Financial Guidelines for Volunteers
A number of you have asked what you can do to support Elizabeth Warren as a volunteer. Here are some Q&As to help guide your volunteer activities for the campaign. Thank you so much for your continued support of Elizabeth Warren! If your specific question is not answered below, please contact [email protected].
Can I raise money to pay for my volunteer activities?
Raising money to support your volunteer activities for the campaign may trigger registration and reporting obligations for you with the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”). For more information on those requirements, you can visit the FEC’s website. To avoid triggering any registration or reporting requirements, volunteers should not raise funds to cover the costs of their volunteer activities. This does not mean you cannot raise money for the campaign – in fact, we encourage you to do so! For more information on grassroots fundraising, please visit How to Raise Money for Elizabeth at an Event.
Additionally, funds spent on volunteer activities may need to be treated as in-kind contributions to the campaign. See below for more information on how to account for these costs, and for a description of some important exceptions to this rule.
Where should I host a group event for the campaign? Can I provide food and drink?
Volunteer events should be held in your homes or in a community room regularly made available to anyone for use at no cost. Hosting an event elsewhere could create campaign finance issues for the campaign. If you are unable to use your home or a community room and still want to host an event, please contact [email protected].
Another benefit of hosting the event in your home: you can spend up to $1,000 of your own funds per election to pay for food, drinks and invitations for that event without the expenses being treated as a contribution to the campaign. A few things to remember: (1) this $1,000 exemption covers only food, beverages and invitations and does not cover costs of other event expenses like flowers, entertainment, tents, furniture rental, etc.; (2) as the host, you must use personal funds to pay the food, beverage and invitation costs; and (3) only residents of the home can use the exemption. If you have already spent more than $1,000 on food/beverage/invitations during the current election, you must request approval to make an in-kind contribution to the campaign here.
I want to bring 20 boxes of pizza to my local campaign office and $200 worth of water to our next canvass. Are those contributions?
First, thank you! “Contributions” include “anything of value” provided to the campaign, such as the provision of goods or services at no charge or at less than the fair market value (including for free). So yes, each of those qualify as an in-kind contribution to the campaign and must be approved by the campaign in advance. You can request approval here. Remember, in-kind contributions are subject to contribution limits and source restrictions; individuals may only contribute up to $2,800 per election (with the primary and general considered separate elections) and contributions from foreign nationals, government contractors, corporations or unions are strictly prohibited. See here for a full list of the campaign’s contribution rules.
Can I use the Elizabeth Warren logo and other campaign materials in emails to my friends and neighbors? Can I use those to create 1,000 pamphlets to send to voters in my community?
Yes, for emails! Because email is a free communication, you can use the logo and other You’ve Got a Plan Toolkit materials in your emails. However, materials in the You’ve Got a Plan Toolkit or the Warren for President logo may not be (1) used in any paid communication in a newspaper, magazine, or on TV, or in a paid digital ad; or (2) used in a mass mailing of more than 500 substantially similar mailings disseminated within a 30-day period, without triggering an in-kind contribution to the campaign. This means that using the logo and/or You’ve Got a Plan Toolkit materials in 1,000 pamphlets will trigger an in-kind contribution to the campaign; please request approval for that expense here. Also remember that the You’ve Got a Plan Toolkit or Warren for President logo may not be used for any commercial purpose or sold.