On Crowdpac, we're able to provide a platform for both declared candidates as well as potential candidates (who are testing the waters with a campaign) to power their run for office.
For established candidates -- those who have declared their candidacy by filing with the FEC or the appropriate election body -- users can donate directly to their campaigns. Your card will be charged immediately, and the campaign will receive your donation within a week.
For potential candidates, Crowdpac's pledge tool helps people start running for office before they officially declare their candidacy. This allows them to test the waters by collecting pledges.
If a candidate is collecting pledges and you choose to contribute, your card will not be immediately charged for your donation. You will only be charged if the candidate officially runs for that particular office. Once that candidate files with the appropriate election body and can legally accept donations, Crowdpac converts all of their pledges into donations.
We also collect pledges for conditional campaigns. These are Crowdpac pages which accrue pledges that are only collected if a certain condition is met (i.e. a candidate agrees to a debate; an elected official votes on a certain bill, etc.). Once the condition is met, all of the pledges are converted, and the donors' credit cards are charged.
For both start running and conditional campaigns, your card will not be charged if the candidate never declares or if the condition is not met.
If you have more questions about Crowdpac campaigns, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.