The difference Between Hard Money and Soft Money Campaign Contributions

    by Aditi Bansal

Updated on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

There is a significant difference between hard money and soft money campaign donations. Money from political donations that are highly monitored by law through the Federal Election Commission is referred to as hard money. Soft money is money from political donations which are not regulated by Federal Elections Commission or any regulating agencies.

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Both hard money and soft money campaign donations follow a different government ruling passed by the FEC. The two types of funding differ in the approval and submission by the board. Since the Federal Elections Commission does not regulate soft money, it is considered a free political contribution which has no limits. Companies, individuals, and unions can give campaign donations of any amount for party building. All party-building activities which may involve ads that educate voters about certain issues, advocating for the passage of law and voter registration. It should not be used to support a particular candidate in the elections.

Hard money campaign donations

Commercial hard money loans are given to a particular candidate, a local committee, an organization in a state or other political parties as restricted funding. It is also directly constituted to a candidate. The candidate cannot be given anything, more than $1,000 in a specified year.

Soft money campaign donations

The soft money campaign donations are donated to national or a district committee, and political organizations in each state. The parties may use the soft money in promoting electoral candidates or financially support the political project, for instance, political rallies, conferences, and conventions, since it is not regulated or highly monitored.
The government passes soft money as debt or bonds. It is issued as currency for the country. The soft money is a non-representational form; however, it has virtual values such as bills and coins in banks, marketplaces or the stock exchange. There have been some loopholes in the use of soft money campaign donations. For instance in the year 1996, soft money campaign contribution was employed in ads which ideally promoted party positions as opposed to supporting particular candidates.

Bottom line

Soft money campaigns donation is given to a political group or an individual. However, it has no limits concerning contributions or funding. Hard money, on the other hand, is a contribution given in the form of money given to a candidate in a specified year with a limited opportunity. The Federal Elections Commissions will then approve the soft money given to the candidate or political party.

This page has a focus on Hard Money, Soft money campaign was shared by Aditi Bansal.

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