Covered Organizations

​​​​​During the 2019 Legislative Session, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 2983 which creates reporting requirements for certain types of organizations that make political communications. This quick guide will help you determine whether your organization is required to disclose donors to the Elections Division. 

Exclamation-circle​  ​​For the legal and procedural requirements of covered organization donor disclosure, see ORS 260.275, 260.281, 260.285 and OAR 165-012-0500 through 165-012-0530​.

A covered organization is a combination of two or more individuals, or a person other than an individual, that accepts donations and makes expenditures for political communications.

The following entities are not considered Covered Organizations:

  • Political Action Committees
  • Petition Committees
  • Not-for-profit corporations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

​Political communications are communications in support of or in opposition to a clearly identified candidate or measure.

The following are not considered political communications:

  • Communications by a covered organization to its current members, stockholders, or executive or administrative personnel
  • Communications that constitute lobbying as defined in ORS 171.725
  • Communications excluded from the definition of “expenditure” under ORS 260.007​

​​​​​A covered organization must file an initial donor identification list not later than seven calendar days after reaching the threshold for political communications for a particular race, measure or political committee during an election cycle.

The current election cycle begins on November 4, 2020 and ends on November 8, 2022.

​ Failure to file a timely Donor Identification List may result in a civil penalty.


​Race, Measure or Political Committee
​Threshold
​State Representative or State Senator
​$25,000


State Office
  • Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries
​$100,000
​Measure
  • State Measure
  • District Measure
  • County Measure for the following counties: Benton, Clackamas, Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Umatilla, Washington, Yamhill
  • City Measure for the following cities: Beaverton, Bend, Eugene, Gresham, Hillsboro, Medford, Portland, Salem, Springfield
​$100,000
Measure
County measure or city measure for counties and cities not listed above
​$25,000
Political Committee
Expenditures for political communications in support of or in opposition to a political committee
​$100,000

​​​​Covered organizations that have exceeded the electioneering threshold for a particular race, measure or political committee must disclose their donors on form SEL 240. The following information required to be reported for each donor that has donated $10,000 or more during the election cycle:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Aggregate amount donated during the election cycle

A donation includes:

  • The gift or transfer of money or any other item of value to a covered organization including membership fees, dues or assessments.

A donation does not include:

  • Money or any other item of value received by the covered organization in the ordinary course of a trade or business conducted by the covered organization.

When reporting donors, a covered organization may exclude:

  • Donations from an affiliated charitable organization that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Donations and grants received from foundations and other donors that may not be used for political purposes

​Failure to include all of the required information may result in a civil penalty.


​​After a covered organization has filed an Initial Donor Identification List, it must continue updating its lists to disclose:

  • Subsequent donors that make donations of $10,000 or more during the election cycle
  • Updated donation amounts for donors previously disclosed
  • Donors previously not disclosed that have reached or exceeded $10,000 in aggregate donations during the election cycle

Updated Donor Identification Lists must be filed according to the following schedule:

​D​onation Received​

​Updated Donor Identification List Due
November 4, 2020 - January 3, 2021
​30th day after donation received
​January 4, 2021 - January 25, 2021
​February 2, 2021
January 26, 2021 - March 9, 2021
​7th day after donation received
March 10, 2021 - March 14, 2021
​30th day after donation received
​March 15, 2021 - April 5, 2021
​​April 13, 2020

April 6, 2021 - May 18, 2021
​7th d​ay after donation received

May 19, 2021 - July 18, 2021
​30th day after donation received
​July 19, 2021 - August 9, 2021

​August 17, 2021
​August 10, 2021 - November 2, 2021

​7th day after donation received
​​November 3, 2021 - December 31, 2021
​30th day after donation received
​​

​Failure to file a timely Donor Identification List may result in a civil penalty.

​If the covered organization made an error on an initial or updated Donor Identification List, they must file an amended SEL 240​ containing the correct information.

​ Amendments filed after the due date for the Donor Identification List may result in a civil penalty.

TheSEL 240 ​may be filed by scanning and sending via email to orestar-support.sos@oregon.gov, in person or by mail to the Elections Division at 255 Capitol St. NE, Suite 501, Salem, OR 97310 or by fax to 503-373-7414.

Some expenditures for political communications made by a covered organization may be considered in-kind contributions to the candidate or committee they benefit. In these instances, the covered organization must count the expenditure towards the applicable race, measure or political committee threshold and the recipient candidate or committee may need to file transactions in ORESTAR.

See the Campaign Finance Manual​ for additional information on In-Kind Contributions.

​​​Some expenditures for political communications made by a covered organization may be considered independent expenditures. A covered organization that makes independent expenditures of more than $250 in a calendar year is required to register in ORESTAR as an Independent Expenditure Filer. In some instances, a covered organization may be required to register as an Independent Expenditure Filer and file Donor Identification Lists using form SEL 240​.

See the Campaign Finance Manual ​for additional information on Independent Expenditure Filers.

​​​​​

​Violation
​Penalty
​Maximum Penalty
​Initial Donor Identification List not filed by due date
​2.5% of the total cost for political communications made multiplied by number of business days late
​150% of the total cost for political communica​tions made
​Updated Donor Identification List not filed by due date
​½% of the aggregate donations not properly identified multiplied by the number of business days late.







​10% of the aggregate donations not correctly identified
​Initial or Updated Donor Identification List amended after due date changing the name of a donor resulting in a different donor
​½% of the total donations received from donors not correctly identified multiplied by the number of business days late.

​Initial or Updated Donor Identification List amended after due date changing the amount of a previously reported donation
​½% of the net change or ½% of the updated amount, whichever is less, multiplied by the number of business days late.


​Initial or Updated Donor Identification List amended after due date to add a donor not previously disclosed
​½% of the total donations received but not correctly identified multiplied by the number of business days late.


​Initial or Updated Donor Identification List amended after due date to remove a donor previously disclosed​
​​$100 per donor removed

​​SEL 240​ forms are not considered filed unless they are sufficient. Filing an insufficient SEL 240 may cause the filing to be considered late.

The authorized representative listed on the SEL 240 form is financially responsible for any penalties.

SEL 240 ​forms must be filed by 5:00 p.m. on their applicable due date.​

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