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WP_Query Object ( [query] => Array ( [name] => what-are-political-action-committees [post_type] => resources [resource-type] => blog ) [query_vars] => Array ( [name] => what-are-political-action-committees [post_type] => resources [resource-type] => blog [error] => [m] => [p] => 0 [post_parent] => [subpost] => [subpost_id] => [attachment] => [attachment_id] => 0 [pagename] => [page_id] => 0 [second] => [minute] => [hour] => [day] => 0 [monthnum] => 0 [year] => 0 [w] => 0 [category_name] => [tag] => [cat] => [tag_id] => [author] => [author_name] => [feed] => [tb] => [paged] => 0 [meta_key] => [meta_value] => [preview] => [s] => [sentence] => [title] => [fields] => [menu_order] => [embed] => [category__in] => Array ( ) [category__not_in] => Array ( ) [category__and] => Array ( ) [post__in] => Array ( ) [post__not_in] => Array ( ) [post_name__in] => Array ( ) [tag__in] => Array ( ) [tag__not_in] => Array ( ) [tag__and] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__in] => Array ( ) [tag_slug__and] => Array ( ) [post_parent__in] => Array ( ) [post_parent__not_in] => Array ( ) [author__in] => Array ( ) [author__not_in] => Array ( ) [ignore_sticky_posts] => [suppress_filters] => [cache_results] => 1 [update_post_term_cache] => 1 [lazy_load_term_meta] => 1 [update_post_meta_cache] => 1 [posts_per_page] => 10 [nopaging] => [comments_per_page] => 50 [no_found_rows] => [order] => DESC ) [tax_query] => [meta_query] => WP_Meta_Query Object ( [queries] => Array ( ) [relation] => [meta_table] => [meta_id_column] => [primary_table] => [primary_id_column] => [table_aliases:protected] => Array ( ) [clauses:protected] => Array ( ) [has_or_relation:protected] => ) [date_query] => [queried_object] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6387 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2022-02-01 21:30:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-01 21:30:30 [post_content] => If you watch the news during an election year, you’ve probably heard commentary around Political Action Committees (PACs). But what exactly is a PAC? PACs are a way for like-minded Americans to pool contributions with the goal of funding political campaigns of candidates that support the issues and ideologies shared by the donating group.  And they contribute quite a lot — during the 2020 election, 4,600 federal and state PACs contributed up to $10 billion dollars to 2,000 federal, state and local campaigns for individual candidates, multi-candidates, or in support or against ballot measures.

What is a PAC?

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that receives and disburses financial contributions to political campaigns in support of or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed bills. PACs are organized and funded by individuals that share the same political opinions, with the express intention to fund campaigns that ideologically align with the PAC’s political positions. When a new PAC is formed, it must be registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 10 days of its founding, and must include a name, address, treasurer, and any connected organizations to the PAC. There are strict monetary limits set for both disbursement and receipt of contributions regulated by the FEC. PACs can receive up to $5,000 from any one individual, PAC, or national political party, annually. PACs can contribute up to $5,000 to a candidate’s campaign for office per each unique election cycle — meaning they can contribute up to $5,000 during a primary election, and then another $5,000 during a general or special election. They can also contribute up to $15,000 to any national political party and $5,000 to other PACs annually. To ensure compliance with these contribution limits, PACs file monthly or quarterly reports to the FEC of all donations it receives and the disbursements it contributes to campaigns.

Types of PACs

There are two categories PACs fall into — nonconnected and connected — each with their own PAC sub-types with specific rules, limits, and ways they operate. As of 2021, there are 7,644 PACs registered with the FEC. A connected PAC is sponsored by another organization  — meaning the PAC is “connected” to a trade association, corporation, union, or other membership-based groups. Contributors to a connected PAC must be associated with the organization sponsoring the PAC either through employment, membership status, shareholder status, or family relation to someone who is associated with the organization. Conversely, a nonconnected PAC is not affiliated or sponsored by any other organization, meaning the committee operates independently.

Separate Segregated Funds (SSFs)

Connected PACs must keep all monetary contributions to the PAC in a separate bank account, otherwise known as separate segregated funds, from the organization’s general funds to ensure compliance with the FEC contribution rules. Because of this important financial requirement, connected PACs are also commonly referred to as separate segregated fund PACs, or SSF PACs. SSFs are formed and sponsored by corporations, labor unions, trade associations, or membership-based organizations. There are also strict spending and contribution limits set by the FEC for SSFs. Contributors to SSFs are limited to employees or members of the organization, their family members, and organization shareholders. An SSF can solicit up to $5,000 from a single individual in an election cycle. An SSF can make contributions up to $5,000 to campaigns during an election cycle. This $5,000 contribution and spending limit remains unchanged since the enactment of the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1974.

Nonconnected Committees

Nonconnected PACs are not affiliated or sponsored by any organization, meaning they operate independently. This is different from connected/SSF PACs because they are not sponsored by another organization. Because of this difference, nonconnected PACs can solicit and receive contributions from the general public as well as from connected PACs but must pay their own costs from those funds. Nonconnected PACs are generally formed to address single ideological issues. Members of Congress and other political leaders can form nonconnected PACs to support fellow candidates within their party’s campaigns for office. Given that nonconnected PACs mostly concentrate on a single ideological issue, their contributions are much more partisan than connected PACs. Connected and nonconnected PACs are also sub-classified as multi-candidate and non-multi-candidate PACs.

Multi-Candidate PACs

A multi-candidate PAC is a PAC that must be registered with the FEC for at least six months, have more than 50 unique contributors to the PAC, and donate to at least five candidates for federal office. Multi-candidate PACs must adhere to the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act limits of contributing up to $5,000 per candidate per election cycle, $15,000 to a national political party per year, and $5,000 to any other state, local, district committees, or other PACs per year.

Non-Multi-Candidate PACS

A non-multi candidate PAC is defined by the FEC as a PAC that has less than 50 contributors, registered with the FEC for less than six months, and donates to less than five candidates for federal office. Non-multi-candidate PACs are only allowed to contribute $2,900 to one candidate per election, $36,500 to a national political party per year, and a combined $10,000 to any state, district, and local committees. They can also contribute $5,000 to any other PAC.

Leadership PACs

Only emerging in the past decade, leadership PACs are a type of nonconnected PAC formed by an elected official with the purpose to raise money for other candidates’ campaigns. Leadership PACs are a strategic way to gain influence and power within their political party. By contributing to their political allies’ campaigns for office via a leadership PAC, an elected official increases the likelihood of leadership positions, like committee chairs, or laying the foundation for personal campaigns for higher office.

Super PACs

A Super PAC is a type of nonconnected PAC that raises funds from individuals, corporations, trade unions, or other organizations without a financial cap on contributions. Super PACs operate without a financial cap because they finance independent expenditures only, and are not allowed to make direct contributions to candidates or political parties. An independent expenditure is any financing of communications (direct mail, digital, television, or newspaper) that expressly and independently advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate, ballot measure, or proposed bill that is made without collaboration with a political candidate or campaign. Created out of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission, super PACs advocate for or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed legislation by financing their own direct mail and multi-media advertising campaigns. To ensure compliance with campaign finance laws, super PACs must file regular reports with the FEC, disclosing their expenditures as well as their donors.

Hybrid PACs

A hybrid PAC is a nonconnected PAC that keeps two separate segregated bank accounts — one that makes unlimited independent expenditures like a super PAC, and one that operates like a traditional PAC that contributes directly to candidates and national parties and adheres to contribution and receipt limits set by the FEC. To ensure compliance, hybrid PACs file disbursement and receipts for both separate bank accounts with the FEC.

Increase PAC Participation With PAC Management Software

With strict compliance and reporting requirements, PAC managers need advanced PAC management solutions to collect contributions, increase PAC participation, and file with ease. [post_title] => Political Action Committees (PACs): What They Are & What to Know [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-are-political-action-committees [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-02 19:31:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-02 19:31:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=6387 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [queried_object_id] => 6387 [request] => SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_name = 'what-are-political-action-committees' AND wp_posts.post_type = 'resources' ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC [posts] => Array ( [0] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6387 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2022-02-01 21:30:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-01 21:30:30 [post_content] => If you watch the news during an election year, you’ve probably heard commentary around Political Action Committees (PACs). But what exactly is a PAC? PACs are a way for like-minded Americans to pool contributions with the goal of funding political campaigns of candidates that support the issues and ideologies shared by the donating group.  And they contribute quite a lot — during the 2020 election, 4,600 federal and state PACs contributed up to $10 billion dollars to 2,000 federal, state and local campaigns for individual candidates, multi-candidates, or in support or against ballot measures.

What is a PAC?

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that receives and disburses financial contributions to political campaigns in support of or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed bills. PACs are organized and funded by individuals that share the same political opinions, with the express intention to fund campaigns that ideologically align with the PAC’s political positions. When a new PAC is formed, it must be registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 10 days of its founding, and must include a name, address, treasurer, and any connected organizations to the PAC. There are strict monetary limits set for both disbursement and receipt of contributions regulated by the FEC. PACs can receive up to $5,000 from any one individual, PAC, or national political party, annually. PACs can contribute up to $5,000 to a candidate’s campaign for office per each unique election cycle — meaning they can contribute up to $5,000 during a primary election, and then another $5,000 during a general or special election. They can also contribute up to $15,000 to any national political party and $5,000 to other PACs annually. To ensure compliance with these contribution limits, PACs file monthly or quarterly reports to the FEC of all donations it receives and the disbursements it contributes to campaigns.

Types of PACs

There are two categories PACs fall into — nonconnected and connected — each with their own PAC sub-types with specific rules, limits, and ways they operate. As of 2021, there are 7,644 PACs registered with the FEC. A connected PAC is sponsored by another organization  — meaning the PAC is “connected” to a trade association, corporation, union, or other membership-based groups. Contributors to a connected PAC must be associated with the organization sponsoring the PAC either through employment, membership status, shareholder status, or family relation to someone who is associated with the organization. Conversely, a nonconnected PAC is not affiliated or sponsored by any other organization, meaning the committee operates independently.

Separate Segregated Funds (SSFs)

Connected PACs must keep all monetary contributions to the PAC in a separate bank account, otherwise known as separate segregated funds, from the organization’s general funds to ensure compliance with the FEC contribution rules. Because of this important financial requirement, connected PACs are also commonly referred to as separate segregated fund PACs, or SSF PACs. SSFs are formed and sponsored by corporations, labor unions, trade associations, or membership-based organizations. There are also strict spending and contribution limits set by the FEC for SSFs. Contributors to SSFs are limited to employees or members of the organization, their family members, and organization shareholders. An SSF can solicit up to $5,000 from a single individual in an election cycle. An SSF can make contributions up to $5,000 to campaigns during an election cycle. This $5,000 contribution and spending limit remains unchanged since the enactment of the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1974.

Nonconnected Committees

Nonconnected PACs are not affiliated or sponsored by any organization, meaning they operate independently. This is different from connected/SSF PACs because they are not sponsored by another organization. Because of this difference, nonconnected PACs can solicit and receive contributions from the general public as well as from connected PACs but must pay their own costs from those funds. Nonconnected PACs are generally formed to address single ideological issues. Members of Congress and other political leaders can form nonconnected PACs to support fellow candidates within their party’s campaigns for office. Given that nonconnected PACs mostly concentrate on a single ideological issue, their contributions are much more partisan than connected PACs. Connected and nonconnected PACs are also sub-classified as multi-candidate and non-multi-candidate PACs.

Multi-Candidate PACs

A multi-candidate PAC is a PAC that must be registered with the FEC for at least six months, have more than 50 unique contributors to the PAC, and donate to at least five candidates for federal office. Multi-candidate PACs must adhere to the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act limits of contributing up to $5,000 per candidate per election cycle, $15,000 to a national political party per year, and $5,000 to any other state, local, district committees, or other PACs per year.

Non-Multi-Candidate PACS

A non-multi candidate PAC is defined by the FEC as a PAC that has less than 50 contributors, registered with the FEC for less than six months, and donates to less than five candidates for federal office. Non-multi-candidate PACs are only allowed to contribute $2,900 to one candidate per election, $36,500 to a national political party per year, and a combined $10,000 to any state, district, and local committees. They can also contribute $5,000 to any other PAC.

Leadership PACs

Only emerging in the past decade, leadership PACs are a type of nonconnected PAC formed by an elected official with the purpose to raise money for other candidates’ campaigns. Leadership PACs are a strategic way to gain influence and power within their political party. By contributing to their political allies’ campaigns for office via a leadership PAC, an elected official increases the likelihood of leadership positions, like committee chairs, or laying the foundation for personal campaigns for higher office.

Super PACs

A Super PAC is a type of nonconnected PAC that raises funds from individuals, corporations, trade unions, or other organizations without a financial cap on contributions. Super PACs operate without a financial cap because they finance independent expenditures only, and are not allowed to make direct contributions to candidates or political parties. An independent expenditure is any financing of communications (direct mail, digital, television, or newspaper) that expressly and independently advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate, ballot measure, or proposed bill that is made without collaboration with a political candidate or campaign. Created out of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission, super PACs advocate for or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed legislation by financing their own direct mail and multi-media advertising campaigns. To ensure compliance with campaign finance laws, super PACs must file regular reports with the FEC, disclosing their expenditures as well as their donors.

Hybrid PACs

A hybrid PAC is a nonconnected PAC that keeps two separate segregated bank accounts — one that makes unlimited independent expenditures like a super PAC, and one that operates like a traditional PAC that contributes directly to candidates and national parties and adheres to contribution and receipt limits set by the FEC. To ensure compliance, hybrid PACs file disbursement and receipts for both separate bank accounts with the FEC.

Increase PAC Participation With PAC Management Software

With strict compliance and reporting requirements, PAC managers need advanced PAC management solutions to collect contributions, increase PAC participation, and file with ease. [post_title] => Political Action Committees (PACs): What They Are & What to Know [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-are-political-action-committees [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-02 19:31:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-02 19:31:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=6387 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 1 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6387 [post_author] => 23 [post_date] => 2022-02-01 21:30:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-02-01 21:30:30 [post_content] => If you watch the news during an election year, you’ve probably heard commentary around Political Action Committees (PACs). But what exactly is a PAC? PACs are a way for like-minded Americans to pool contributions with the goal of funding political campaigns of candidates that support the issues and ideologies shared by the donating group.  And they contribute quite a lot — during the 2020 election, 4,600 federal and state PACs contributed up to $10 billion dollars to 2,000 federal, state and local campaigns for individual candidates, multi-candidates, or in support or against ballot measures.

What is a PAC?

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that receives and disburses financial contributions to political campaigns in support of or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed bills. PACs are organized and funded by individuals that share the same political opinions, with the express intention to fund campaigns that ideologically align with the PAC’s political positions. When a new PAC is formed, it must be registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 10 days of its founding, and must include a name, address, treasurer, and any connected organizations to the PAC. There are strict monetary limits set for both disbursement and receipt of contributions regulated by the FEC. PACs can receive up to $5,000 from any one individual, PAC, or national political party, annually. PACs can contribute up to $5,000 to a candidate’s campaign for office per each unique election cycle — meaning they can contribute up to $5,000 during a primary election, and then another $5,000 during a general or special election. They can also contribute up to $15,000 to any national political party and $5,000 to other PACs annually. To ensure compliance with these contribution limits, PACs file monthly or quarterly reports to the FEC of all donations it receives and the disbursements it contributes to campaigns.

Types of PACs

There are two categories PACs fall into — nonconnected and connected — each with their own PAC sub-types with specific rules, limits, and ways they operate. As of 2021, there are 7,644 PACs registered with the FEC. A connected PAC is sponsored by another organization  — meaning the PAC is “connected” to a trade association, corporation, union, or other membership-based groups. Contributors to a connected PAC must be associated with the organization sponsoring the PAC either through employment, membership status, shareholder status, or family relation to someone who is associated with the organization. Conversely, a nonconnected PAC is not affiliated or sponsored by any other organization, meaning the committee operates independently.

Separate Segregated Funds (SSFs)

Connected PACs must keep all monetary contributions to the PAC in a separate bank account, otherwise known as separate segregated funds, from the organization’s general funds to ensure compliance with the FEC contribution rules. Because of this important financial requirement, connected PACs are also commonly referred to as separate segregated fund PACs, or SSF PACs. SSFs are formed and sponsored by corporations, labor unions, trade associations, or membership-based organizations. There are also strict spending and contribution limits set by the FEC for SSFs. Contributors to SSFs are limited to employees or members of the organization, their family members, and organization shareholders. An SSF can solicit up to $5,000 from a single individual in an election cycle. An SSF can make contributions up to $5,000 to campaigns during an election cycle. This $5,000 contribution and spending limit remains unchanged since the enactment of the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1974.

Nonconnected Committees

Nonconnected PACs are not affiliated or sponsored by any organization, meaning they operate independently. This is different from connected/SSF PACs because they are not sponsored by another organization. Because of this difference, nonconnected PACs can solicit and receive contributions from the general public as well as from connected PACs but must pay their own costs from those funds. Nonconnected PACs are generally formed to address single ideological issues. Members of Congress and other political leaders can form nonconnected PACs to support fellow candidates within their party’s campaigns for office. Given that nonconnected PACs mostly concentrate on a single ideological issue, their contributions are much more partisan than connected PACs. Connected and nonconnected PACs are also sub-classified as multi-candidate and non-multi-candidate PACs.

Multi-Candidate PACs

A multi-candidate PAC is a PAC that must be registered with the FEC for at least six months, have more than 50 unique contributors to the PAC, and donate to at least five candidates for federal office. Multi-candidate PACs must adhere to the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act limits of contributing up to $5,000 per candidate per election cycle, $15,000 to a national political party per year, and $5,000 to any other state, local, district committees, or other PACs per year.

Non-Multi-Candidate PACS

A non-multi candidate PAC is defined by the FEC as a PAC that has less than 50 contributors, registered with the FEC for less than six months, and donates to less than five candidates for federal office. Non-multi-candidate PACs are only allowed to contribute $2,900 to one candidate per election, $36,500 to a national political party per year, and a combined $10,000 to any state, district, and local committees. They can also contribute $5,000 to any other PAC.

Leadership PACs

Only emerging in the past decade, leadership PACs are a type of nonconnected PAC formed by an elected official with the purpose to raise money for other candidates’ campaigns. Leadership PACs are a strategic way to gain influence and power within their political party. By contributing to their political allies’ campaigns for office via a leadership PAC, an elected official increases the likelihood of leadership positions, like committee chairs, or laying the foundation for personal campaigns for higher office.

Super PACs

A Super PAC is a type of nonconnected PAC that raises funds from individuals, corporations, trade unions, or other organizations without a financial cap on contributions. Super PACs operate without a financial cap because they finance independent expenditures only, and are not allowed to make direct contributions to candidates or political parties. An independent expenditure is any financing of communications (direct mail, digital, television, or newspaper) that expressly and independently advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate, ballot measure, or proposed bill that is made without collaboration with a political candidate or campaign. Created out of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission, super PACs advocate for or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed legislation by financing their own direct mail and multi-media advertising campaigns. To ensure compliance with campaign finance laws, super PACs must file regular reports with the FEC, disclosing their expenditures as well as their donors.

Hybrid PACs

A hybrid PAC is a nonconnected PAC that keeps two separate segregated bank accounts — one that makes unlimited independent expenditures like a super PAC, and one that operates like a traditional PAC that contributes directly to candidates and national parties and adheres to contribution and receipt limits set by the FEC. To ensure compliance, hybrid PACs file disbursement and receipts for both separate bank accounts with the FEC.

Increase PAC Participation With PAC Management Software

With strict compliance and reporting requirements, PAC managers need advanced PAC management solutions to collect contributions, increase PAC participation, and file with ease. [post_title] => Political Action Committees (PACs): What They Are & What to Know [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-are-political-action-committees [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-02 19:31:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-02 19:31:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.quorum.us/?post_type=resources&p=6387 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => resources [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 1 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => 1 [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => 1 [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 284dbd9f20d4549358a434d2d66c0fbc [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )
!!! 6387
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Political Action Committees (PACs): What They Are & What to Know

Political Action Committees (PACs): What They Are & What to Know

If you watch the news during an election year, you’ve probably heard commentary around Political Action Committees (PACs). But what exactly is a PAC? PACs are a way for like-minded Americans to pool contributions with the goal of funding political campaigns of candidates that support the issues and ideologies shared by the donating group.  And they contribute quite a lot — during the 2020 election, 4,600 federal and state PACs contributed up to $10 billion dollars to 2,000 federal, state and local campaigns for individual candidates, multi-candidates, or in support or against ballot measures.

What is a PAC?

A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that receives and disburses financial contributions to political campaigns in support of or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed bills. PACs are organized and funded by individuals that share the same political opinions, with the express intention to fund campaigns that ideologically align with the PAC’s political positions. When a new PAC is formed, it must be registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 10 days of its founding, and must include a name, address, treasurer, and any connected organizations to the PAC.

There are strict monetary limits set for both disbursement and receipt of contributions regulated by the FEC. PACs can receive up to $5,000 from any one individual, PAC, or national political party, annually. PACs can contribute up to $5,000 to a candidate’s campaign for office per each unique election cycle — meaning they can contribute up to $5,000 during a primary election, and then another $5,000 during a general or special election. They can also contribute up to $15,000 to any national political party and $5,000 to other PACs annually. To ensure compliance with these contribution limits, PACs file monthly or quarterly reports to the FEC of all donations it receives and the disbursements it contributes to campaigns.

Types of PACs

There are two categories PACs fall into — nonconnected and connected — each with their own PAC sub-types with specific rules, limits, and ways they operate. As of 2021, there are 7,644 PACs registered with the FEC.

A connected PAC is sponsored by another organization  — meaning the PAC is “connected” to a trade association, corporation, union, or other membership-based groups. Contributors to a connected PAC must be associated with the organization sponsoring the PAC either through employment, membership status, shareholder status, or family relation to someone who is associated with the organization. Conversely, a nonconnected PAC is not affiliated or sponsored by any other organization, meaning the committee operates independently.

Separate Segregated Funds (SSFs)

Connected PACs must keep all monetary contributions to the PAC in a separate bank account, otherwise known as separate segregated funds, from the organization’s general funds to ensure compliance with the FEC contribution rules. Because of this important financial requirement, connected PACs are also commonly referred to as separate segregated fund PACs, or SSF PACs. SSFs are formed and sponsored by corporations, labor unions, trade associations, or membership-based organizations.

There are also strict spending and contribution limits set by the FEC for SSFs. Contributors to SSFs are limited to employees or members of the organization, their family members, and organization shareholders. An SSF can solicit up to $5,000 from a single individual in an election cycle. An SSF can make contributions up to $5,000 to campaigns during an election cycle. This $5,000 contribution and spending limit remains unchanged since the enactment of the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1974.

Nonconnected Committees

Nonconnected PACs are not affiliated or sponsored by any organization, meaning they operate independently. This is different from connected/SSF PACs because they are not sponsored by another organization. Because of this difference, nonconnected PACs can solicit and receive contributions from the general public as well as from connected PACs but must pay their own costs from those funds.

Nonconnected PACs are generally formed to address single ideological issues. Members of Congress and other political leaders can form nonconnected PACs to support fellow candidates within their party’s campaigns for office. Given that nonconnected PACs mostly concentrate on a single ideological issue, their contributions are much more partisan than connected PACs.

Connected and nonconnected PACs are also sub-classified as multi-candidate and non-multi-candidate PACs.

Multi-Candidate PACs

A multi-candidate PAC is a PAC that must be registered with the FEC for at least six months, have more than 50 unique contributors to the PAC, and donate to at least five candidates for federal office. Multi-candidate PACs must adhere to the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act limits of contributing up to $5,000 per candidate per election cycle, $15,000 to a national political party per year, and $5,000 to any other state, local, district committees, or other PACs per year.

Non-Multi-Candidate PACS

A non-multi candidate PAC is defined by the FEC as a PAC that has less than 50 contributors, registered with the FEC for less than six months, and donates to less than five candidates for federal office. Non-multi-candidate PACs are only allowed to contribute $2,900 to one candidate per election, $36,500 to a national political party per year, and a combined $10,000 to any state, district, and local committees. They can also contribute $5,000 to any other PAC.

Leadership PACs

Only emerging in the past decade, leadership PACs are a type of nonconnected PAC formed by an elected official with the purpose to raise money for other candidates’ campaigns. Leadership PACs are a strategic way to gain influence and power within their political party. By contributing to their political allies’ campaigns for office via a leadership PAC, an elected official increases the likelihood of leadership positions, like committee chairs, or laying the foundation for personal campaigns for higher office.

Super PACs

A Super PAC is a type of nonconnected PAC that raises funds from individuals, corporations, trade unions, or other organizations without a financial cap on contributions. Super PACs operate without a financial cap because they finance independent expenditures only, and are not allowed to make direct contributions to candidates or political parties. An independent expenditure is any financing of communications (direct mail, digital, television, or newspaper) that expressly and independently advocates for the election or defeat of a candidate, ballot measure, or proposed bill that is made without collaboration with a political candidate or campaign.

Created out of the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission, super PACs advocate for or against candidates, ballot measures, or proposed legislation by financing their own direct mail and multi-media advertising campaigns. To ensure compliance with campaign finance laws, super PACs must file regular reports with the FEC, disclosing their expenditures as well as their donors.

Hybrid PACs

A hybrid PAC is a nonconnected PAC that keeps two separate segregated bank accounts — one that makes unlimited independent expenditures like a super PAC, and one that operates like a traditional PAC that contributes directly to candidates and national parties and adheres to contribution and receipt limits set by the FEC. To ensure compliance, hybrid PACs file disbursement and receipts for both separate bank accounts with the FEC.

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