Posted on
October 01, 2020

If you choose full reporting, then any money that you contribute to or spend on your campaign must be reported even if you accept no donations from anyone else.

There are several scenarios:

  1. Your funds go into the campaign bank account and the campaign wants the option to pay you back.
  2. Your funds go into the campaign bank account and there will be no repayment to you.
  3. You spend your own money on the campaign, and are paid back within 21 days.
  4. You spend your own money on the campaign, and the campaign may pay you back after 21 days.
  5. You spend your own money on your campaign and will not be reimbursed.

This series of 5 filer tips walks you through how to enter each of these transactions using ORCA software.

Scenario 1: Optional pay back

A candidate may donate cash to their own campaign. For example, when the campaign opens a bank account, the bank requires a deposit. A candidate may use their own funds to do that. If the campaign wants the option to pay the candidate back, enter it as a loan by the candidate to the campaign.

Open the ORCA campaign, and click on Transactions, then Loans, then Cash Loan. Fill out this screen:

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Cash loans screen shot

Put the candidate name into the Lender Name field. Start typing the candidate's name and let it auto-fill. If the program prompts you to enter an address for the candidate, stop. The software may be trying to create a second contact for the candidate, which will cause problems.

If the candidate will be on the primary ballot and the loan is made before the primary, choose Primary in the Election field. (Remember: if the candidate is on the primary ballot, any money reported for the general election can't be spent until after primary election day.)

Interest rate, due date, and check number are optional. Leave the repayment schedule as "As funds become available," unless there's a different arrangement.

The Carry Forward Loans box is for a loan carried over from a previous campaign. When the campaign makes a payment on the loan, or the candidate decides to forgive some or all of the loan, go back to this screen to enter that information.

For the campaign to pay back the loan, there must be a loan agreement. You can find an example here. Make a paper loan agreement and keep it with the campaign ledger.

The campaign may pay the candidate back up to $6,000 in loans for the primary, if the candidate is on the primary ballot, and another $6,000 for the general election. If the candidate loans the campaign more than that for the election, then it's really a contribution.

Scenario 2: No repayment

Enter these funds as a cash contribution from the candidate. Click on Transactions at the top, then Contributions, then Candidate's Personal Funds.

Don't use Transactions: Contributions: Monetary Contribution if it's from the candidate this is for funds from other donors.

If the candidate spends money on the campaign, that's entered in a different way, described below. Contributions may be refunded to a donor but not to a candidate. That requires a loan agreement and is subject to the $6,000 per election limit.

Scenario 3: Payback within 21 days

Spending your own money on the campaign (paying for office supplies, for example) is entered differently from depositing your own funds into the campaign bank account.

The campaign can reimburse the candidate for a purchase made for the campaign within 21 days of the purchase. This does not have to be treated as a loan, and it doesn't count towards the loan repayment limit.

If the candidate will be repaid within 21 days, you don't have to enter the expenditure into ORCA until repayment is made. Enter it as a campaign expenditure. Click on Transactions at the top, then Expenditures, then Monetary Expenditures. Fill out the form like this:

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Expenditures screen shot

Put the candidate's name under Vendor Name. Type the beginning of the candidate's name and it should auto-fill the rest. If it prompts you to enter the candidate's address, stop and try again.

Fill in the left side of the form with name, bank account, and date that the campaign paid the candidate. Click the green plus sign on the right to get the expense item screen. Pick the expenditure account and enter the amount paid to the candidate.

Enter the item the candidate was reimbursed for, and the name and address where the item was purchased, under Description. Click the OK buttons. If the candidate is reimbursed for buying printed material, include what the printed material was (brochures, etc.), how many documents were purchased, and the name and address of the business where the candidate bought them.

Scenario 4: Payback after 21 days

If you buy something for your campaign and can't be reimbursed within 21 days, but would like to have the option to be repaid when funds become available, treat the purchase as an in-kind loan by the candidate.

In ORCA, click on Transactions, then Loans, then In-Kind Loan. Enter the candidate's name by entering the beginning of the name and letting ORCA fill in the rest. If ORCA prompts you for the candidate's address, stop and try again.

Pick the best expenditure category, then enter the loan amount, date received, and election.

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In-kind loans screen shots

Pick Primary if the expenditure was made before the primary and the candidate will be on the primary ballot; otherwise pick General. Interest rate and due date are optional.

In the Description field, type in the item purchased, the name of the vendor and vendor address. If it was printed material, include what kind of document and how many were purchased. The Repayment Schedule automatically says "As funds become available." Leave it, unless there is another arrangement.

The campaign may repay loans to the candidate only up to $6,000 for the primary, if the candidate is on the primary ballot, and $6,000 for the general. The campaign needs to have a loan agreement. When the candidate makes the loan, print a paper loan agreement based on the example here and keep it with the campaign ledger.

Scenario 5: Spend your own money on your campaign; no reimbursement

Examples: A self-funded campaign that doesn't accept contributions, or a campaign has already reached the $6,000 limit and can't pay back any more loans to the candidate.

Enter this as an in-kind contribution by the candidate to their own campaign. Remember, use the Candidate's Personal Funds function if the candidate's money goes into the campaign bank account and use the In-Kind Contribution function if the candidate spends money on something for their own campaign.

Click on Transactions, then Contributions, then In-Kind Contribution.

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In-kind contribution fields.

Enter the candidate's name for Contributor Name. If the system prompts you for the candidate's address, stop. The ORCA campaign already has the candidate's address, and you may accidentally create a second contact for the candidate. Type in the first few letters of the candidate's name and allow ORCA to fill in the rest.

Pick the expenditure account that best fits the contribution. Pick Primary if the contribution was made before the primary election and the candidate will be on the primary ballot, otherwise, pick General. In the Description field, enter what the contribution was, and the name and address where it was purchased. If it's printed material, note how many items were purchased.