SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - Senator Kamala Harris's presidential campaign is off to a fast start.
The California Democrat and Oakland native raised $1.5 million in the first 24 hours of announcing her run for president. All of it came in small donations. Harris thanks her supporters on social media. She said the average amount individuals donated to her campaign was $37.
"They're really stunning numbers. It wasn't just the amount of money, but the 38,000 individual donors that it came from," said Jim Ross, an Oakland-based political consultant who helped work on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in 2008 when she lost to then-Democratic rival Barack Obama.
Ross said Harris's fundraising feat surpasses that of Bernie Sanders's grassroots campaign in both the dollar amount and the time it took.
"People are really looking for a change. They're looking for something or someone that's very different than Donald Trump," Ross said.
Harris has promised that she will not take a dime from corporate Policitcal Action Committees. Voters, particularly those who identify as being progressive, see PAC money as tainted and that candidates who accept PAC money will be swayed to act in the interest of corporations .
"She is doing something similar to what Obama ultimately did," said former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.
He said raising money through small individual donations is something former President Obama did successfully.
Brown said it demonstrates the ability to galvanize people from all walks of life.
"I recall so clearly when Obama was running, the people who clean the hallway in the building I live in were sending $25 a month and that is a large amount for somebody who works for minimum wage," he said.
Registered voters tell KTVU what would motivate them to donate to a candidate.
"A story that I think is both relatable and aligns with what I hope our country can get behind as well," said Sam Silverstein from Marin County.
Some say they plan to attend Harris's rally in Oakland on Sunday to find out more about her.
"Say what you can do. Why you're at the rally. I have no problems donating," said David Carrasquillo of Oakland.
"Connecting with people instead of just being at the podium , just having their speech and their spiel," said Heather Kato of Oakland.
Political experts say early donors are likely to give money again and again. They say early and continuous support helps sustain a long campaign. They say it will get tougher as more Democratic candidates jump into the race for president of the United States.