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How Much Should a Campaign Know About an Online Volunteer?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 31 2012

Rick Santorum's campaign is also asking folks to go online and make calls today on the former senator from Pennsylvania's behalf.

An ongoing question about this type of tool is how much the campaign should know about the volunteer before the volunteer is allowed to, well, volunteer. Mitt Romney's campaign just asks for a name and email address. Santorum's campaign requires volunteers to put in a full address before it starts revealing to users of their click-to-call tool the names and phone numbers of prospective voters. It's an additional step to protect voters' privacy — and to get more data for the campaign — although it isn't difficult for tricksters to use a fake or inaccurate address in a form like this.

Newt Gingrich's campaign has first-time visitors to his website focused solely online today, with no similar tool to generate immediate offline results for online action. There's one possible exception: the "donate" button for Gingrich, whose campaign is benefiting from the largesse of a casino magnate who is donating to a super PAC supporting the former House Speaker, still features prominently on his homepage today. (Elsewhere in the Newt Gingrich online empire, there is also Newt's Network, which hosts a click-to-call tool. But it isn't getting any call-to-action love on the pages Gingrich is featuring today.)

Santorum's campaign is using a tool from FTIN Solutions, a campaign management software company.

This post has been updated to include information about where the Gingrich campaign hosts a click-to-call tool.