Skip to main content
Bridge Michigan
Michigan’s nonpartisan, nonprofit news source

Michigan elections FAQ: How to find candidate donors, financial disclosures

pile of cash
Campaign finance and financial disclosure statements can be hard to find and even harder to parse through, but Bridge Michigan is here to help. (Shutterstock)
  • Bridge is answering questions from readers throughout the campaign season
  • The latest questions ask how to find who donates to a candidate, as well as their financial disclosure and campaign finance reports
  • Answers depend on whether the candidate is running for state or federal office

LANSING — As the August primary and November general elections approach, Bridge Michigan is inviting readers to ask questions that we promptly answer though the Ask Bridge Anything feature of our Voter Guide

Our latest reader questions include: 

  • Can you provide simple instructions on how to access the required donations and financial disclosures of candidates? 
  • What is the best way to view campaign finance reports filed by federal candidates with the FEC?

The answers depend on which office you are interested in researching. Both the state and federal government require candidates and elected officials to disclose information about their campaign finances, including donors, as well as at least some information about their personal finances. 

Here’s where to start:

State candidate donor disclosure

Campaign finance disclosures for state-level candidates (including Michigan House races up for grabs this fall) can be found through a portal maintained by the Secretary of State. There, you can look up donor and spending disclosure reports for candidates, incumbent officials, ballot committees, political parties and political action committees.



Put the candidate’s name you’re looking for into the field asking for “any portion of the candidate or committee name.” When the results pop up, click on that candidate’s name to go to their campaign committee page. 

From there:

  • Scroll down to the “documents on file” section of the page and click on any of the quarterly or annual statements listed 
  • Once you click a statement, select “view e-filed data.” This will bring you to a page with a list of links regarding donations, expenses and more
  • To review donations, click the “contributions” link. This will list out every individual who’s given to a specific candidate’s campaign

Some candidates obtain a waiver if they don’t intend to raise or spend more than $1,000 during a campaign cycle. In that instance, you won’t see much.

The state also maintains a campaign finance search page that you can use to research more narrow parameters. If you want to see how much one particular donor has given to all candidates, for instance, you could search by that donor's name and leave other fields blank. 

State candidate personal financial disclosure

Personal financial disclosure reports for state-level candidates and officials can be found on Michigan’s new interim search portal. Though you can use the drop down menus for narrower results, you can also find a candidate or official simply by searching for their name. 

From there:

  • When results pop up, click on the candidate or official’s name 
  • Click the “disclosure filings” tab to see their disclosure reports, or the “personal information filings” tab to see additional information

Some disclosures will be completely blank — but that’s not an error.

Federal candidate donor disclosure

At the federal level, you can use the Federal Election Commission website to search campaign finance disclosure reports filed by elected officials and candidates for various offices, including U.S. House and Senate. 

To begin, click here. You then have several options, but one easy way to find a specific official or candidate is to use the map and drop down menus to select “Michigan” and the congressional district you live in. 

  • From there, you can click on a specific race to find a list of relevant candidates and campaign committees. 
  • Click on a candidate to see summary information
  • Use the “raising” link on the left side of the page and select “individual contribution transactions” to see a full list of donors 
  • Or use the “filings” link on the left side of the page to see individual campaign finance reports

Federal candidate personal financial disclosures

Personal financial disclosures for U.S. Senate officials and candidates can be obtained here by agreeing to access terms and then filling out a candidate’s name. That will take you to a list of their personal financial disclosure forms, which you can click on to read each one individually. 

For U.S. House, the clerk’s office maintains a website where you can look up personal financial disclosure reports. Click “search” on the left side of the page to look up personal financial disclosure filings. There are separate search tabs for candidates and elected officials. From there, you can click on individual filings to see the disclosure reports. 

Got another election question for Bridge? Ask us here. And be sure to check out our Voter Guide for more information about the 2024 contest.

How impactful was this article for you?

Only donate if we've informed you about important Michigan issues

See what new members are saying about why they donated to Bridge Michigan:

  • “In order for this information to be accurate and unbiased it must be underwritten by its readers, not by special interests.” - Larry S.
  • “Not many other media sources report on the topics Bridge does.” - Susan B.
  • “Your journalism is outstanding and rare these days.” - Mark S.

If you want to ensure the future of nonpartisan, nonprofit Michigan journalism, please become a member today. You, too, will be asked why you donated and maybe we'll feature your quote next time!

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Pay with PayPal Donate Now