A week after the FEC approved political donations via text, Chirpify, a Twitter Commerce Platform, has today announced the launch of its new “Twitter Fundraising for Politicians” platform. In the age of money and elections, perhaps this will be one more equalizer in the pocket of non-billionaires.
Chirpify has secured the commitment “for at least 25 U.S. Senate and House candidates to use Chirpify for their 2012 political campaigns,” allowing “politicians to raise money for and donors to contribute to campaigns via Twitter with a simple tweet.” Rather nifty. The commitment was secured by Digital Acumen, a Twitter politics digital agency, which hosted the Twitter Presidential Debate in July 2011.
Also launched today by Chirpify is a special “Tweet a Presidential Candidate” website that allows voters to donate as well as track donations to the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns with a tweet at www.tweetlection.com. Donations to the campaigns are as simple as tweeting “Donate $amount to @BarackObama for Election 2012” or “Donate $amount to @MittRomney for Election 2012.” Naturally, one must first sign up for Chirpify.
“There are hundreds of millions of dollars being raised for U.S. political campaigns every year, and an estimated 140 million Twitter users,” said Chirpify CEO and Founder Chris Teso. “Yet until now there was no way to directly exchange currency on Twitter. It is a no brainer to introduce Twitter Fundraising for Politicians.”
“Engagement is not the problem for politicians on Twitter, what is an issue is turning that interaction into donations,” said Digital Acumen CEO and Founder Andrew Hemingway. “Either potential donors get sidetracked when following a donation link from Twitter or politicians need a computer science degree to set up an online donation platform. Chirpify provides a simple solution by processing donations without ever having to leave Twitter.”
To gather donations on Twitter, politicians or their staff tweet a donation request from their Chirpify dashboard. A donor then replies with something like “@favoritepolitician donate,” for example. Chirpify then clears the donation transaction and “sends donors and politicians email and direct message receipts.”
Chirpify, which is integrated with PayPal, sees itsself not just as a fundraising tool but a method of monetizing social media in that it ”gives individuals, companies, organizations—anyone—the ability to buy, sell, donate or pay someone for both physical and digital goods with a simple tweet. Because it works anywhere that Twitter does, any user on any mobile phone, tablet or computer can use Chirpify to conduct seamless and secure transactions.
While empowering the masses with a quick and easy donation method for political campaigns, Chirpify, like text-based campaign contributions, doesn’t address the problem of money’s role in politics. However, with the Citizens United v. FEC ruling that favors wealthy donors and corporations, every little bit helps.