Indivisible is excited to be able to offer funding to support groups’ work knocking on doors, making phone calls, highlighting MAGA extremism, writing postcards, and all the electoral organizing you’re doing this election cycle. The goal of this program is to help provide funding support to organize events so you can reach as many voters as possible, grow and organize your membership, build community, and win elections!
It’s important to know up top that there are many regulations and laws about political spending, and it’s a critical responsibility of Indivisible to ensure we are all in compliance. That means not every expense will be eligible, but we’ve done our best to create a relatively simple process that will give your events a boost.
This explainer is intended to provide some context about eligible and ineligible expenses as an initial guide. If you are planning a larger event and/or are seeking upfront payments, funding for travel, printed materials, or fees for event spaces we highly recommend connecting with your Indivisible organizer (email email@example.com if you’re not sure who your organizer is) to talk through your plan. They can help guide you through the process more smoothly. If you choose not to check in with your organizer beforehand, your request will likely be processed more slowly and it’s more likely there will be compliance issues.
There are two forms you can fill out to request funding: a reimbursement form and an upfront payment request form. Reimbursement requests must be for event supplies only – for example pens, clipboards, rain gear, food, water, printing generic materials like sign-in sheets or group t-shirts (that don’t include language about candidates or issues), masks and PPE, etc. These basic supplies are eligible for events focused on races at all levels. We cannot process reimbursements for any travel costs or any costs associated with printing or creating materials with messages to voters (such as door hangers or candidate literature). You must submit this request within 14 days after the expense is incurred. You may request either a personal reimbursement or a reimbursement to your Distributed Fundraising account.
If you’re looking for help with expenses that don’t fall into the category of event supplies, you’ll need to fill out the upfront payment request form at least 14 days before you need your orders placed.. Read through this explainer to learn about eligibility.
Here are a few questions to keep in mind that affect eligibility- but please review this document in full and discuss your plan with your organizer.
What candidate(s) are you supporting?
We are able to provide funding for most expenses for all federal races (US Senate and US House) but are more limited on state-level races
In these states, we may be able to provide funding for events focused on state-level races: AZ, DC, FL, IL, IA, KS, KY, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TX, VA, WI
Are you organizing this event independently, or are you joining a campaign event?
If you are attending an event organized by a political party or a campaign, only basic supplies like pens, clipboards, food, or water that you and your group members use are eligible. While these funds are more restricted, this is still an excellent opportunity to get together before a campaign canvass to welcome new members with coffee and donuts, or have a pizza party afterward, or buy some ponchos in case it rains.
If you’re organizing the event entirely on your own or you’re working with a partner organization that is completely separate and not coordinating with a campaign, you can also request funding for travel, fees for event spaces, or printed materials with messages to voters. If your members are traveling to a location more than 10 miles away, we can provide $25 gas cards, and help with lodging costs if necessary. We can also help with things like printing door hangers or postcards, and buying stamps.
What type of expense(s) do you need?
Basic event supplies like pens, pencils, clipboards, rain gear, etc are simpler (legally speaking) than travel costs, printed materials with messaging to voters, and fees for rental spaces. Generally, we are able to approve these requests as long as they don’t directly benefit a campaign and are used only by group members.
Funding for travel, fees to rent event space, or any materials that include a message to voters are a little more complicated. You must complete the Upfront Payment Request form so we can make sure those expenses are in compliance. The form will ask you for all the details so we can quickly process the payment for you. Again, these expenses are only eligible for events that you organize independently, separate from a political campaign or candidate.
How big is your event?
Funding for standard electoral events your group organizes are eligible for up to $200 per individual group (with no limit to how many events you can request funding for). If you are organizing a larger event with your state structure or other Indivisible groups within a specific region, you can request up to $1,500 (for the year). Since the latter is specific to events organized in coordination, either regionally or statewide, with an established or budding state structure , there will be more questions involved in requesting that funding.
To review, you can fill out a reimbursement form and/or an upfront payment request form depending on the details of your event. Reimbursement forms are due 14 days after you incur your expense, upfront payment forms are due 10 days before you need your orders placed. Upfront payment requests are expenses that Indivisible pays up front. You should use this form if:
- You would like Indivisible to purchase event supplies for you rather than submitting for a reimbursement
And/Or, these apply to you:
- You are organizing your event completely independently from a campaign or candidate (mandatory)
- You would like to request funding for travel costs (we can help with lodging and gas cards). Again, eligible for all federal races but only select state-level races
- You would like to request funding for printed materials such as door hangers, postcards, candidate or issue literature, etc (eligible for all federal races, but only select state-level races)
- You are organizing an event with your state structure or other Indivisible groups and would like to apply for a larger amount of money up to $1,500
Every state has different laws and regulations around political spending. We are not able to ensure compliance in all 50 states, but the states below closely mirror federal law, allowing us to meet those requirements. If you are hosting an event for a Gubernatorial or state-level candidate in one of the states below, that means you can request funding support for travel, printed materials with messages to voters, and/or rental space fees (for independently organized events).
- AL, AZ, DC, FL, IL, IA, KS, KY, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OH, OK, OR, SC, SD, TX, VA, WI
If you do not live in one of those states and your event is focused on a state-level race, you can still submit a reimbursement request or upfront payment request for basic event supplies.
If you are looking to make purchases for items that might not be eligible under this program or you prefer to spend funds you’ve raised on those costs, you may be able to use the Distributed Fundraising program. You can see the rules for spending within that program here, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.