Obama Sends First 2012 Small Dollar Fundraising Appeal

Prez finds donors who promise to double chump change contributions.

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President Obama has penned his first small-donor fundraising letter for his 2012 re-election campaign and it sounds like one of those Ronco TV ads: Contribute $5 and the Obama campaign will double it to $10.

[ See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]

In an email, the president writes: "Paul, Someone is about to tap you on the shoulder. It's someone who's already made a donation to the 2012 campaign—and who's willing to give again if you'll step up and take ownership of it, too. They've made a promise to match your first donation to this campaign, so if you decide to give $5 now, you'll double your impact. Will you?" [Vote now: Who is your pick for the 2012 GOP nomination?]

The small donor pitch to Obama for America's massive E-mail list comes as the campaign is also putting pressure on major donors to collect $60 million to jump start the president's reelection campaign.

In his email, Obama characterizes his fundraising effort also as a mission to do things differently than regular presidential campaigns.

"We're not just gathering donations here. We're gathering people," says the president. "We didn't get this far by doing things the usual way. Our campaign doesn't take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs. We're doing this the right way—with a whole lot of people like you taking the lead. One of our earliest supporters is prepared to make a second donation in order to persuade you to make your first. It's that kind of commitment that creates a grassroots campaign capable of changing the outcome of an election—and capable of changing the course of this country. That's the spirit that drives us. And it starts with a tap on the shoulder." [See a slide show of GOP 2012 contenders.]

His campaign is trying to collect $750 million to $1 billion to fend off the eventual GOP nominee. Most polls show that the public would like to see a new president but that most also believe Obama will win a second term.

Just a day earlier, Obama Campaign Manager Jim Messina revealed the matching donor program and said the goal was put an end to the typical big donor-funded campaigns. "It's an explicit rejection of the money-for-influence game that paralyzes our politics," wrote Messina in a separate email to the campaign's list.

See both below.

Paul --

Someone is about to tap you on the shoulder.

It's someone who's already made a donation to the 2012 campaign -- and who's willing to give again if you'll step up and take ownership of it, too.

They've made a promise to match your first donation to this campaign, so if you decide to give $5 now, you'll double your impact.

Will you?

https://donate.barackobama.com/2011-Grassroots-Match

We're not just gathering donations here. We're gathering people.

We didn't get this far by doing things the usual way. Our campaign doesn't take money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs.

We're doing this the right way -- with a whole lot of people like you taking the lead.

One of our earliest supporters is prepared to make a second donation in order to persuade you to make your first. It's that kind of commitment that creates a grassroots campaign capable of changing the outcome of an election -- and capable of changing the course of this country.

That's the spirit that drives us. And it starts with a tap on the shoulder.

Now all you have to do is take them up on the offer. Give it a go:

https://donate.barackobama.com/2011-Grassroots-Match

Thank you,

Barack

If you missed Jim Messina's message yesterday, keep reading for instructions on how to make a matching donation.

-----

From: Jim Messina, BarackObama.com

Sent: Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Subject: This is actually pretty cool

Friend --

Earlier today, a whole bunch of us who have already made a donation to the 2012 campaign decided something.

We decided we're ready to give for a second or third time -- if and only if you're willing to make your first donation to the campaign right now.

Your gift will be matched by a real person. You'll be able to see their name and town, and even exchange a message with them. Right now there are thousands of folks willing to match whatever amount you decide to give.

You'll have double the impact if you decide to make your first donation to the 2012 campaign now.

How about it?

From the start of President Obama's 2008 campaign, this operation has viewed fundraising as part of a larger organizing mission.

Taking ownership of the campaign is an essential part of the experience, right alongside making phone calls, knocking on doors, and taking responsibility for getting your network of friends, colleagues, and neighbors to join us.

Relying on each other to own this campaign isn't just the most viable way we can grow a truly grassroots organization -- it's also the right way to do politics. Taking money from Washington lobbyists or special-interest PACs is the easy path -- and every single one of our prospective opponents is racing down it.

That's not the kind of race we want to run. I know there are easier ways to fund a presidential campaign than getting a whole lot of people to give five dollars or more. But it's an explicit rejection of the money-for-influence game that paralyzes our politics.

So while other campaigns boast about raising tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, we're focusing on a different kind of mission: to get as many people as possible to give, as early as possible.

Right now, our most committed supporters are willing to double the impact of your first donation to the 2012 campaign. I'd like them to find out that their promise to give inspired you.

Make a matching donation of $5 or more now:

https://donate.barackobama.com/2011-Grassroots-Match

Thanks so much,

Messina

Jim Messina

Campaign Manager

Obama for America