By the Numbers: 10% of Presidential Campaign Donors Gave with their Mobile Phones


A new study from Pew shows that cell phone donations are quickly becoming a significant factor in the presidential campaigns.

The study found that 10% of all campaign donations to a presidential candidate have used text messaging or a cell phone app. Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

13% of adults donated to one of the presidential candidates this election. Of those:

  • 67% donated in person, over the telephone, or through the mail
  • 50% donated online or via email
  • 10% donated by sending a text message from their cell phone or using a cell phone app

This is especially impressive given that the campaigns only launched their text message fundraising efforts in late August. While that 10% number includes both text message and app donations, it is a surprisingly significant percentage of total giving.

The study also showed that Democrats are more than twice as likely to donate using their mobile phones than Republicans. According to the report, “15% of Democratic campaign donors have contributed via text message or cell phone app, compared with 6% of Republican donors.” The Huffington Postsays that President Obama’s campaign has outraised Governor Romney’s campaign 73-1 when it comes to donations via cell phones.

While the majority of donations still came from more traditional routes—in-person canvassing, the mail or over the phone, or online through candidates’ websites and email campaigns—mobile phone donations are a growing medium. Given that one in ten Americans have donated to a cause of some kind via their phones, there’s no telling how significant a role this new technology will play in the political arena in years to come.

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