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Matching Funds FAQ – 2024 City Candidates

  • What is the matching funds program?

    The matching funds program was enacted by Los Angeles voters and provides limited public funding to help qualified City candidates run their campaigns for elected office without relying on large donors or excessive fundraising. To receive funding, candidates must agree to participate in the program and must meet the program’s qualification requirements and spending limits. Once they are eligible, candidates may receive public dollars as a match to qualifying campaign contributions from individuals.

  • How much public funding can I receive?

    Qualified contributions from individuals are matched at a 6:1 rate. If you meet the program requirements, the City will pay you $6 in public funds for every matchable dollar of a qualified contribution that you receive.

    The most that may be matched per contributor is $129 for City council candidates. Therefore, the amount of matching funds that you may receive per contributor is limited. The total amount of matching funds that you may receive is also limited.


    Per contributor Per candidate in primary election Per candidate in general election
    City Council $129 $174,000 $217,000
  • How can I participate?

    You may elect to participate when you file Form 20 (Acceptance or Rejection of Matching Funds). This form acts as an agreement to accept or reject matching funds and, if you accept, to abide by the program rules. The agreement is binding for both the primary election and the general election (if necessary).

  • Is there a deadline to agree to participate?

    Form 20 may be filed any time after your fundraising paperwork has been filed with the Ethics Commission. For the 2024 election, City council candidates may file fundraising paperwork beginning September 5, 2022. All candidates must file Form 20 by 12:00 p.m. on November 11, 2023.

  • How do I qualify for matching funds?

    You must do all of the following:

    • Limit the amount you contribute or lend to your own campaign to $40,000 per election;
    • Receive qualified contributions of at least $5 from 100 individuals who reside in your Council District;
    • a minimum cumulative amount of qualified contributions from individuals who reside in the City:


    Minimum cumulative threshold Maximum amount per contributor that counts toward the threshold
    City Council $12,857 $129
    • Limit your campaign spending (unless you are notified by the Ethics Commission that the ceilings have been lifted):


    Primary Election General Election
    City Council $618,000 $515,000
    • Qualify to appear on the ballot;
    • Be opposed by a candidate who is also qualified to appear on the ballot;
    • Participate in a debate or, if no opponent agrees to debate you, conduct a town hall meeting (specific criteria apply to both types of events);
    • Attend , along with your treasurer, an Ethics Commission training session;
    • File all required campaign statements.
  • How do I request matching funds?

    You must file a claim:

    • Submit a signed Form 22 (Matching Funds Request for Qualification or Claim for Payment) to request qualification and the payment of matching funds.

    Tip:  A payment claim must usually identify at least $10,000 in matchable portions of qualified contributions.

    Tip:  Ask the Ethics Commission for guidance in completing your Form 22.

    • Include a spreadsheet that identifies every contribution you are using for your Form 22. See sample spreadsheet.
    • Provide supporting documentation for every contribution in your spreadsheet. Proper documentation must include a contributor certification and proof of the contribution, such as a copy of the check or credit card transaction. A contribution cannot be used for matching funds purposes if the contributor certification is missing or incomplete. See sample certification.

    Tip:  A contributor certification is required for every contribution you receive, regardless of whether you use it for matching funds purposes.

    Tip:  Ask the Ethics Commission to review your paper and electronic contributor certifications, to ensure that they comply with legal requirements.

    Tip:  You may submit a Form 22 any time after you submit your Form 20. Qualification claims must be submitted by the day before the election. Payment claims may be submitted up to three months after the election.

  • When will I receive matching funds?

    The Ethics Commission is required to review your claim and determine how much public funding should be paid. The determination is made after the Ethics Commission receives all necessary and required documentation for your claim. Payments are issued by the Controller’s office within two business days after it receives authorization from the Ethics Commission.

    Tip :  Even if you have met all other qualification requirements, matching funds payments cannot be issued until after the City Clerk’s office determines which names will appear on the ballot, which is expected to happen by 12/18/23.

This is only an overview; additional City and state laws apply. Anyone who participates in City elections is responsible for understanding and complying with all of the laws, whether referred to here or not.

Ethics Commission