Obama's 2012 campaign tops digital fundraising in 2008

President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign was largely recognized for its use of social media and its part in helping him win the election. Many wondered, when he began his re-election bid, if he would be able to generate as much enthusiasm for his campaign.

As it turns out, the campaign generated even more. TIME magazine reports that Obama aides are saying more than $1 billion were raised by the 2012 campaign and its affiliated party committees, and social media was an instrumental tool in doing so.

According to a senior campaign adviser, new numbers show the Obama campaign digitally raised about $609 million in 2012, compared to the $500 million raised in 2008. This includes all electronic contributions and some donations that were generated by high-dollar fundraisers but were logged through the website.

If only fundraising generated through e-mail, social media, mobile and website efforts are counted, the 2012 campaign raised $504 million, more than the $403 million in 2008.

A majority of the digital donations came in the final months of the presidential race. And as a result of the peak in excitement during the presidential debates, October 2012 digital fundraising increased on a month-over-month basis, rather than decreasing like it did in 2008.

More than 4.4 million people gave in support of Obama’s re-election campaign, up from 3.95 million in 2008, and the success contradicts the doubts some had about the campaign’s ability to replicate excitement from the first time around.

TIME magazine’s Michael Scherer calls the numbers a testament to the campaign’s leadership, more specifically its digital team, who invested heavily in digital efforts very early on and fine tuned their technique.

Other milestones the 2012 campaign announced are:

  • The number of likes on campaign Facebook pages increased from 19 million to 45 million during the presidential race. The number of Twitter followers increased from 7 million to 23 million.
  • The campaign’s social network for supporters, Dashboard, organized over 358,000 offline events. There were 1.1 million RSVPs to those events.
  • Over 1 million people downloaded the campaign’s Facebook application and more than 600,000 supporters shared items with their friends using the app. It’s estimated that 5 million individuals were reached through the system.

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