The consulting firm that has long pushed for allowing supporters to donate via text unveiled a new way for campaigns to solicit contributions through cellphones.
Revolution Messaging has been a leader in the industry’s push to allow campaigns to accept donations via SMS texts. The FEC approved the process in 2012, with certain conditions, but it remains impractical because it requires the cell service provider to bill the account holder and then pass that money on to the campaign.
During the GOP debate on Thursday, Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, Revolution’s client, sent a group of supporters a solicitation urging them to donate via text. The solicitation was sent to a list that the campaign knew has Actblue Express accounts. If they responded in the affirmative, the campaign debited $20 from their accounts.
Revolution Messaging says its new offering cuts the waiting time for the donation to be processed, eliminates the need for donors to enter their information onto a mobile landing page, or for the campaign to hold a supporter’s credit card on file.
Still, it isn’t a pure SMS text-to-donate offering, which Revolution has pursued vigorously for years. The company said it’s still working closely with cell service providers to streamline the process. In the meantime, it’s pioneering the new service with the Sanders campaign and could soon make it an option available to other clients.
The Sanders camp, meanwhile, has proved adept at harnessing the media spotlight to raise quick cash. A spokesman told USA Today that the campaign raised $1.9 million from 66,000 people this week in response to the Clinton campaign taking a more aggressive tone against the senator. Moreover, Revolution said the campaign recorded more than 2.5 million contributions through the end of 2015.