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Fundraising for an SSF

A connected organization may use its treasury funds, including funds derived from commercial activities or dues payments, to pay the costs of establishing, administering and soliciting contributions to the SSF.

Treasury money can be used, for example, to pay for fundraising activities. There are no dollar limits on these disbursements, and they are not reported to the FEC. The connected organization may either pay these costs directly or establish a separate administrative account to be used solely for the SSF’s fundraising expenses. The funds contained in the administrative account may never be commingled with the SSF’s own funds, which are derived solely from lawful contributions.

Although the law permits the connected organization to pay start-up, administrative and fundraising expenses for an SSF, the committee may use its own funds to pay those costs. All disbursements by the SSF for these purposes are reportable as operating expenditures.

Note that the connected organization may reimburse the SSF for those operating expenditures, provided that the reimbursement is made within 30 days of the SSF’s disbursement. These reimbursements are reported as “offsets to operating expenditures.”

Basic guidance for SSF fundraising

The following rules for SSF solicitations are explained in this section:

  • Contributions to the SSF must be voluntary;
  • Special notices must be included;
  • Only a limited class of individuals may be solicited;
  • Solicitation of the general public is prohibited; and
  • All contributions and records must be forwarded by collecting agents and others in a timely manner.

Solicitation methods

The most common methods of soliciting SSF contributions from the restricted class are described. SSFs may solicit funds using any otherwise legal method of fundraising; however, no matter which method is used, the rules specific to all SSF solicitations in “Basic guidance for SSF fundraising” must be observed.