'Holy Grail' of Campaign Cash: Cell Phone Donations
Donations made via mobile are an untapped resource, so far
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 8:25 AM CDT
The campaign donation of the future?   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – With presidential election cycles now topping $1.7 billion, you might think fundraisers have tapped every possible way of raking in money. You'd be wrong. The "holy grail" of fundraising remains the mobile phone, and, with 83% of adults owning one, political operatives are working furiously to add cell phones to their revenue repertoire, reports Sam Stein at the Huffington Post. "No one has figured it out," says one political consultant. "But with email being the main driver of political giving and an exponential increase in mobile to check [email], someone has to."

Upward of 95% of online contributions come from email, but as smartphones grow more common, campaign experts say the money will move in that direction, too. Currently, the FEC bans donating to campaigns by text message, the most common way of raising money by mobile, because it circumvents disclosure laws. With people wary of sending too much information over their phones, campaigns are working on some sort of Amazon.com-esque registry to simplify the process, but so far nothing has clicked with the public. Click for the full story. Or click here to see who is winning the mobile-less fundraising race so far this cycle.