What You Can Do For Candidates

  1. Contributions
    1. Cash You may support federal candidates directly by contributing to their campaigns or indirectly by contributing to political committees such as the American Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee (AOTPAC), which, in turn, support the candidates of their choice.
    2. Contributions In-Kind These are non-cash political contributions. Examples are: securities, facilities, equipment, personnel, membership lists, or by any other expenditure which a person makes in cooperation with or at the request or suggestion of the candidate, his authorized committee, or authorized agents. Goods are valued at the usual retail price.
    3. Contribution Limitations for Individuals

a. There is a limit of $1,000 per election (primary, run-off, general) per year.

b. There is a limit of $5,000 per calendar year to multi-candidate committees.

c. There is a $25,000 total limit per calendar year.

d. Contributions of currency over $100 per candidate are illegal.

e. Contributions of corporate funds are prohibited.
(Use your personal check or money order.)

  1. Volunteer Activity
    1. You may volunteer any personal service provided you are not compensated by any other committee, individual, or organization.
    2. You may spend up to $1,000 per candidate, per election, for food, beverage, and invitations in connection with campaign related activities.
    3. You may spend up to $1,000 per candidate, per election, for your own travel expenses related to the campaign.
    4. You may spend any amount for your personal living expenses related to the campaign.
    5. You may provide the use of your home for campaign-related activities.
    6. You may spend beyond the volunteer activity limits listed above; however, any expenses which exceed those limits must be reported as contributions-in-kind or an independent expenditure.
  2. Independent Expenditures
    1. In addition to making contributions and volunteering, you may support candidates by making independent expenditures on their behalf. The Supreme Court recognizes your First Amendment right to freely express your preference for or against candidates. However, you must meet the following strict criteria in order to avoid making a political "contribution."
      1. An independent expenditure is a disbursement for communications made expressly to advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, and is NOT made with the cooperation or prior consent of, or in consultation with or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or his/her authorized committees or agents.


    1. Advertising Notice

      Any communication advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate through any type of public advertising must:
      1. State that the communication is not authorized by the candidate; and
      2. Identify the name of the person who financed the expenditure and, in the case of a political committee making the expenditure, list the names of any affiliated organizations.

The notice must appear on the face or front page of printed matter, or at the beginning or end of a radio or television broadcast.

    1. Reporting Requirements

      You must report to the Federal Election Commission your independent expenditures if they exceed $250 during a calendar year. For information write: Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20463, or call 202-219-4140