Published in February 2013
The material that follows offers answers to frequently asked questions about FEC rules governing joint fundraising. Citations are to FEC regulations in Title 11, Code of Federal Regulations.
Joint fundraising is fundraising conducted jointly by a political committee and one or more other political committees or unregistered organizations. Joint fundraising rules apply to:
- Party committees;
- Party organizations not registered as political committees;
- Federal and/or nonfederal candidate committees;
- Nonparty, unauthorized political committees (nonconnected PACs); and
- Unregistered nonparty organizations. 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i) and (2).
Joint fundraising rules do not apply to fundraising by separate segregated funds and their collecting agents. 11 CFR 102.17(a)(3). Instead, such organizations may only jointly raise funds with another affiliated committee or organization (for example, a related state PAC of a federal SSF) under FEC regulations at 11 CFR 102.6. See Chapter 3, Section 9 of the Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations.
Joint Fundraising Representative
Joint fundraising participants must either establish a new political committee (using a Statement of Organization, FEC Form 1) or select a participating political committee to act as the joint fundraising representative (JFR). 11 CFR 102.17(a)(1)(i).
If the JFR is a new committee, it must file a Statement of Organization (FEC Form 1) and check box 5(g) or (h) for the type of committee. If, on the other hand, the representative is an existing committee, it must amend its Statement of Organization. In either instance, the Statement of Organization must:
- Identify the committee as the JFR;
- List the names and addresses of all federal committees participating in the joint fundraising effort; and
- Name the depository institution being used by the JFR. In the case of a representative that is an existing committee, the depository is named only if it is different from the depository named on the committee’s current Statement of Organization. 11 CFR 102.2 and 102.17(c)(3)(i); See also the instructions for FEC Form 1.
Establishing the Account. Joint fundraising participants or the JFR must establish a bank account to be used solely for the receipt and disbursement of all joint fundraising proceeds. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(3)(i).
Depositing Contributions. The JFR must deposit contributions into the account within 10 days of receiving them. Only contributions that comply with the Act’s limitations and prohibitions may be deposited into this account. If any participant may lawfully accept contributions exceeding the Act’s limitations, or from prohibited sources, the JFR or the participants may either establish a separate account for such contributions or forward them directly to the participants that may accept them. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(3)(i) and (ii).
Written Agreement Required
Before conducting a joint fundraiser, all participants must enter into a written agreement that identifies the JFR and states the allocation formula—the amount or percentage that the participants agree to use for allocating proceeds and expenses. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(1).
Prior to a fundraising event, participants may advance funds to the JFR for the costs of the fundraiser in proportion to the agreed upon allocation formula. 11 CFR 102.17(b)(3).
Following the event, participants divide the gross proceeds based on the agreed upon allocation formula. If, however, the allocation formula results in an excessive contribution to any of the participants, the excessive portion must be divided among the other participants. If the reallocation would exceed all of the remaining participants’ limits, the excessive portion must be returned to the contributor. The allocation formula must then be recalculated based on each participant’s actual share of proceeds. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(6).
If the final allocation formula differs from the original formula, the JFR must recalculate expenses based on the formula used for proceeds. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(7).
Committees A, B, and C decide to form a joint fundraising committee for a fundraising event. Prior to the event, the committees decide upon an allocation formula for expenses: Committees A and B will each contribute 25 percent; Committee C will contribute 50 percent. Since the event will cost $10,000, Committees A and B advance $2,500 and Committee C advances $5,000.
Following the event, the JFR determines that reallocation is necessary to avoid excessive contributions to Committee C. The new formula states that Committees A and B will each receive 30 percent each of the proceeds and Committee C will receive 40 percent of the proceeds.
Since the allocation formula changed, the committees must recalculate the allocation of expenses. Committees A and B are each responsible for 30 percent of the cost of the event and Committee C is responsible 40 percent of the cost of the event.
Joint Fundraising Notice
In addition to disclaimer notices, every solicitation for the joint fundraiser must contain:
- The names of all participants, regardless of whether they are registered political committees or unregistered organizations;
- The allocation formula to be used for distributing funds received;
- A statement informing contributors that they may designate contributions for a particular participant (notwithstanding the formula); and
- A statement that the allocation formula may change if any contributor makes a contribution which would exceed the amount he or she may lawfully give to any participant.
11 CFR 102.17(c)(2)(i).
Reporting: Joint Fundraising Representative
The fundraising representative reports all joint fundraising proceeds in the reporting period in which they are received. Any Schedules A used to itemize contributions must clearly indicate on the schedule that the receipts are joint fundraising proceeds. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(3)(iii) and (c)(8)(i)(A). The fundraising representative must also report all disbursements made for the joint fundraiser in the reporting period in which they are made. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(8)(ii). Transfers of net proceeds to the joint fundraising participants are reported as transfers to affiliated committees and itemized on a separate Schedule B for that category.
Each participating political committee reports its share of net proceeds as a transfer-in from the fundraising representative. A participating committee itemizes (if itemization is required) its share of gross receipts as contributions from the original donors on a memo entry Schedule A. When itemizing gross contributions, the participant must report the date of receipt as the day the fundraising representative received the contribution. 11 CFR 102.17(c)(3)(iii) and (c)(8)(i)(B).
Joint Fundraising Representatives.A JFR’s filing schedule mirrors that of the participating committees. If any participants in the joint fundraiser are unauthorized committees (i.e., PACs, party committees or nonfederal committees), the JFR must follow the quarterly or monthly filing schedule for unauthorized committees:
Non-Election Year (Quarterly):
Mid-Year, Year End
Non-Election Year (Monthly):
February Monthly through Year End
Election Year (Quarterly):
April Quarterly; July Quarterly; October Quarterly; Post-General; Year End
Election Year (Monthly):
February Monthly through October Monthly; Pre-General; Post-General; Year End
On the other hand, if all of the joint fundraising participants are authorized committees, the JFR must follow the quarterly filing schedule for campaign committees:
April Quarterly; July Quarterly; October Quarterly; Year End
Election Year (when candidate(s) is running in the current election):
April Quarterly; July Quarterly; October Quarterly; Pre-General; Post-General; Year End
Election Year (when candidate(s) is NOT running in the current election):
April Quarterly; July Quarterly; October Quarterly; Year End
Please note that, even if a participating presidential candidate reaches the $100,000 threshold that triggers monthly filing, the JFR may continue to file quarterly.
For more information on this area of federal campaign finance law, please consult the links under Resources below, including the appendixes on joint fundraising in the Campaign Guide for Congressional Candidates and Committees, the Campaign Guide for Political Party Committees, or the Campaign Guide for Nonconnected Committees, as well as the Commission’s e-learning presentation on joint fundraising.
- FECTube E-learning Presentation on Joint Fundraising
- FEC Form 1 and Instructions [PDF]
- All FEC Campaign Guides
- Current Reporting Schedule
This publication provides guidance on certain aspects of federal campaign finance law. This publication is not intended to replace the law or to change its meaning, nor does this publication create or confer any rights for or on any person or bind the Federal Election Commission (Commission) or the public. The reader is encouraged also to consult the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (2 U.S.C. 431 et seq.), Commission regulations (Title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations), Commission advisory opinions, and applicable court decisions. For further information, please contact: