Going onto the Joe Biden website, it's currently asking for donations for his presidential election campaign and potential legal action. Some of the options seem to be quite random though:

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For those who can't see the image, the options are $15, $32, $50, $100, $250, $500, $2800, and OTHER.

Most of these are nice round numbers which is understandable. Looking at this question, the $2800 is due to being the maximum contribution that an individual can make. But why $32? Is there a reason for this not being a round number like the rest?

  • 7
    My guess for the reason is that the average of 15 and 50 is 32.5 which was rounded down. Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 20:20
  • Perhaps this was the average donation amount he received when the donation options were created.
    – yeah22
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 20:22
  • 20
    Huh? It's actually the only round number in the list </binary mode>
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 20:26
  • 1
    I'm with @Glorfindel on this one. All of the other numbers look off to me. This reddit thread from two months ago doesn't look like they got to the bottom of it.
    – user5155
    Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 20:37
  • 1
    @TheSimpliFire ahh that would make sense. I was thinking too much of the political answer, and ignoring common sense. Maybe I should become a politician... Commented Nov 4, 2020 at 21:29

2 Answers 2


The addition of the $32 option was made on 28 July 2020 (archive 1, archive 2).

The average donation around that time was also $32, shown by this promotional email sent, which quotes that figure for April, and this Facebook post, which was posted on the 6th of August, just a few days after the addition of the option, which repeats that figure.

Considering this, I think that it is reasonable to assume Biden added the $32 donation option because it was the average donation at the time -- rounded, of course, for simplicity.

  • 1
    All makes complete sense, thanks! I was assuming it was going to be like the charity adverts you see on TV, "donate £X and you can fund a vaccine/water/school for 10 people" type of thing, and was wondering what $32 could buy in a presidential election! Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 17:14
  • @crazyloonybin No problem! Glad you found the answer helpful!
    – yeah22
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 19:58
  • If true, that's very smart. I wonder if they made it $33 instead of $32, if they would have eked out another $1 from donors or if fewer people would have contributed. Said another way, I wonder if their revenue would have increased or decreased if they had chosen $33 instead of $32. Commented Dec 13, 2021 at 6:52

It's probably a "stretch" tier. Obama small donors in 2008 often gave less than $25

Dozens of Associated Press interviews with donors and an AP financial analysis show how contributions that make only a soft ka-ching by themselves, arriving in increments of $10, $15 and $50, have collectively swelled into a financial roar that has helped propel Obama toward the Democratic presidential nomination.


Ninety percent of his donors give $100 or less, and 41 percent have given $25 or less, according to the Obama campaign. Overall, he has raised 45 percent of his money in small contributions.

$32 is about 2/3 of $50, and only $7 more than the logical $25 tier. And in 2016 Bernie Sanders said his average was $27 (actual numbers vary somewhat)

And yet, Sanders still regularly mentions the same stat: His average donation is $27.

Sanders had a $27 tier on his website instead of a $25 tier. As such, this is likely an attempt by the Biden campaign to convince Sanders donors (and others) to contribute more by skipping the $25 tier. The average Biden contribution was $44

  • Interesting to see the uplift from $32 average in May to $44 In October across the two answers here. Though there is probably no way to know how the introduction of the $32 donation teir affected that.
    – Jontia
    Commented Nov 5, 2020 at 7:06
  • Thanks for the information, makes sense what you've said skipping the $25 option to try and gain a bit extra. Chosen the other answer as accepted, because they found a Joe Biden email stating the average donation was $32 which seems the likely reason why that exact figure was chosen, but thanks for the info and useful links! Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 17:17

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