Should My PAC Have Bylaws?

Whether you are looking at starting a new political action committee (PAC) or have an established PAC, bylaws are a best practice for PACs of all ages, shapes, and sizes. The PAC’s external activity, in the form of receiving contributions from individuals, making contributions to political committees, and reporting all PAC activity, is already heavily regulated.  PAC bylaws establish the internal procedures and policies that will govern how the PAC functions.

Bylaws can serve as an opportunity to formalize the PAC’s fundraising and decision-making processes by addressing topics such as:

  • Does the PAC have a board to determine who can receive disbursements and disbursement budgeting and contribution strategies? A PAC board can bring diversity and transparency to the PAC’s decision-making processes.
  • If the PAC does not have a board, who are the individuals that will be the decision makers and what division will there be between who is responsible for disbursement strategy and actual monetary disbursements? Having a separation between decision making and the checkbook can be crucial to safeguarding the PAC’s resources.
  • Establishing any qualifications that will be used to determine candidate and committee eligibility.
  • Building internal accounting procedures that follow established law, as well as organizational requirements and best practices.
  • Determining who will be responsible for compliance and reporting.

Note: The most successful PACs outsource the day-to-day PAC administration and reporting to firms like PASS.

  • Who is going to pay for PAC administrative and fundraising expenses? The PAC or the sponsoring entity can cover the day-to-day administration and fundraising expenses.
  • Setting fundraising eligibility and expectations.

As I stated earlier, bylaws are not a legal requirement, but they are a best practice and will provide your PAC with a framework for success. If you have questions about drafting PAC bylaws, contact your PASS Compliance Manager or reach out to your PAC Counsel for assistance.