So you are ready to run for office and wondering what’s next in your plan? It is stepping up a bank account. This is a fairly straightforward process.
Campaign bank account set up
The most important step in running a successful campaign is collecting donations. In order to accept money from supporters you will need to open a campaign bank account. Political committees must establish a bank account. This is required for many reasons, including helping keep committee funds separate from personal funds.
Best banking practices for political campaigns
The bank account must be a national bank, a state bank, or a FDIC or NCUA insured institution. The name and address of the bank will be listed on the committee’s Statement of Organization depending on the office you are running for. Whatever bank you feel most comfortable with as long as it meets the requirements will work.
Employer Identification Number or EIN
Political committees may obtain an “Employer Identification Number” online using the IRS website or completing IRS Form SS-4. If you prefer to go old school you can call 800-829-4933 to get assistance with the application. Once you have your EIN you are ready to open the bank account.
The bank account must be opened using the committee’s Employer Identification Number. You should never open a political bank account using your individual Social Security Number. The reason for this is because you need to keep the political donations from your campaign separate from your personal account.
Opening a checking account
A good rule is to check and double check your chosen bank’s requirements in opening a checking account. Different banks have different requirements for the initial deposit. Bring the deposit, your EIN, a way of identifying yourself such as a driver’s license, and any additional paperwork you have identifying you as a political candidate. You will sign some terms and conditions and be rocking and rolling in no time.
Now that you have a political bank account, what’s next?
You will need to link that bank account to a donation platform. We recommend that you look at WinRed.