State Political Spending
In order to help local groups fundraise, it’s necessary that the funds are donated to Indivisible Project, our national organization, and then granted by us to your local group for your permissible activities. Indivisible Project is a nonprofit corporation that is recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization. For that reason, money granted through this program can only be spent on activities that are legally permissible for a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation. A helpful two-pager on state-political spending through the distributed fundraising program can be found here.
Independent political spending on state elections is permitted in New Jersey and Virginia through the distributed fundraising program in 2019, but requires pre-approval. The political spending pre-approval form is below.
I. What counts as political spending?
Partisan political spending includes any activity conducted to influence an election. For example, ads that explicitly seek to support or oppose a candidate for public office, or voter outreach that explicitly supports or opposes a candidate. You may notice a theme here: supporting or opposing a candidate for public office. Supporting a specific party in an election, even without focusing on an individual candidate, may also be considered partisan political activity. Partisan political activity will often trigger campaign finance obligations (i.e., reporting), which is why you must seek pre-approval for that spending. Indivisible will use the info you provide using the form below to file campaign finance reports as necessary with the relevant state election commission. Sometimes this reporting must happen within 48 hours of an expenditure, so it is important that you seek pre-approval as early as possible.
II. Political spending with this card must be independent, and direct contributions to campaigns are prohibited.
This card cannot be used to make direct financial contributions or offer other direct financial support to a candidate, political party, or PAC. This includes spending that is done in coordination with candidates, political parties, or PACs. Spending will be considered coordinated if it is made with knowledge of a campaign or political party’s plans, projects, activities, or needs. If you are not sure whether a particular spend would be considered coordinated, please reach out to us as soon as possible.
There are also restrictions on what kind of fundraising requests can be made in relation to political spending. For that reason, it is important that you do not ask people to donate money so that it can be spent on a specific election. If you have specific questions about fundraising language related to elections that you wish to use, please reach out for more guidance.
III. Additional Requirements for Printed Materials
New Jersey - All printed materials must include the following disclaimer:
Paid for by Indivisible Project, 1730 Rhode Island Ave NW, Suite 912, Washington, D.C. This expenditure was not made with the cooperation or prior consent of, or in consultation with, or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate, or person or committee acting on behalf of the candidate.
Virginia - All printed materials must include the following disclaimer:
Paid for by Indivisible Project (indivisible.org). Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Disclaimer formatting requirements:
Must be clearly readable - ideally 12 point font with a reasonable degree of color contrast (e.g. black text on a white background, or the same degree of contrast of the background color and the color of the largest text); and
Must be set apart in a separate box and the frame of the box should be the same color as the text so it stands out.