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Social Fundraising Platform Rally To Launch One-Click Donations

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, July 10 2012

President Obama's digital re-election campaign made waves earlier this year when it launched a novel one-click "Quick Donate" feature that stores donors' credit card information. The idea behind the feature was to enable instant, repeat donations.

As of Wednesday, political campaigns and non-profits of all sizes will have access to a similar functionality when the social fundraising platform Rally pulls the wraps off its own new feature.

Rally has adopted its own approach to the idea. It isn't yet as sophisticated as Obama's "Quick Donate" system -- you can't donate through e-mail yet, for instance, but Rally's team is working on it, and that feature should be available in a few weeks.

"Rally has a deeper integration in our payment stack with our payment processor, and that allows our donors to donate at a much quicker rate than had they leveraged PayPal or another payment processor," says Dane Hurtubise, Rally's product director.

For now, individuals donating to campaigns and causes using Rally will be able to donate online without having to re-enter their credit card information. Donations through mobile phones is still a ways off, says Hurtubise.

Nevertheless, the company still expects the new one-click functionality to make a significant change to the way money is donated online. One big difference, for example, is that individuals would theoretically be able to donate to candidates on different sides of the political aisle without having to re-enter their credit card information, if both sides use Rally.

“Political donors are often repeat donors. And so if you’re donating to a gubernatorial race, you may also be donating to a congressional or even local race, and because your information is stored, you’ll have your one-click that will work across political races,” says Nick Warshaw, Rally's director of business development.

For those worried about security, the company stores information in a virtual vault.

“We tokenize everything, which means that we create unique identifiers to connect to a third-party credit card vault, and we gain access through that," says Hurtabise. "That way is for some reason someone were to gain access to Rally’s database there would be no way for them to actually get the credit card information.”

Clarification: Rally wrote in to clarify that the company processes its own payments. The integration is with bank payment networks and credit card products. The company works with a security firm to lock down its vault.