How late in the campaign can you make a donation?

I’ve been doing neighborhood campaign walks lately, and had someone asked me today how close to the election she could still donate money (she was a bit short now, but wanted to give something before it was too late).

I asked around back at my union hall, and no one really knew.

So, how late in the game could you give something, and still expect it to do some good for electing your candidate? The week before election day? Could you still donate online a day before election day, and expect that money to be put to work? Would dropping off your donation to a local campaign office be a better option for a last-minute donation, where it could be used more grassroots? Would dropping money off at a local office the day before election day even make a difference?

Campaigns incur many debts that carry over well after the election. They still need to settle up with vendors, cut final checks to staff, pay back any loans the campaign might have taken, etc. They’re not really basing their expenditures on how much they have in the bank, but rather on how much they think they will have have in teh bank at the end of the campaign. It’s not uncommon for a campaign committee to end up in the hole, and continue to raise money to retire debts even after the election is over. So your donation would certainly be welcome and helpful. And if the campaign ends up with money left over, it can be donated to another campaign, given to charity, used to establish a legal defense fund or a number of other purposes.

…pay off Hillary’s debts…

One bump, for any additional info…

Here in Minnesota, as long as the campaign committee remains active, you can make a donation to them.

We have some committees that are still on the list from elections 12-16 years ago. Someone could give a donation to them if they wanted to.

My favorite living Ohioan, John Glenn, ended his 1984 presidential campaign with a large debt. Due to campaign-finance law at the time, he could not simply pay off the balance from his own not-inconsiderable fortune. It was more than 15 years later, IIRC, that the FEC finally let him settle up from his own pocket with vendors, advertisers, etc. who’d been left holding the bag, but he was still accepting donations from anyone until then.