Contributions are an important part of what allows campaigns to grow. In general, a contribution in the context of campaign finance regulation may be a gift, money, loan or anything of value given to influence an election by either supporting or defeating a candidate or ballot measure. Nearly every state defines “contribution” in state law.
Donations of any goods or services offered free or at a reduced rate are generally considered in-kind contributions. The donors may be individuals, political committees, political parties, unions, corporations or other entities—and the recipients may be candidates, political committees, political parties or entities formed to make independent expenditures or electioneering communications.
Some states require all candidates, political committees and other entities required to register with the state to file disclosure reports that cover all contributions. Others only require disclosure reports after contributions meet a specific threshold. Many states require the disclosure of donors’ identities if the contributions are over a minimum threshold.
This webpage provides contribution definitions and disclosure requirements for all states and territories. For information on other disclosure requirements, please visit our Disclosure Requirements page.
If you don't find the information you need, please contact our elections team at 303-364-7700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. NCSL staff can do specialized research for legislators and legislative staff.