Home / Government / Articles / Who’s funding the 2024 election?

The 2024 election is approaching and fundraising for political parties and individual candidates is ramping up. Between January 2023 and April 2024, election-related activities raised $8.6 billion.[1]

So far, the ActBlue and WinRed political action committees (PACs) have contributed the most to election fundraising.

The 2024 election cycle runs between January 2023 and December 2024.

For comparison, parties and candidates raised nearly $30 billion in the 2020 election cycle.[2]

What does fundraising look like so far this cycle, and who's spending the most?

Which PACs are raising the most this election?

Most election funding comes from PACs. PAC funds pay for political ads, direct mail, and other election-related communications but can’t go directly to candidates or campaigns themselves.

As of May 2024, PACs had amassed $5.6 billion in fundraising — over 65% of funds — in the 2024 election cycle. The largest single fundraiser is ActBlue, a hybrid PAC. ActBlue has raised more than $1.1 billion, almost 80% more than its closest competitor, WinRed, with $623.1 million.[3]

ActBlue and WinRed are the two largest PACs in terms of financing so far in this election cycle. ActBlue has been the highest fundraising PAC in every election since 2014.

Following them are the Biden Victory Fund PAC, with $280.9 million as of May 13, 2023, followed by the Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee at $194.9 million.[4]

Embed on your website

Which party committees are raising the most for this election?

Political party committees — organizations that nominate or select candidates for election to office — raised just under $1 billion as of April 2024.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has raised $188.6 million in the 2024 election so far, more than any other party committee. It’s the fifth biggest fundraiser in the US, including PACs.

The DNC is followed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($166.7 million), the Republican National Committee ($130.1 million), and the National Republican Congressional Committee ($124.8 million).

The funds raised by party committees can be allocated internally for advertising and marketing, or transferred to other PACs, party committees, and candidates, where they are classified as individual contributions.

What are individual contributions? Who's made the biggest one for 2024?

The Federal Election Commission also tracks individual contributions, which is anything of value given to influence a federal election. So far in 2024, there have been over 82.8 million individual contributions from PACs, party committees, and individual donors. An individual donor can be a person, a business or a union.[5]

Individual contributions are separate donations. For example, if a person contributes $100 to one candidate in March and then contributes another $100 to that same candidate in April, those are two individual contributions.

These can include:

  • Monetary donations
  • Loans
  • Goods, or services

They can work a few ways:

  • Individual donors can contribute to politicians' campaigns
  • Businesses can contribute them to Super or Hybrid PACs
  • PACs can transfer funds among each other
  • Political party committees contribute funds to financially support candidates

The receipts collected by the fundraisers in the former table under 'funds raised' primarily comes from individual contributions.[6]

Empower Parents PAC has made the single highest individual contribution thus far in 2024 election cycle, contributing $82.5 million to the Never Back Down PAC on May 31, 2023.

Embed on your website

How has Citizens United changed elections?

The Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission lifted a ban on corporations, labor organizations, and other outside groups spending money on political advertisements for certain candidates – sometimes referred to as independent expenditures.

This decision, along with the 2010 Speechnow.org vs Federal Election Commission court decision, meant that Super PACs, which can only take independent expenditures, can accept unlimited contributions from people, corporations/other outside groups. Super PACs cannot directly contribute to candidates but can spend money on political advertisements and independent election-influencing activities.

Campaign contribution limits — and how people avoid them

There are limits to how much an individual can contribute to PACs and candidates each election.[7] For example, in the 2024 election, people can only donate $3,300 per election to a candidate, $5,000 per year to a PAC, and $41,300 per year to a national political party committee.

Laws also restrict contributions from federal government contractors, foreign nationals, and national banks.

However, there are loopholes in contribution limits that allow for essentially unlimited transfers. Candidate committees can transfer unlimited amounts from their own funds to political party committees, and party committees can make unlimited transfers to other national, state, district, and local political party committees.

The largest of these exceptions are Super and Hybrid PACs, which can receive unlimited contributions from individuals, corporations, labor organizations, party committees, and other PACs. Of the top 100 biggest contributions in the 2024 election cycle so far, most were to Super or Hybrid PACs.

These PACs can substantially influence the electoral process with large-scale spending, although they must operate independently of the candidates' campaigns.

Where does this data come from?

This data was pulled from the Federal Election Commissions’ Campaign Finance Data page on May 13, 2024. The FEC tracks any money spent on the 2024 election, including funding and expenditures for candidates, PACs, and party committees. Data from these sources is updated frequently, so the numbers reflected in the article have changed since our initial data pull.

While USAFacts is staunchly nonpartisan, analyzing the candidates’ campaign finance reporting helps the public understand how campaigns are funded.

Learn more from USAFacts about 2024 election finances and get the data directly in your inbox by signing up for our newsletter.

Political action and party committees
Last updated
June 12, 2024
Filings and reports
Last updated
June 12, 2024
Individual contributions
Last updated
June 12, 2024
Who can and can't contribute
[1]

Data for campaign finances is updated frequently and is subject to change. Data for this article was pulled on May 13, 2024.

[2]

Inflation adjusted to 2023 dollars using CPI data.

[3]

Organization update campaign finance data at different frequencies. For example, ActBlue had updated data as of April 30, 2024, while WinRed had updated data as of March 31, 2024.

[4]

It should be noted that PACs and political committees update their FEC profiles at different times, meaning these figures are not representative of the current finances of each account but only how they have most recently been reported.

[5]

Not all these contributions amount to contributions – some include refunds and cancelled donations.

[6]

Other forms of support include travel expenses paid by individuals, volunteer activity, discounts and services, and more.

[7]

Primary, general, runoff and special elections are each considered a separate election with a separate limit.