Brother Can You Spare...a Thousand?
The intent of McCain-Feingold is to stop influence-peddling to soft money contributors and to increase the importance of individual contributors by raising the limits on their contributions. The web page at http://www.opensecrets.org/basics/law/index.asp outlines the new law's changes to contribution limits.
Contributing to your favorite party or candidate(s) is certainly one way you can have an impact on the election. Besides helping your candidate, your contribution may help send a message about campaign finance.
Currently, 99% of all campaign funding comes from 1% of the population. In the face of those statistics, it's easy to shrug our shoulders and give up: How can we change that balance of power?
But if we all send the message that finance reform is important by supporting the candidate of our choice with a donation, perhaps the politicians will take notice. And perhaps the intent of imperfect solutions like McCain-Feingold will be carried forward through new and better laws that help us regain control of our elections.