The data available for download from this page range from zip files that contain individual contributions to political committees and may exceed 100 megabytes to single page summary pdf and xls files. While the largest files may be of interest primarily to campaign finance professionals there is much information here that could be useful for anyone trying to understand how money is raised and spent for the purpose of influencing federal elections.
The Data Catalog contains campaign finance and other related data. You may customize these data sets to view a subset of the information. You can view and sort the subset or download the subset. Alternatively, you may download full data sets. RSS feeds are available for many of the files so you're notified whenever new data is available or a change is made.
The Commission's FTP server hosts many files available for download. The candidate master, committee master, individual contributions, contributions to candidates and all committee to committee transactions files are found here. These files are available for each two-year period from 1980 to current. The files for 2000 to current are updated weekly.
The Electioneering Communication Notices file is a comma separated value (.csv) text file. The file contains electioneering communication notices from January 2004 to present. The data elements are the filer's FEC ID, filer name, filer address, coverage dates, public distribution date, total donations, total disbursements, image number, amendment indicator and receipt date.
You will find here the threshold files for presidential candidates seeking matching funds. In addition to regular quarterly or monthly disclosure reports, presidential candidates who seek matching funds must submit information about "matchable" contributions to the FEC for review. Contributions from individuals where the aggregate amount contributed by the individual is $250 or less are eligible to be matched on a dollar for dollar basis from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. This Fund includes proceeds from the voluntary check-off of $3 per person from income tax returns of eligible taxpayers.
You will find here the candidate master file, the committee master file, the individual contributions file and its additions, changes and deletions, the itemized records file, and the itemized committee contributions file. These files for the current election cycle back to the 2000 election cycle are updated weekly (Sunday night) and include any information entered into the FEC database up to that date. Note that committees do not have the same filing requirements (see http://www.fec.gov/info/filing.shtml). You should be careful when comparing financial information about committees with different filing requirements.
You will find here the current campaign summary file, the all candidates summary file, the current PAC summary file, the PAC detailed summary file, the post-cycle candidate summary file, the post-cycle PAC summary file, the post-cycle party summary file, and the party detailed summary file. For the three most recent election cycles, the current campaign summary file and the all candidates summary file are updated daily. The other files found here are created after all year-end filing processing is completed at the end of a 2-year election cycle. These files are typically created in April of odd numbered years.
You will find here a daily compilation of electronically filed reports and statements. These are available from Feburary 2001 to present. Filing formats, valid dates for these formats and header files for version 1 through the most recent version are available.