When Bill de Blasio finally endorsed Hillary Clinton last October—much later than many expected given the Mayor's past work as the presidential candidate's campaign manager in 2000—he attempted to make up for lost time by assuring the public, "There's a lotta spine there, a lotta steel there." He also noted that it was Clinton's "very sharp, progressive platform" that made her his preferred choice over Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders. Then, de Blasio proved that he really meant it by traipsing through the snow, campaigning door-to-door for Clinton ahead of Iowa caucus.

But now, looking ahead to his own campaign prospects in 2017's mayoral contest, de Blasio has reportedly hired the fundraising team that helped fuel Sanders's grassroots campaign, and has been taking private meetings with the Vermont Senator.

De Blasio has hired Revolution Messaging, the digital fundraising consulting group that played a key role in Sanders's success at winning small donations from a large number of individual donors (that the average donation was $27 was a constant boast of the Senator's campaign). While de Blasio can't boast donation averages nearly that small, Revolution Messaging may have him headed in that direction: according to the Campaign Finance Board, the average individual donation to his campaign during the first half of 2016 was $685, down from $2,228 during the last half of 2015.

“We’ve already shown that you can power a campaign through these kinds of grass-roots donations, and we’re trying to double down on that here,” de Blasio campaign spokesman Dan Levitan told the Times. In New York City, the first $175 donated by an individual resident to a mayoral campaign is matched six to one by funds taken from the municipal budget.

Should de Blasio win re-election next year, donor and supporter data gathered by Revolution Messaging will be utilized to solicit support for his administration's initiatives. The Mayor's new fundraising strategy comes as little surprise given that his previous campaign tactics of using nonprofit slush funds lead to state and federal investigations.