Some information presented in this publication has been modified by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA). An updated version of this publication will be available once the Commission completes its BCRA rulemakings. In the interim, please visit the FECs BCRA page for additional information.
Supporting Federal Candidates: A Guide For Citizens
The contribution limits work a little differently for Presidential campaigns. In the case of a Presidential candidate running in various State primaries, you may contribute up to $1,000 for the entire primary campaign period - not $1,000 for each State primary in which the candidate runs.
Your contributions may be supplemented with Federal (U.S. Treasury) funds. If a Presidential primary candidate has qualified for the Federal matching fund program, up to $250 of your total contributions to that candidate may be matched with Federal funds. Contributions must be in the form of a check or other written instrument. (Note that some contributions are not matchable, such as currency, loans, goods and services, and any type of contribution from a political committee.)
In the general election, however, you may not make any contributions to the campaigns of Democratic or Republican nominees who receive Federal funds. (Federal funding in the general election takes the form of direct government grants rather than matching payments.) You may nevertheless designate a contribution of up to $1,000 to the candidate's compliance fund, a special account used to pay for certain legal and accounting expenses. You may also contribute up to $1,000 to the general election campaign of any Presidential candidate who is not a Federally funded Democratic or Republican nominee.
Federal funds used in Presidential elections come from the dollars voluntarily checked off by taxpayers on their Federal income tax returns. (The checkoff does not affect the total amount of taxes paid or any refund due.)
Back to Supporting Federal Candidates - A Guide For Citizens