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ArchiPAC Frequently Asked Questions

The only federal political action committee of the American Institute of Architects

What Is ArchiPAC?

Associations such as the AIA are prohibited by federal law from making political contributions to candidates for federal office. ArchiPAC is the bipartisan political arm of the AIA, which exists to help elect architect-friendly candidates to the U.S. Congress. ArchiPAC is completely funded by individual, voluntary contributions from AIA members.

Why does the AIA need ArchiPAC?

Decisions are made each and every day in Congress that affect our practices and our communities. ArchiPAC enables architects to approach vital public policy matters through a well-organized, well-informed, and united front. Through ArchiPAC, architects are able to multiply their individual political effectiveness and increase the visibility and presence of the profession at the national level and ensure that Congress hears what we have to say.

Why should I invest in ArchiPAC?

Each of the more than 83,000 members of the AIA has the power to support candidates for office. ArchiPAC hopes that AIA members continue their individual political activity. However, when we join together, our effectiveness and influence increases. There is strength in numbers, and by pooling the resources of many architects, ArchiPAC allows the AIA and its members to support candidates who share architects’ concerns about issues facing the built environment and the architecture profession. With a strong ArchiPAC, the profession is given a loud, collective voice and is able to support federal candidates who understand the issues facing the architecture profession today and as we move forward in our many initiatives. 

Am I eligible to contribute to ArchiPAC?

Federal election law limits the individuals that can support ArchiPAC. Accordingly, ArchiPAC can only accept contributions from its restricted class, which includes current AIA members, Associate AIA members, AIAS members, AIA employees (including CACE), and the immediate family of these individuals.

How much can I contribute to ArchiPAC?

Contributions to ArchiPAC start from $5 and are limited to $5,000 per calendar year by federal law. All contributions help and all are welcome.

How do I make a contribution to ArchiPAC?

You can make a contribution to ArchiPAC in three ways:

    • Fill out a contribution form and mail it with a check (payable to ArchiPAC) or credit card information to:
    1735 New York Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20006

    • Visit to make an online credit card donation.

    • E-mail Hannah Wesolowski, manager of Political Programs, or call (202) 626-7403.

Can I give to ArchiPAC a little each month?

Yes. Starting in 2009, ArchiPAC accepts and encourages monthly contributions by credit card. Doing so may be much more feasible for donors. For example, a $1,000 annual contribution amounts to only $83 a month, a much easier way to make a large contribution.

For more information, e-mail Hannah Wesolowski.

Is my contribution tax deductible?

No. Federal law prohibits contributions to political activities from being deducted from state or federal taxes.

What candidates does ArchiPAC support?

ArchiPAC does not make contributions based on a candidate’s political affiliation. Instead, contributions are made based on a review of a candidate’s understanding of our profession’s concerns, past voting record on key AIA issues, committee assignments, and leadership positions. This ensures that ArchiPAC's funds—including your donations—are used most effectively.

As a nonpartisan organization, ArchiPAC’s strategy takes into account the current leadership in Congress and but we also acknowledge the fact that leadership could change in any given election cycle so we must be able to work with members of all parties. In addition to trying to achieve a nonpartisan balance, ArchiPAC also looks to the possible agenda for the next congressional session. As such, before any contributions are made, the likely committee positions of the candidate (if an incumbent) and the likelihood that the candidate can win the race are considered.

ArchiPAC also supports candidates that work closely with AIA components. Any member can make a suggestion to the ArchiPAC Steering Committee. In addition, 10 percent of ArchiPAC funds are put aside for contributions given to candidates at fundraising events organized by AIA members or chapters.

Who decides which candidates ArchiPAC will support?

Our decision-making process is twofold. First, the AIA Federal Relations staff looks at key information on candidates including the following:

  • Whether the candidate is in an upcoming congressional race and his/her chances at winning that race.
  • If an incumbent candidate, what committees he/she sits on in the House or Senate and whether those committees work on any of the AIA’s major issues.
  • If an incumbent, past votes on AIA-supported legislation.
  • If an incumbent, leadership positions held by the candidate.
  • Whether the candidate has any established relationship with their local or state AIA chapter.

But the ultimate decisions on which candidates ArchiPAC supports are made by you, the member. Staff will pass on a list of suggestions to the ArchiPAC Steering Committee, chaired in 2009 by Don Brown, AIA. This group, comprised of members of the AIA National Board of Directors, reviews all proposed contributions and makes the final calls on which candidates ArchiPAC will support based on projected donations to the PAC.

In addition, the ArchiPAC Steering Committee takes suggestions from components and individual ArchiPAC donors. (At least 10 percent of contributions in any given year come from component and AIA member recommendations. To make a recommendation, please fill out this form and e-mail it to Hannah Wesolowski.)

How can I get more involved?

Interested in becoming more involved in ArchiPAC fundraising and decision-making? Contact Hannah Wesolowski about joining the ArchiPAC Advisory Group, the new network of ArchiPAC champions across all AIA membership groups and regions.


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