New Year Means New Federal Contribution Limits

Have you noticed something new on some of our contribution pages? That's today's $4,800 question.

If you were browsing through the 2010 federal candidates and officeholders listed in the ActBlue directory for the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives you might have noticed that the maximum contribution level has changed to $4,800 for candidates. This is due to new increased contribution limits laid out by the Federal Elections Commission, as expected after each 2-year cycle begins at the federal level.

Federal candidates may now receive a maximum contribution of $2,400 per individual for any primary election and up to another $2,400 per individual for the general election. Prior to a primary, candidates are allowed to raise general election funds (as some may remember being noted in news stories surrounding presidential fundraising in 2007-2008). ActBlue allows campaigns to collect the full $4,800 from individuals prior the the conclusion of a primary. After a candidate's primary has passed, the highest contribution level listed on ActBlue will automatically drop to $2,400 which will be the maximum per individual for just the general election. Note- It is incumbent upon campaigns, however, not only to properly report these funds but also to refund any general election designated monies they have received should they not be successful in becoming the Democratic nominee.

Changes were made to other levels of giving as well as has been noted by The Hill.

Individual donors will now be able to give up to $2,400 per election, or $4,800 for both a primary and a general, according to the new guidelines. That's up from the $2,300 per-election limit during the 2008 cycle. Donors are also able to fork over $30,400 to national parties, higher than the $28,500 they were allowed to give last cycle. A single donor is limited to $115,500 — including $45,600 to candidates — per cycle. National parties and their affiliated senatorial committees can aid their Senate candidates with up to $42,600 per election, $2,700 more than they could give during the last cycle. Political action committee donations, which are not indexed for inflation, remain at $5,000 per candidate per election.

That can be a lot of money to keep track of, as total spending caps could potentially limit the amount you are able to give a candidate if they are close to hitting their total federal limit. That's why we encourage regular donors to sign up for an ActBlue Express Account which allows them not only to make one-click contributions that speed up the donor process, but also allows individuals to track the total amount of money they have donated, which campaigns they gave it to, and when they gave it.

1 comment
  1. Ruff Limblog said:

    I’d like to start fundraising for a primary challenger for Ellen Tauscher CA-10 House district.
    Thanks!
    ~Ruff

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