In addition to contributing money, an SSF may contribute goods or services to candidates and their committees. An SSF may contribute goods and services only if it has purchased them with its own funds or if an individual (not the sponsoring organization) has lawfully contributed them to the SSF. However, corporations and labor organizations may provide some goods and services that are exempt from the definitions of “contribution” and “expenditure.” See Using connected organization resources and facilities.
Gifts of goods or services are in-kind contributions. As examples, an SSF makes an in-kind contribution when it:
- Pays for consulting, polling or printing services provided to a candidate committee;
- Contributes office supplies or mailing lists to a campaign;
- Sponsors a fundraising event benefiting a candidate (see Events and programs for candidates or party committees); or
- Pays for a campaign advertisement on behalf of a candidate (if the advertisement does not qualify as an independent expenditure). See Coordinated communications by the SSF.
See “Types of contributions” for information on how to measure the value of an in-kind contribution.
In-kind contributions designated for more than one election
The Commission has advised that in-kind contributions of goods may be designated for more than one election within an election cycle provided that:
- The goods contributed have a long-term useful life expectancy, extending over all the elections for which the contribution was made (e.g., computer equipment);
- The candidate actually runs in all the elections for which the contribution is given; and,
- The contributor provides a written, signed designation at the time of the contribution – or provides a proper redesignation within 60 days of the contribution.
Reporting in-kind contributions made
When making an in-kind contribution, an SSF must report the date the good or service is provided as the date of the contribution. It does so by itemizing the contribution on Schedule B for Line 23 as described. However, payments for such goods or services are usually made on a different date than the date the contribution is provided to the campaign. In this case, the SSF must also report each payment made as an operating expenditure on the date the payment is actually made to the recipient.