegates or trade information. "You could find a place outside of town, like an Airbnb 20 miles out of town for cheaper, but you have to be there, you have to be involved in these conversations or else there's no point," she said.

In an emailed statement to Refinery29, a representative for the Democratic National Convention said that the party understands and appreciates the delegates' commitment to attending. "It is important to us that our Convention be reflective of the breadth of the party and our process encourages state parties to give delegates information and tools to help to put together the resources to participate," the statement said. "Over the last three cycles in particular, the internet has lowered the bar for participation by making it easier for potential delegates to get their message out and to leverage tools for crowdfunding to help them perform this vital role."

A request for comment from organizers of the Republican National Convention was not returned.

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