Tech President reports the campaign rolled out their donate by text message service on Verizon, Spring, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular this past week. Supporters can donate up to $50 a month by texting "GIVE" to a 5-digit number set up by the campaign.
In the scenario approved by the Federal Election Commission in a series of advisory opinions this summer, donations become pledges that are bought by an intermediary and resold to the campaign. This allows the campaign to get money in the door fast enough to comply with FEC regulations while also allowing carriers enough time to collect donations, which appear on each supporter's cellphone bill. The intermediary follows up with a trailing payment to make up any difference between estimated early payments and what the campaign is owed.
Campaigns have long hoped that mobile donations, which have shown promising returns for nonprofits, will allow for painless giving in politics as well. But consultants and mobile expertstechPresident has spoken with in the past told us they're not sure campaigns smaller than the two presidential efforts will be able to do enough volume in mobile donations in order for the returns to be worth the cost.