Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Establishing a Committee

Political committees are required to file reports disclosing the money that they raise and spend. Committee treasurers must review expenditures to ensure that the committee is filing as the correct committee type.

The following pages provide a summary of the steps required to properly establish and disclose the activity of a campaign committee. The Fair Political Practices Commission has produced a number of guides which explain these reporting rules specifically for General Purpose Committees, “Primarily Formed” Candidate Committees, and Ballot Measure Committees. It also has produced filing deadline schedules.

The Ethics Commission has produced its own guides for General Purpose Committees and Ballot Measure Committees which set forth local rules that apply to those committees.

Determine the type of committee

A committee’s activity will determine which type of committee it should register as and its reporting requirements.  More specifically, criteria set forth in FPPC Regulation 18247.5 should be consulted to determine whether a committee is a:

  • General Purpose Committee, which receives contributions totaling $2,000 or more in a calendar year to support or oppose multiple ballot measures or candidates, and which generally exist over a number of election cycles;
  • “Primarily Formed” Candidate Committee, which receives contributions totaling $2,000 or more in a calendar year and is formed primarily to support or oppose one or more City candidates during a single election cycle; or
  • “Primarily Formed” Ballot Measure Committee, which receives contributions totaling $2,000 or more in a calendar year and is formed primarily formed primarily to support or oppose one or more City measures during a single election cycle.

File a Statement of Organization

If a committee raises $2,000 or more, the committee must file a Statement of Organization (FPPC Form 410) with the Secretary of State (SOS) and the Ethics Commission within 10 days of receiving contributions totaling $2,000 or more. This statement may also be filed before a committee receives $2,000 if the committee contemplates receiving $2,000 or more. After the Form 410 is filed, the SOS will issue an identification number (FPPC ID#) that the committee must use on all subsequent filings.

Among other things, the Form 410 must include the name of the committee.  State law imposes different naming requirements on general purpose committees, “primarily formed” candidate committees, and ballot measure committees.  Refer to the FPPC manuals for more details.

Set up an electronic filing account

Committees that file the FPPC Form 410 must file subsequent campaign statements electronically.  Review the registration requirements to sign up for electronic filing.

Complete training

Treasurers —and assistant treasurers who sign and verify campaign statements— for City general purpose committees and ballot measure committees must attend a training conducted by Ethics Commission staff after filing an original or amended Statement of Organization Form 410 designating a new treasurer. (An individual who serves as the treasurer for more than one committee is not required to attend a training if that individual has attended such a training within the previous 12 months.) See the Commission’s page for upcoming training sessions for candidates, ballot measure committees, and general purpose committees.

When you R.S.V.P. to the Ethics Commission, please provide the names of all the people who will attend, emails, phone numbers, and the office sought by the candidate.

San Francisco Ethics Commission
25 Van Ness Ave., Suite 220
(415) 252-3100

Once completing the training, the treasurer and/or assistant treasurer must file a Form SFEC 107.

Training for Committee Treasurers

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