The friction of making a donation has been reduced with ICT-powered fundraising campaigns. The Red Cross raised over $21 million for Haiti relief over SMS. Donors simply texted ‘Haiti’ to the 90999 shortcode to give $10. The Red Cross also experimented with Amazon Payments and donations via Chase ATMs.
In the political realm, technology firm Blue State Digital built Quick Donate for President Obama’s 2012 campaign. The feature saved donors’ payment information across devices and made subsequent donations a one-click process. It also allowed donors to contribute by SMS. Obama for America enrolled 1.5 million supporters in Quick Donate. These supporters gave four times more frequently and three times as much money as supporters without Quick Donate, totaling $115 million by the end of the campaign. These innovations reduce friction, but otherwise retain a relatively ‘thin’ participation role for members of the public who participate.