Now pay in EMIs, mobile money: AAP's new fundraising ideas

The Aam Aadmi Party's funding patterns have had a tradition of attracting attention, first over the allegations of foreign funds and alleged FCRA violations and later over its plan to raise funds from the Indian community in Singapore during Republic Day celebrations at the Indian High Commission there.

Their latest efforts to raise funds will draw eyeballs too, this time for the novelty factor.

 Now pay in EMIs, mobile money: AAPs new fundraising ideas

AAP volunteers. Naresh Sharma / Firstpost

As the party gears up to raise a rumoured over Rs 300-crore for the Lok Sabha elections, donors can soon donate to the Aam Aadmi Party via mobile phones, or if you want, in equated monthly instalments.

Crowd-sourcing of funds in a model that replicates US President Barack Obama's fundraising for his first election campaign is the new idea the fledgling party will attempt to flesh out over the coming months.

The Indian Express reported that the party is already in talks with mobile service providers for payments through cellphones. They had tried to put this mechanism in place before the Assembly election too but things had not quite worked out.

"To boost donations, we are trying to make the process as hassle-free as possible. We have signed a contract with Airtel recently. Through a service called Airtel Money, donors will be able to transfer money using their mobile phones. We are also in talks with Vodafone for a similar tie-up. The formal launch will take place in a day or two,” Kumar Gaurav, an AAP member in charge of fund collection, is quoted as telling the paper.

The other big idea is to offer prospective donors the option of paying in EMIs, through credit cards. Party offices would then house swipe machines where donors can swipe their debit or credit cards, according to the report.

According to a report in The Times of India, such mechanisms will help the party cast its net wider, with more small donors likely to be pledge some money. The report said ECS, auto-debits and other banking facilities are also being explored.

"Very few people can donate a lumpsum amount, so the challenge is to get 15-20 million donors who can shell out small amounts. Our banking channels are not equipped to handle the volumes so we have tied up with mobile service providers," an AAP leader is quoted as saying.

While the NRI community has been a source of funds for the party for several months now, AAP leaders are now also simultaneously talking to entrepreneurs, some corporates and High Net worth Individuals.

In an interview to The Economic Times published on Tuesday, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said he is open to seeking funds from corporates, though there would be no quid pro quo.

"Political funding is a huge issue. We need a solution for that. That is the beginning of corruption and an excuse for corruption," Kejriwal told ET.

He added that he was open to taking money from a corporate if it was honest and clean.

Updated Date: Feb 19, 2014 12:40:34 IST