Political SMS Marketing

Trends: Small-Dollar Donations via SMS Mobile Messaging Fundraising

small dollar donations in sms fundraising

The 2020 election had many twists and surprises, not to mention that it happened during a global pandemic when a large portion of the world’s population was stuck at home. Many Americans were able to slow down, take a closer look at current events, and get involved in politics.

Many argue that this newfound interest in politics can be attributed to increased small-dollar donations to political candidates. Small-dollar donations are contributions of $200 or less.

This blog post looks at statistics from the 2020 election regarding small-dollar donations and how SMS messages can help support those grassroots efforts.


In the 2020 election cycle, 78% of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s $18,900,658 donation dollars were from small donors.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made it known that her preferred method of fundraising is small-dollar donations. This strategy aligns with her campaign and has served her well, resulting in 78% of her donations coming from small-dollar donors. Of all the members of the House of Representatives, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has received the most small-dollar donations.

SMS messaging can be a valuable tool to boost Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s small-dollar donations further. SMS mobile messaging creates an intimate space for candidates and their constituents to have conversations, which can help increase funds raised.


In the 2020 presidential election, 69% of Jo Jorgensen’s $2,930,266 donations came from small donors.

Jo Jorgensen was the Libertarian Party nominee for president, running as an alternative to Republican and Democrat candidates. The Libertarian Party isn’t a dominant political party in the United States and heavily relies on grassroots efforts and small-dollar donations from individuals nationwide. Jo Jorgensen received the least amount of overall donations among all 2020 presidential candidates. However, 68.56% of all her donations were from small donors.

Many political campaigns with limited funds can benefit from SMS messaging campaigns because they’re such a quick and efficient way to communicate with constituents. Tatango offers campaign workflows that allow volunteers to schedule text messages in advance to boost fundraising efforts.


In the 2020 presidential election, 49% of Donald Trump’s $773,954,550 donations came from small donors.

After winning an underfunded campaign in 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gathered an unprecedented amount of large and small donations. Surprisingly, he gathered a higher percentage of small-dollar donations than his rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Of Donald Trump’s donations, 48.85% were from small donors.

Because SMS marketing software is not subject to censorship and allows candidates to communicate with supporters freely, SMS messages are a great way to boost grassroots fundraising and small-dollar donations further.


In the 2020 presidential election, 38.94% of Joe Biden’s $1,044,187,828 donations came from small donors.

Joe Biden is the former United States vice president under Pres. Barack Obama and served as a senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009. Joe Biden’s campaign was able to gather more funds during the 2020 presidential race. Still, overall he received 10 percent less support from small donors than Donald Trump—38.94 percent of all of Joe Biden’s donations were from small donors.

SMS messaging is a great tool to communicate with individual supporters. SMS marketing messages have a 99 percent read and open rate, and 90 percent of SMS messages are read within three minutes of being sent. It’s no wonder so many political campaigns are utilizing SMS messaging for small-dollar fundraising.


In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and Jo Jorgensen raised $786,655,522 from small donations alone.

More than ever before, the American people have been following politics and have gotten involved in the presidential election, and it shows. Just look at the high amount of grassroots, small-dollar donations raised for the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian presidential candidates combined. Combined, all small-dollar donations totaled $786,655,522.

Thanks to API innovations, SMS marketing software can seamlessly integrate into fundraising platforms like ActBlue and WinRed to easily and efficiently gather small-dollar donations for candidates.


In the presidential election, small-dollar donations grew 7% from 2016 to 2020.

The exact reasons for this growth in grassroots, small-dollar donations are unknown. Many speculate that COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns have given Americans the time to slow down and pay more attention to current events and politics. Regardless, small-dollar donations made up 15 percent of all election funds in 2016 and 22 percent in 2020.

Not only is SMS messaging an efficient way to communicate with supporters, but it’s also a safe way to stay in touch and fundraise during a pandemic. Many in-person fundraising events were canceled, and SMS messaging saved the day. SMS marketing is also replacing email marketing as the preferred communication channel of choice for political candidates, with higher open rates than email marketing and better visibility than social media.


Joe Biden’s campaign raised $26 million in the 24 hours following Sen. Kamala Harris’s announcement as the vice presidential nominee.

Joe Biden’s campaign relied heavily on large donations and wanted to push for small-donor support and involvement. Following Kamala Harris’s announcement as Biden’s running mate, they made tremendous strides by raising $26 million in the first 24 hours!

SMS messages are an excellent tool for making a quick push for donations and sending urgent updates to supporters. SMS messages are not subject to a spam filter or folder, so supporters will instantly receive your communications!


Upon announcing Kamala Harris as the vice presidential nominee, Joe Biden’s campaign received contributions from 150,000 first-time small donors.

Joe Biden’s campaign was poised to make history by choosing Kamala Harris as his running mate for the 2020 presidential race, and the American people were on board. His campaign received contributions from 150,000 first-time small donors.

From Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden to Kamala Harris, every campaign has avid donors and supporters who have never contributed. The Tatango SMS marketing platform makes it possible to segment subscribers so you can create custom SMS campaigns for both audiences.


In 2020, Republican candidates and committees raised $623.5 million through the year-old online donation platform WinRed.

WinRed emerged as the republican fundraising competitor to the democratic fundraising platform ActBlue, enabling the GOP to raise $623.5 million within the first year of the software’s existence.

The Tatango SMS marketing platform seamlessly integrates with WinRed to help campaigns quickly and easily gather grassroots funds from supporters. Learn more about this integration.


About Tatango

Tatango is an SMS marketing platform that partners with organizations to help them communicate with supporters via text messages. We have a dedicated team of political text messaging consults to help your organization segment your audience and run streamlined mobile fundraising campaigns for an optimal donation ROI on your SMS investment.

Schedule a time to chat with one of our SMS marketing experts.

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