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Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee steps up fundraising efforts via mobile donations

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is equipping volunteers and staff members with mobile tools that are aimed at capturing at-event donations.

The DSCC began using mobile donations two weeks ago at political events in Ohio and Nevada and is looking at incorporating the technology into more of the organization’s events. The political organization is working with Intuit’s Go Payment program on this initiative.

“Staying ahead of the innovation curve is critical to running a modern political campaign, which is why we continue to be leaders in integrating new technologies into our Senate campaigns,” said Shripal Shah, press secretary for the DSCC, Washington.

“This program will improve how campaigns connect with grassroots donors and we are excited about its potential for the future,” he said.

The DSCC is an organization that works to elect Democrats to the Senate.

Swipe to donate
The DSCC has tested the mobile donations for two Democratic candidates so far – Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and Shelley Berkley, who is running for Senator in Nevada.

DSCC employees and volunteers are equipped with mobile devices at political events and can make mobile donation transactions via an application.

To use Intuit’s service, clients can choose from either a pay-as-you-go or a fixed pricing plan that includes access to the GoPayment app and a credit card reader that plugs into a mobile device.

The app is available for iOS and Android devices.

To make a donation, DSCC employees can open the app and select a donation amount. They then slide a consumer’s credit card through the reader or enter the credit card information by typing the number into the app.

Consumers then use their finger to sign on the screen to finish the transaction. A receipt is sent to donators either via email or a text message.

Mobile credit cards
Intuit’s mobile payment technology is the latest development in a string of companies using mobile to help make mobile payments easier.

Square, which offers merchants a similar service to Intuit, recently revamped its mobile app to fit more into the consumer side of its business (see story).

Additionally, PayPal has aggressively been going after the merchant-consumer mobile payments space with its PayPal Here service (see story).

Although there is significant potential for mobile payments on the merchant-consumer side, an executive at Intuit also believes that political candidates have a huge opportunity to raise money via handsets.

For example, political campaigns can also collect crucial data about donators, including email address and employer information that can be used to report for public orders.

Getting consumers to make political donations can be tricky when many might be willing to donate large amounts of money but do not have cash on them. Reminding a consumer to donate after an event can also be difficult to enforce.

“Mobile payments will continue to help candidates raise money and help politicians be more effective with fundraising,” said Trevor Dryer, head of product management of mobile payments and point-of-sale at Intuit, Mountain View, CA.

“It really goes back to the last presidential election with Obama and the idea of building a grassroots movement and giving small amounts from field operations and rallies,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York