How Much Money Can an Individual Give to a Candidate per Election?

Biden, Portland, United States - 15 Oct 2022
Carolyn Kaster / AP /

The midterm elections are drawing near and political donations are in full swing. Though only a relatively small percentage of the U.S population donates to political campaigns, these donations are crucial to candidates and elected officials — which is why campaigns are constantly holding fundraising events and blasting out asks for financial help.

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Though it’s widely understood that political candidates need American taxpayers’ money, one may not know exactly how much of that money they’re allowed to receive per donor.

In other words, how much money can an individual give to a candidate per election?

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), an individual can donate up to these amounts:

  • $2,900 to a candidate committee per election.
  • $5,000 per year to a PAC (SSF and nonconnected).
  • $10,000 per year (combined) to state/district/local party committees.
  • $36,500 per year to a national party committee.
  • $109,500 per account, per year, to additional national party committee accounts.
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These limits stem from the rulings of the Supreme Court, which has said such limits are constitutional. The reasoning is that if unlimited contributions to political parties or officials were allowed, corruption could ensue.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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