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Why we connected with Twitter

Just a few words about our strategy behind last week’s Twitter integration project.

Certainly, we hope it’s a big benefit to campaigns.  There’s no doubt that Democratic candidates have jumped into Twitter.  It got to a point where we were couldn’t ignore the clamor.  But let me highlight three specific motivations that go deeper than “serving candidates and fundraisers any way we can.”

  1. We are eager to drive adoption of our ActBlue Express donor accounts.  Express donors can review their full contribution history at any time, track progress against a personal giving target or aggregate contribution limits, make new contributions with just a few clicks, and — of course — now have the option to contribute via Twitter as well.  You’ll see us doing more with these donor accounts over the next months, both in terms of their capabilities and how we promote them.
  2. Twitter represents our first attempt at a mobile giving platform for Democratic fundraising.  It’s a challenge whose solution has thus far remained out of reach in politics.  We can put a stake in the ground claiming the first honest mobile giving platform generally available to Democrats, but I also hope it is only the first of many innovations in that space.
  3. Grassroots fundraising shines when donors become fundraisers, reaching other donors that candidates themselves can’t reach.  We’ve preached that gospel from our first days five years ago.  What’s so unique to Twitter is that the contribution tweet serves two roles: a contribution instruction to ActBlue and the fundraising ask itself.  We’ll watch that dynamic closely, and perhaps try to bake in support for retweets as a way for donors to augment a contribution with a few bucks of their own.

Ultimately, we’re looking for a new culture of online giving, not driven solely by asks from candidates and their fundraisers, but a mesh of activity underlying each day’s online political discourse.  With ActBlue and Twitter, we can go beyond sending out “attaboys” when a Congressman votes the right way.  Imagine instead if those votes drove a flurry of micro-contributions, or a matching pledge implemented as a Twitter bot that automatically responds to contributions with the matching donor’s own gift.

Let us know what you think, and please do give it a whirl!

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