August 16th, 2012
The Federal Election Commission decided yesterday to go ahead and allow campaigns to raise money via text message. The final sticking point? The phone companies won’t have to verify that people who give money are actually legally eligible to do so. So, will text-donations take off? Here’s one hint:
The FEC’s plan will limit donations to a maximum of $10 per text, $50 per month and $200 per election cycle. The contribution method will not be open to corporations, foreign nationals or people younger than 18 years old.
Hmmm, not the most convenient way for people to give money in quantity to a campaign, particularly since the phone providers will take a cut. But, still useful for taking donations at live events and for getting people on a list — i.e., they make their first donation via text, and the campaign then has a hook to get them on its other channels as well. Considering email’s power as a fundraising tool, getting mobile supporters’ addresses fast is likely to be a priority.