Pass the Buck for PAC

State Fundraising Campaign and Contest

What is SNA PAC?
The SNA Political Action Committee (SNA PAC) raises funds from SNA members and contributes funds to federal elected officials in accordance with Federal Elections Commission rules in order to educate members of Congress about the child nutrition programs and thank the members of Congress who continue to support the child nutrition programs year after year. SNA PAC is a critical component of SNA’s policy and advocacy efforts particularly as campaigns for office become more costly for members of Congress.

Campaign and Contest
The “Pass the Buck for PAC” campaign is a great opportunity for state affiliates to get involved in supporting the SNA Political Action Committee. States will compete against each other to raise funds for PAC.  With about 53,000 members nationwide – SNA PAC is setting a goal of one dollar per member or $53,000 to be raised during our 2013-14 “Pass the Buck” campaign.

Whether funds are raised at chapter meetings, state conferences, through the SNA member renewal form or as a result of members becoming SNA PAC Statesmen, the states that raise the most for PAC between August 1, 2013, and June 31, 2014, will be recognized as contest winners. 

Divisions
Entries for the Pass the Buck campaign are divided into three divisions based on the state affiliate's membership.

  • Division I (0-500 members)
  • Division II (501-1000 members)
  • Division III (1001+ members)

Recognition
State winners in each division for the entire year at the conclusion of the contest on June 31, 2014, will each receive recognition at SNA’s Annual National Conference (ANC) 2014.

Fundraising Ideas
Please be creative in collecting funds, however be mindful of the federal regulations governing PAC fundraising – see Guidelines below. Some fundraising ideas include:

“Pass the Buck” Collection.
Perhaps the most popular method of collecting funds for PAC – consider passing a bowl, bucket, or other collection device as you ‘Pass the Buck for PAC.’ This method of fundraising is most appropriate at gatherings of SNA members such as state conferences or chapter meetings. It is important to remember a few legal points when ‘passing the hat’:

  1. Announce that you are collecting funds for SNA PAC and briefly explain what SNA does with the funds: supports members of Congress that support child nutrition programs
  2. Announce that non-SNA members or SNA industry members should please refrain from contributing.
  3. Individuals ‘passing the hat’ should do their best to police the collection ensuring that only SNA members are contributing.
  4. Announce that if anyone has any questions or is an industry member who wishes to contribute to see a designated person.
  5. Make a designated person available at the back of the room or outside the room – most likely the state PPL chair – who should be able to explain to industry members the need to sign an authorization form if they wish to contribute. Industry authorization forms, along with a list of which members of Congress have received SNA PAC contributions are available on the SNA PAC website.

Membership Renewal.
Encourage members to ‘check the box’ for SNA PAC on the membership renewal form. All SNA members renewing their annual membership can contribute any amount they wish in addition to their membership dues by checking the appropriate box. This can be done whether renewing on a paper renewal form or online on the SNA website. Contributions will be included in determining the state contest winners.

SNA PAC Statesmen, Ambassadors & Patriots.
Any SNA member can join the SNA PAC Statesmen club by contributing a minimum of $50. Over two hundred SNA members are "SNA PAC Statesmen and Ambassadors" every year. Statesmen receive a special lapel pin and are invited to the exclusive PAC Statesmen Reception held annually at the School Nutrition Association Legislative Action Conference (LAC) in Washington DC. Ambassadors are individuals who donate a minimum of $100. They receive special recognition during LAC. A new donor level of Patriot has been established at the $25 level targeting school nutrition employees and managers.

State Affiliate Sample Newsletter

A brief newsletter article on SNA PAC can be downloaded from the SNA PAC website. It can be used in state newsletters or magazines. The article explains SNA PAC and outlines how SNA members can support the PAC.

SNA PAC Fundraising Guidelines for State Affiliates and Chapters

States are challenged to see how many funds they can raise in support of PAC. Total contribution amounts will include any funds that are raised at state meetings, PAC Statesmen donations, and contributions made with SNA membership renewals. There are several laws that govern contribution to Political Action Committees. Please follow the guidelines below:

Corporate contributions to a Political Action Committee are prohibited  (2 U.S.C 441b).  As a result, it generally would not be permissible for a state affiliate (an incorporated association,) to write a check to SNA PAC.  However, there is a provision in FEC regulations that permits certain persons to act as "collecting agents" by accepting and then forwarding contributions to an affiliated political committee (11 C.F.R. 102.8 (b); Campaign Guide for Corporations and Labor Organizations at 28).

As an affiliate of SNA, state associations meet the definition of "collecting agent" (Campaign Guide, at 28). In order for such a transfer to be made, the following requirements would need to be met:

The state affiliate should have only solicited those persons SNA PAC is authorized to solicit for contributions.

You may not solicit from non-members. Nor can you solicit from corporate members without prior written approval, and then only individuals, not companies, may make contributions. If industry members fill out an ‘authorization to solicit’ form they may contribute. If collecting funds through a ‘pass the hat’ method, it is advisable to politely ask that industry members not contribute.

  1. For contributions under $50, the state affiliate must forward the contributions they received to SNA PAC within 30 days of receiving them.  For contributions over $50, the transfer must be made within 10 days.
  2. The state affiliate must keep records of the monies received and provide SNA PAC with the name, address, and employment information for any person who contributed $200 or more.

If the state affiliate meets these requirements, it should be able to transfer the monies it collected to SNA PAC.  If it does not, then no transfer of funds should be made.

One additional item, if the state affiliate makes a transfer to SNA PAC it needs to be done by money order, cashier's check or personal check.  A check from a state association’s checking account would not be permissible.

For more information on SNA PAC or the State Challenge, contact SNA's Government Affairs staff at (800) 877-8822.

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120 Waterfront Street, Suite 300
National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org

Tel (301) 686-3100
Fax (301) 686-3115

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