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Appendix 2 - Fund-raising events

Determining the net value of a contribution to a fund-raising event

 In accordance with the provisions of sections 22(2)(a)(vi) & (vii) of the Act, a donation includes the net value of a contribution to a fund-raising event.  A contribution to a fund-raising event is deemed to have been made on the date the fund-raising event is held (and not the date on which the contribution is actually received).

The net value of a contribution to an event is arrived at by first calculating the net profit from the event (i.e., by deducting the cost of running the event from the total amount raised by the event).  The net profit is then attributed to the number of people contributing to the event in proportion to the contribution made by each person.  This gives the net value of each person's contribution to the fund-raising event.

If, for example, in relation to a fund-raising event, a person had paid €1,000 in respect of the entry fee for 10 people, his/her gross contribution to the event would be €1,000.  If the cost of running the event was €20 per person attending, a sum of €200 would be deducted from his/her gross contribution, leaving a net contribution of €800.  If the person made other contributions to the event (e.g., buying horses at a race night, sponsoring a hole at a golf classic) it would be necessary to add the value of such contributions to the net contribution of €800 for the purposes of determining the aggregate net value of his/her contribution to the fund-raising event.

The following paragraphs set out the legislative requirements in relation to different types of fund-raising events which may be organised in the context of an election.

1        Fund-raisers organised by a political party for the purposes of raising funds for the party

Where a fund-raising event is organised by a political party for the purposes of raising funds for the party, the net contribution made by a person to the fund-raising event is regarded as a donation to the party.  This applies even if the funds are subsequently used by the party for the purposes of supporting one or more of its candidates at an election [Sections 22(2)(a)(vii)].

If some or all of the proceedings of the event are given in the form of money to the party's candidate(s) it is regarded as a donation by the party to the candidate(s). If the proceeds are used by the party to pay election expenses incurred on the candidate's behalf, it is not regarded as a donation by the party to the candidate(s).  The party will not be required to disclose in a Donation Statement the total value of the proceeds of the fund-raising event.  The party will be required to disclose any donation(s) from a person which exceeds a net value of €1,500.  The maximum limit of €2,500 (€200 cash) for acceptance by political parties of donations from the same person in the same year applies to the net value of contributions to fund-raising events.  The limit of €200 on acceptance of donations from non-registered corporate donors also applies.  Where the net value of any individual monetary donation to the fund-raising event exceeds €100, the accounting unit of the party, (i.e., branch of head office) which organised the event will, if it does not already have one, be required to open a political donations account.  If the net value of any individual monetary donation to the event does not exceed €100, the accounting unit of the party will not be required to open a political donations account.  If the accounting unit already has a political donations account, all monetary donations, of whatever value, received in relation to the event must be lodged to the political donations account.

2        Fund-raisers organised by a political party for the purposes of raising funds for its candidate(s) at the election

Where a fund raising event is organised by a political party for the purposes of raising funds for its candidate(s) at the election and proceeds of the event are passed to the candidate(s), the party is regarded as an intermediary accepting donations on behalf of the candidate(s).  The net contribution made by a person to the fund-raising event is regarded as a donation to the candidate(s).  The candidate(s) (i.e., not the party) is responsible for ensuring that the legislative requirements (set out at 3 below) are in compliance with the legislation.

If it is the case, however, that the party retains control of the proceeds, the donations may be regarded as having been made to the party and the party will be responsible for ensuring that the legislative requirements (set out at 1 above) are complied with.

 3        Fund-raisers organised by a candidate

Where a fund-raising event is organised by a candidate for the purposes of raising funds for his/her election campaign, the proportion of the contribution attributable to the contribution to the net profit deriving from the event is deemed to be a donation to the candidate [Sections 22(2)(a)(vi)].

The candidate will not be required to disclose in a Donation Statement the total value of the proceeds of the fund-raising event. The candidate will be required to disclose any donations from a person contributing to the event which exceed a net value of €600. The maximum limit of €1,000, for acceptance by candidates of donations from any one person in the same year, applies to the net value of contributions to fund-raising events. If the net value of any monetary donation to a fund-raising event organised by a candidate exceeds €100, the candidate, if he/she does not already have one, will be required to open a political donations account and lodge the donation and all subsequent monetary donations to the account. If the net value of an individual monetary donation to the event does not exceed €100, the candidate will not be required to open a political donations account. If the candidate already has a political donations account, all monetary donations, of whatever value, received in relation to the event must be lodged to the account.

4        Fund-raisers organised on behalf of a candidate by a person or group other than the candidate or his/her political party

Where a fund-raising event is organised on behalf of a candidate by a person or group other than the candidate or his/her political party (e.g., "Friends of ... groups") and the proceeds of the event are handed over to the candidate, the fund-raising person/group is regarded as an intermediary accepting donations on the candidate's behalf.  The donations are deemed to have been received by the candidate and he/she is responsible for ensuring that the legislative requirements (set out at 3 above) are complied with.

If the proceeds of the event are not handed over to the candidate and are retained by the fund-raising group, the following applies:

·         if the net value of any donation to the fund-raising event exceeds €100, the person/group will be required to register as a "third party" with the Standards Commission.  The person/group will be required to comply with the provisions of the Act applying to third parties with regard to the opening of a political donations account and the acceptance of certain donations, 

·         all money subsequently given to the candidate and all election expenses incurred or payments made by the fund-raising group on behalf of the candidate are regarded as donations to the candidate,

·         if the aggregate value of donations from the fund-raising group to the candidate exceeds €600, the candidate will be required to disclose details of same in his/her Donation Statement;

·         the maximum value of donations which the candidate can accept in any year from a fund-raising person/group which is regarded as a third party (and not as an intermediary accepting donations on the candidate's behalf) is €1,000.