Chicago, Nov.22 : Democrat Barack Obama raised half-a-billion dollars online during his 21-month-long campaign for the White House, dramatically ushering in a new digital era in presidential fundraising.
In an exclusive interview with The Post, members of the vaunted Triple O, Obama's online operation, broke down the numbers: three million donors made a total of 6.5 million donations online adding up to more than 500 million dollars. Of those 6.5 million donations, six million were in increments of 100 dollars or less. The average online donation was 80 dollars, and the average Obama donor gave more than once.
"You looked at the money being raised online in the same way that you looked at the crowds who came to the rallies," Joe Rospars, the 27-year-old director of Obama's new-media department, told The Post.
"You were constantly surprised at the number of people who were coming out to see him," and, when it came to online donations, "people exceeded our expectations as to what they were willing to do," he added.
Obama also raised millions from traditional campaign bundlers -- rich, well-connected fundraisers -- but the bulk of the more than 600 million dollars that Obama raised throughout the campaign was through the Internet, aides said.
In September, his single biggest month of fundraising, Obama amassed more than 65 percent of his record-shattering haul -- 100 million dollars of the 150 million dollars -- from online donations, aides said.
The campaign's use of e-mail, text messages and social networking sites, also called "socnets," was closely watched by technocrats, strategists and OPOs -- the online political operatives who stand to benefit from Obama's unprecedented online success.