Who can contribute to the SSF
An individual may make contributions to the separate segregated fund (SSF), subject to the limit per calendar year.
An SSF or connected organization may solicit only a restricted class of persons associated with the connected organization. The general public may not be solicited.
An SSF may accept an unsolicited contribution that is otherwise lawful, but the committee may not inform individuals outside the restricted class that unsolicited contributions are acceptable.
An individual who is under 18 years old may make contributions, if:
- The decision to contribute is made knowingly and voluntarily by the minor,
- The funds, goods or services contributed are owned or controlled by the minor, proceeds from a trust for which he or she is a beneficiary or funds withdrawn by the minor from a financial account opened and maintained in his or her name; and
- The contribution is not made using funds given to the minor as a gift for the purpose of making the contribution, and is not in any way controlled by another individual.
Partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs)
Partnerships are permitted to make contributions according to special rules. Likewise, if an LLC is considered a partnership for tax purposes, it is subject to the contribution limits for partnerships.
Who can’t contribute to the SSF
Corporations and labor organizations
Corporations and labor organizations may not use their general treasury funds to make contributions to their SSFs or candidates and they are generally prohibited from using their treasury funds to make contributions to other types of political committees. Officers of corporations and labor organizations are prohibited from consenting to the making of a prohibited corporate or labor contribution.
In addition, national banks and federally chartered corporations may not make contributions in connection with any U.S. election—federal, state or local.
Commingling of funds
Corporations and labor organizations may not commingle their treasury funds with the funds of their SSFs.
Any corporate or labor funds intended to pay the administrative expenses of an SSF must be paid directly to vendors or deposited in a special administrative account used only to pay the SSF's establishment, solicitation and administration costs.
As an exception to the commingling prohibition, when a connected organization functions as a collecting agent for its SSF (for example, when collecting contributions via payroll deduction), it may temporarily deposit contributions in a general account before transmitting them to the SSF.
Reimbursements of contributions
A connected organization may not reimburse individuals who make contributions to an SSF or another political committee.
Federal government contractors
Federal government contractors are prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in connection with a federal election. The prohibition applies to:
- A partnership with a government contract;
- An individual under contract with the federal government; and
- Sole proprietors with government contracts.
The prohibition begins when the request for proposals are sent out or the negotiations have begun (whichever is earlier) and ends when performance under a contract is completed or negotiations have terminated (whichever is later).
Employees of federal contractors and spouses of individuals who are federal contractors are not affected by this provision and may make otherwise lawful contributions from their personal funds.
Federal law prohibits contributions, donations, expenditures(including independent expenditures) and disbursements solicited, directed, received or made directly or indirectly by or from foreign nationals in connection with any federal, state or local election.
Contributions in the name of another
A contribution made by one person in the name of another is prohibited. Similarly, a corporation is prohibited from using bonuses or other means of reimbursing employees for their contributions.
A connected organization may not pay additional compensation to its employees to enable them to make contributions to the SSF, federal candidates, and other political committees.