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Consultants provide professional or expert advice to campaigns in fields such as public relations, law, campaign finance, media, petitioning, and get-out-the-vote operations. Consultants who employ field workers on behalf of the campaign have additional documentation requirements that are noted below.

Before Beginning Work on a Campaign

Contracts between a campaign and a consultant must be signed and dated by both the campaign and the consultant before the consultant begins work on the campaign. Any subsequent changes to the terms of the contract must be documented in an amended contract or contract addendum. A notice of resignation or termination in the form of a letter or email should be provided to the campaign if a consultant leaves the campaign before a contract expires.


Details to be Included


  • Committee name, not just the name of the candidate
  • Name and address of consultant
  • Start and end date
  • Comprehensive description of services to be performed
  • Consulting fee, per period and in total
  • Any additional compensation or reimbursement
  • Frequency of payment (e.g., monthly, weekly, production-based)
  • Termination and extension provisions, if applicable
  • Dated signature of consultant
  • Dated signature of candidate or treasurer
Consultants who Provide Field Workers – Additional Details to be Included
  • Anticipated number of workers to be hired and whether they are to be paid directly by the consultant or by the campaign
  • What the workers will be hired for (e.g., petitioning , GOTV, literature distribution)
  • Payment amount and frequency of payment (e.g., daily, weekly)

Sample Contract

Sample Contract Addendum

Consultants should also consider the following while drafting their contract:

  • Election cycle periods: Consultants must specify their start and end dates and whether the rates or frequency of payment will change depending on the election cycle periods (e.g., out-year, primary, general, or post-election).
  • Retainers (optional): If a retainer fee is charged, the purpose must be clarified. If the retainer is for future services, that must be stated in the contract.
  • Bonuses and performance-based payments (optional/may be prohibited): If a campaign is a participant in the Campaign Finance Program, any bonus or performance-based payment must be agreed upon in the original contract, and payment of bonuses cannot be issued post-election. Further, bonuses cannot be based on whether or not the campaign receives public funds or has funds remaining after the election.
  • Other clients that are independent spenders: If a consultant works for both campaigns and independent spenders, this could lead to determinations that the spenders’ activity is not independent and therefore constitutes an in-kind contribution to the campaign, subject to the contribution limits and prohibitions. For more information, please see Political Consultants Who Work for Both Candidates and Independent Spenders.

During the Campaign

Additional invoices are required if the consultant acts as the conduit for goods or provides services that are not detailed in the contract. For example, if a consultant provides advice on campaign finance according to the contract, but also designs a piece of campaign literature, the work designing the literature would have to be documented and billed using a supplemental invoice.

Additionally, consultants who make purchases from other vendors on behalf of a campaign must provide the underlying documentation, such as invoices or receipts. Consultants should refer to the other sections of this guide to know what documentation will need to be obtained.

Type of Document 

Details to be Included

Samples and Templates


  • Committee name, not just the name of the candidate
  • Name and address of consultant or vendor
  • For services rendered: period covered by invoice and detailed description of services provided
  • For goods provided: description of goods, quantity, unit cost, and total cost
  • Sales tax if applicable (NOTE: political campaigns are not tax exempt)
  • Amount due

Sample Invoice

NOTE: If a consultant is being paid according to a regular payment schedule for services agreed upon in the contract, then an invoice is not needed to document those payments.

Additional Documentation Requirements for Consultants who Provide Field Workers

Time sheets must be provided for any field workers that a consultant employs on behalf of the campaign.

Type of Document 

Details to be Included

Samples and Templates

Time Sheet

  • Committee name, not just the name of the candidate
  • Name and address of worker
  • Rate of pay (daily, weekly, hourly)
  • Days and hours worked
  • Description of work performed, including location and whether the worker had any extra duties, such as site manager
  • Total hours worked in pay period
  • Total amount earned (rate x hours)
  • Amount paid and method of payment
  • Dated signature of worker
  • Dated signature of consultant or authorized representative

Sample Time Sheet –Weekly

Sample Time Sheet - Daily

Time Sheet - Daily

Time Sheet - Weekly


NOTE: Volunteer Services
Consultants cannot volunteer professional services to a campaign if they previously provided the campaign with similar services on a paid basis.

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