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Welcome to RPAC Administration What is RPAC? Jane Saunders Senior Field Representative Raising Money for Political Purposes Requires Imagination Determination Hard Work AND… Understanding Legal & Administrative Issues OR… Thousand of Dollars Lost to RPAC Possible Civil Penalties of up to $50,000 Possible Prison Time How RPAC Works RPAC Fuels NAR’s Government Affairs Activities Without a successful RPAC, REALTORS will be disadvantaged… No Participation in Political Campaigns No Grassroots Programs No Presence in Washington, State Capitols or City Halls RPAC Structure RPAC is an Association of people who voluntarily pool financial resources to support candidates of office who understand and support the real estate industry RPAC is more than one Committee… National RPAC RPAC in 50 States, DC, USVI, PR & Guam 1,700+ Local Boards RPAC Structure And it’s run by hundreds of people… State/Local RPAC Chairmen/Trustees State/Local RPAC Treasurers/Bookeepers Political/Government/Legislative and Legal Staff RPAC Structure All RPACs Share the Same Goal, but have varying Responsibilities Local Boards Raise Money, Collect Reporting Information and Transmit to State State RPACs Transmit Funds to National, Forward Candidate Contribution Requests, Order Awards and Educational Materials National RPAC supports Federal Candidates, Maintains Relationships with Federal Officeholders and Manages Grassroots Programs RPAC Structure Despite this Multi-layer Structure, Federal Law Views RPAC as One Single Organization and Local RPACs fund National State RPAC, which contributes to Federal Campaigns A legal violation at any level can harm the entire effort State & National RPAC Relationship State RPACs are Critical to Making the entire RPAC System Work The Conduit for funds from Local to National Ensure that contributions fall within legal requirements Recommend which Federal, State and (sometimes) Local Candidates to Support State & National RPAC Relationship Five Broad Areas Define the State and National RPAC Relationship 1. Cooperative Agreements 70/30 Split Stipulates that National RPAC will support Federal Candidates and States/Boards will support State and Local Candidates State & National RPAC Relationship 2. Filing Requirements Closely scrutinized by authorities National RPAC files with Federal Election Commission; State RPACs comply with State Board Elections National also files copies of RPAC FEC Reports with selected State Election Offices where Federal Candidates from those States have received RPAC Support All Filings are public information State & National RPAC Relationship 3. State RPACs as Agents of National RPAC Most Important Duty: Timely Transmittal of Funds to National RPAC 4. Paying for Fundraising Costs Fundraising Expenses (i.e. credit card charges) cannot be deducted before transmitting National RPACs share Some states allow PAC costs to be covered by State and Local association dues rather than from PAC dollars State & National RPAC Relationship 5. Transmittal of Funds Establishing transmittal account and regular transmittal dates every week solves the problem Major Donor contributions must be transmitted with a cover letter from State AE to RPAC…not required on an electronic transfer. Send email to RPAC Coordinator, Patricia Tarhon Transmittals to RPAC Other Important Information… All backup information must be sent to RPAC electronically You must have NRDS ID# for all REALTORS, REALTOR Associates, Affiliates & Staff Review the file to make sure it balances and make sure everyone has a NRDS ID# Email to : RPACBATCHES@realtors.org Contributions from family members Compliance is in Everyone’s Best Interest! One violation can jeopardize the entire RPAC effort Civil and criminal penalties apply RPAC experiences huge annual losses Legal Issues in RPAC Fundraising Ralph Holmen Associate General Counsel General RPAC Fundraising Legal Principles Who may be solicited for RPAC contributions Prohibited RPAC Contributors Time limits for transmitting RPAC contributions to State PAC/Association Dues Billing One-third rule Fundraising events Who May Be Solicited for RPAC Contributions Association members, and their families - including individual affiliate members Executive and administrative employees of association Other employees – twice yearly, in writing, at home, must use custodial arrangement Restriction is imposed on the solicitation – not acceptance - of the contribution Solicitation defined broadly: Any mention of RPAC coupled with need for funds, how to make a contribution RPAC Solicitation Notice Contributions are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes. The amount indicated is merely a guideline and you may contribute more or less than the suggested amount. The Association will not favor or disadvantage anyone by reason of the amount of their contribution, and you may refuse to contribute without reprisal by the Association. Until your state PAC reaches its RPAC goal 30% is sent to National RPAC to support federal candidates and is charged against your limits under 2 U.S.C. 441a; after the state PAC reaches its RPAC goal it may elect to retain your entire contribution for use in supporting state and local candidates. Prohibited Contributors Corporations (LLCs OK) Anonymous contributors Federal contractors Foreign nationals (no green card) In the name of another Cash in excess of $100 But corporate contributions by member corporations to offset fundraising expenses OK Time Limits Transmit contributions from contributor to State PAC/association within 10 days if greater than $50 30 days of $50 or less Time period begins when contributor makes contribution and ends when it reaches the State PAC/association Local associations must regularly and frequently (once/week) forward contributions received to the State PAC Dues Billing Federal law permits dues billing, including deposit of dues billing contributions into corporate account State law may prohibit or limit dues billing, but only for State PAC contributions May use local association bank account to separate dues/RPAC contribution amounts; consider using a “transmittal account” for that purpose Always use proper solicitation notice on dues statement The One-Third Rule Applies to fundraising events where contributors receive something of more than “nominal” value for their contribution: auctions, raffles, dinner-dances, etc. The value (not cost) of the items/entertainment provided may not exceed 1/3 of the contributions received at the event Applies “in the aggregate” (not item by item); value of F&B excluded Fundraising Events Careful and thoughtful application of the rules above regarding: Who is invited to the event How event costs are paid Timely transmittal of contributions made at event Entire price of ticket to event is a contribution RPAC Dues Billing Scott Brunner Association Executive Mississippi AOR Pointers on RPAC Dues Billing Requires PLANNING plus member education ALWAYS above the line Always FAIR SHARE Check YOUR state’s Fair Share amount Higher Fair Share for brokers? The verbiage is important “recommended” vs. “voluntary” Investment vs. contribution Tax deductibility disclaimer Expect some member phone calls and inquiries Pointers on RPAC Dues Billing Train your brokers to provide a paper trail If they send you a single check for all agents, they should also send you a breakdown of: who gave how much to RPAC corporate v. non-corporate dollars Bill new members as they join AEs must be knowledgeable about RPAC… because those phone calls will come to you! Technical/Legal aspects, of course The reason RPAC matters Victories, challenges, consequences RPAC Fundraising Pointers Institutionalize RPAC Tie to core purpose of your organization No hit and miss promotions Sustained, ongoing focus on benefits and value No bullying…just sensible pitches, measurable results Localize RPAC Local/State impact often more compelling Closer to home RPAC Fundraising Pointers Focus your investment request on ISSUES, not dollars or goals Tell war stories, and RPAC’s role Urgent challenges Great wins / Stunning defeats Prospective (and very real) nightmare scenarios Investment, not contribution Make RPAC a prominent part of new member orientation How to get major investors: Ask them. Forget gimmicks (IMHO) Have the right person ask them. The asker must have high local credibility If you’re asking for $1000, make sure the asker has invested $1000 If you’re pitching a prominent broker, make sure the pitcher is a peer – another prominent broker Don’t send a salesperson to do a broker’s job Provide abundant recognition! The Hattiesburg experiment… FUNDRAISING IDEAS SPECIAL EVENTS FUNDRAISING IDEAS SPECIAL EVENTS Auctions Pie in the Face Dinners Dunking Booth Casino Nights Drinking for Diamonds Dances Karaoke Games Armadillo Race Cow Patty Poker Triathlon (darts, Ms. RPAC Contest bowling, golf) FUNDRAISING IDEAS SPECIAL EVENTS Polar Plunge Water Pistol Pink Flamingos Contests & Duels Banks – RPAC Jail & Bail Makes Cents Chair Rotation Bad Car Day Colored Balloons Murder Mystery Ugly Ties Dinner Road Rally Moonlight Chili Cook-Offs Bowling Q&A RPAC Resources RPAC Almanac: http://www.realtor.org/rpacweb.nsf 2005 RPAC Fundraising Conference January 12-13, 2005 Washington, D.C.
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