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Future Of Philanthropy

Here's How You Can Make Microdonations To The Campaigns In Real Time During The Debate

Like what you're hearing between now and November 8? Spotfund will let you drop a dollar or two at a time into a presidential candidates' campaign fund.

Here's How You Can Make Microdonations To The Campaigns In Real Time During The Debate

[Photos: Flickr users Gage Skidmore, Michael Vadon]

Like what one presidential nominee is saying during the presidential debate tonight? Can’t stand what’s coming out the mouth of their opponent? Now you can give a buck for or against them using Spotfund, the micro-donation app that lets users give instantly to causes of the moment.

The social giving platform, which launched this summer, initially only offered the ability to distribute money towards nonprofits rallying around a crisis, cause, or world event. They've since debuted a political feed, which allows people to make donations of $1, $2 or $3 by dropping virtual tokens in those amounts onto a candidate's cause page. Users can type in a larger amount to give, but it won’t be counted on the group’s cause scoreboard, an internal way to track how people who give a little everyday are impacting the world.

Spotfund has always been cause-focused, and especially interested in stimulating conversation around world changing topics. The presidential campaign has become so polarizing that it certainly hits that mark. "One of the ways you can impact your world… is to give to a candidate who affects your beliefs," says cofounder and CEO Sanford Kunkel.

Because each micro-donation can be shared over social media, the group hopes to see the equivalent of a debate-party drinking game—only more productive. "You have the luxury of being able to make a donation any time the candidate you prefer says something you support or to donate any time the candidate you oppose says something that riles you up," adds cofounder and CMO Brian Belardi. If donors want, the app allows them to telegraph their push over Facebook or Twitter galvanize more support.

Candidate cause pages will live track of what’s coming in, so users can see in real time who is winning main cash poll between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But those who would rather make their own quixotic statement about the frontrunners by giving to a third party are in luck. There are additional tiles for Libertarian Gary Johnson, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and even the Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle. Within the app, users can battle over their Spotfund Score, which is comprised of not just how many donations they make, but how many people donate into causes they share. (Customized higher-value donations don’t apply.)

To comply with the Federal Election Commission rules, Spotfund is sharing the individual donation amounts with each campaign to ensure no one goes over the $2,700 limit. When users drop tokens, they’re asked to sign a digital waiver acknowledging they’re in compliance with all FEC terms.

Spotfund says it’s always planned on creating a politics branch, but the app's traditional causes may see an uptick as new users explore. Research shows there is an election effect to giving: Political donors are precisely the people most likely to contribute to other causes during an election cycle. "One of our goals was how can we turn social media conversations into action," says Spotfund's other cofounder and COO Mike Marian. Time to see if armchair politicians will put their money where their mouth is.

Download the app here to join the fray.

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