Twittering for Dollars
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Jul 06, 2009 at 04:03:39 AM EDT
Through a new program launched by ActBlue, an online fundraising group launched in 2004 that channels online donations to Democratic candidates, Democratic supporters can make donations by tweeting the amount and the candidate or party committee they want to give it to.
Donors with ActBlue accounts can tweet their donations in the following format: "donate $amount @candidate via @actblue"...and the money will go to the candidate or committee of one's choosing (assuming that candidate has registered through ActBlue. The Democratic National Committee, for instance, already has one).
This isn't likely to bring in millions for the Democratic Party, but it is important nonetheless as a further indication of what is to come. The Democratic success in 2008 followed in no small part the small-dollar donor revolution that poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the campaigns of Democratic candidates around the country. Whether it was the countless millions that went into the campaign of Barack Obama or the close to $5,000 the Netroots raised in small contributions to draft Tom Udall to run for the Senate in New Mexico -- an election he ended up winning by more than 22 percentage points -- internet fundraising made a huge difference for the Democrats. So, again, while this program might not the tool that will help the Democrats sustain their successes in recent cycles, it is an important harbinger of the technological advances in the coming years that will make it increasingly easy for the grassroots to play a large role in growing and sustaining the Democratic Party.