The difference Between Hard Money and Soft Money Campaign Contributions

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.

last updated Wednesday, May 17, 2023
#Hard Money #Soft money campaign

John Burson     Subscribe
The difference Between Hard Money and Soft Money Campaign Contributions


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 with no limits. Companies, individuals, and unions can give campaign donations for party building. All party-building activities may involve ads that educate voters about specific issues, advocating for the passage of laws 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 by a candidate. The candidate cannot be given over $1,000 in a specified year.

Soft money campaign donations

The soft money campaign donations are donated to each state's national or district committees and political organizations. The parties may use 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. 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 1996, soft money campaign contribution was employed in ads that ideally promoted party positions instead of 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 Commission will then approve the soft money given to the candidate or political party.


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