Convention Funding Guide Tracks Money, Donors, Fundraising Rules

Democratic Convention Features Most Private Money Ever

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund released its Guide to Convention Funding: Democratic National Convention. The new report gives a snapshot of the sources of convention funding, what contribution limits and laws apply to convention fundraising, and the impact of large private contributors. This year’s convention in Philadelphia will be the most expensive Democratic convention in history in terms of private funding.

Explore the Guide to Convention Funding: Democratic National Convention

“This year’s Democratic National Convention will feature more private funding than ever before,” said Dan Smith, Democracy Campaign Director for U.S. PIRG Education Fund. “That means more opportunities for special interest groups and mega-donors to gain influence with our country’s political leaders. Our conventions should be a chance for voters and their parties to come together around the candidates they support, but rollbacks to convention spending rules have turned these events into another playground for wealthy interests.”

Convention Fundraising by the Numbers:

  • $67,199,500 — Expected private fundraising for the Democratic National Convention, including pledged contributions to the Philadelphia host committee and funds raised by the Democratic convention committee
  • 12% — Expected increase in private convention fundraising since 2012
  • $100,200 — Amount a single donor can donate to a party convention committee per year
  • 15 — Number of donors giving maximum allowable contribution to the convention committee in a single year
  • 24% — Percentage of convention committee funding contributed by donors giving maximum allowable contribution
  • $509,960,527 — Total raised by both Democratic presidential candidates with pledged delegates at the convention, through June 2016
  • 54% — Percent of Democratic presidential primary campaign cash raised from large donors

Using Federal Election Commission filings and self-reported fundraising figures, U.S. PIRG projects that fundraising for the Democratic National Convention will total $67 million. That’s approximately 12 percent higher than the total raised in private cash for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The convention’s large private fundraising receipts this cycle are likely due to the recent elimination of public financing and an increase in contribution caps to convention committees.

Read the Guide to Convention Funding: Democratic National Convention

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With public debate around important issues often dominated by special interests pursuing their own narrow agendas, U.S. PIRG Education Fund offers an independent voice that works on behalf of the public interest. U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization, works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate problems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer Americans meaningful opportunities for civic participation.