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Project

Small Donor Public Financing

Small donor public financing increases the diversity of political donors and brings us closer to a democracy where everyone participates.

Overview

Small donor public finan­cing incentiv­izes candid­ates to seek out many nonwealthy support­ers, not just a few big donors. It enables more candid­ates from diverse back­grounds to run. And it ampli­fies the voices of regu­lar people. Designed right, small donor public finan­cing also permits candid­ates to raise and spend what they need to compete in the super PAC era, should they choose to opt in. And, because it does­n’t restrict polit­ical spend­ing, it stands up to the current Supreme Court’s require­ments. 

The Bren­nan Center has pion­eered a clear, simple proposal to counter special-interest spend­ing: small donor public finan­cing. Under this plan, small dona­tions are matched and multi­plied to help redir­ect candid­ates’ atten­tion from moneyed interests to ordin­ary citizens. 

Draw­ing on the exper­i­ence of New York City, and else­where, we advoc­ate for small donor public finan­cing at the state level and beyond.

Our Experts