President Obama's campaign is launching a new initiative for fundraising. Commencing later this week, the president's campaign will begin accepting donations by text message.
The program was announced early Thursday by the President's reelection campaign, reported the Washington Post. Allowing political campaign text donations was recently approved by the Federal Election Commission.
How it will work is contributors can send donations to 62262 (numbers correspond with "Obama") with the text "GIVE". This method of donating will accept up to $50 per month, up to $200 during the election time frame. The donor will see the charge(s) on his or her next cellular bill.
Customers of Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular will be able to use this method of donation "almost immediately", said WaPo. Other carriers, such as AT&T, will be added in the near future.
In 2008 Obama had embraced technologies, such as social media outlets, and over time has continued to do so; it is not surprising his campaign quickly launched into another method of outreach and fundraising using technology as soon as it was approved and available.
“Grassroots giving is powering this campaign. Accepting small donations by text message will help us engage even more grassroots supporters who want to play a role by donating whatever they can afford to the campaign,” campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement.
Will this strategy help either campaign? It very well could give Obama's campaign fundraising a boost as his campaign heavily relies upon small donations.
Currently, the Romney campaign is outpacing Obama's with donations, according to recent numbers. No word yet if Romney's campaign will follow suit and promote text donations, but if it does, it could potentially help his campaign's coffers too. Reportedly, Mitt Romney had also advocated text donations to be approved.
According to a Jan. 2012 Pew Research Center finding,"The ability to send small donations using mobile phones facilitates “impulse giving” in response to moving images or events."
During the study, Pew found 1 in 10 Americans have already given a donation via text. With a close running race in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, it could be those numbers may significantly rise by the end of the year.