As of August 2008, 18% of Americans had given money to a political candidate, party, organization or cause in the past 12 months, and some 30% of donors gave money online. Political donations are far more likely to be made online than are contributions to non-profit or charitable organizations. While more Americans give to charities (59%), only 12% of such donations are made online. However, political donations online are likely to be smaller than charitable donations online. Among all online political donations, 61% were less than $100, and only 3% of online political donations were above $500. In fact, offline political donors were nearly three times as likely as online donors to make a contribution of more than $500 to a political candidate or party. Among those giving to non-profits or charitable organizations, there was little difference in the size of donations among online and offline contributions. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.