Click Here to view this article as a PDF.
Author: Kristenson, Joel
Last Updated: 2017-02-09
This article walks through the steps to file your From 1 FEC Report (Statement of Organization) and submit it electronically through the Trail Blazer software to the FEC (Federal Election Commission). This only applies to federal political campaigns & PACs.
It’s a good idea to contact your FEC analyst if you have any questions or concerns going through these steps; they also have a PDF guide for filing your Form 1 that you can download here.
Tip: New to tracking finances for your campaign? Setup a financial training class with one of our financial trainers for free (*requires you’ve attended our introduction training class that covers the basics). Our Curriculum Page is a good place to start: http://trailblz.com/Support/Learning/Curriculums.aspx
You’ll first want to verify all the information for your Committee has been recorded properly in Trail Blazer.
Navigate to the Committee list by following Application Menu > System Manager > Lists > Committee. *Requires appropriate security clearance.
Click on your committee name to open your committee record. In my example it was called Demo Campaign Database – Joel.
The following 4 screenshots show the different sections of the Committee record you’ll want to verify your information is present and accurate.
Img 1 of 4 – Verify the Campaign’s Physical Address
Img 2 of 4 – Verify the Officer Information is Correct under the Officers Tab
Img 3 of 4 – Verify the Dates and Elections are Correct under the Dates and Elections Tab
Img 4 of 4 – Verify the Data under Disclosure Settings
Navigate to the FEC Reporting list by following Application Menu > System Manager > Disclosure > FEC Reporting.
Click [+ New] on the Search Tool Strip.
Click the [1 Create Report] button at the top of the screen.
Select the Form 1 – Statement of Organization report type from the drop-down, fill out all the other information, and click [OK].
On the next screen check any of the boxes that apply and click [OK]. The effective date would be the date the committee was created or the date a new treasurer came on board.
After the report is run you’ll get a notification if it passed or failed validation. If it failed, fix the errors and run it again. Once it passes click the [2 Check & Print] button.
Review the PDF version that gets generated for any errors or missing/incorrect information. Save the PDF version for your record keeping and navigate back to Trail Blazer.
Example of page 1 & 2 of my PDF print preview:
Click the [3 Save Report] button.
Once the report is saved click [4 Upload to Fec].
Fill out the FECLoad form and click [Submit Filing to FEC].
You’ll get a popup notification (it could take about 30 seconds) with either a success message or a failure message. If the upload fails please contact our live support (1-866-909-8700).
You can view your saved reports by navigating to the FEC Reporting list under the Application Menu. My example saved reports are below.
Article: Best Practices – FEC Reporting
Article: Creating and Filing your First FEC Report
Article: Uploading your FEC Report – Error :Reason: null
Article: Calculating cycle-to-date numbers for “Schedule A” contribution entries
Article: Forced Itemization of Contributions
Article: Expenditure Reimbursement Schedule A itemization
Article: How to Deposit a Contribution
Article: Delete an Invoice/Payment
Article: How to Un-deposit a Contribution (Primarily for Political Customers)
Article: How to Enter an Invoice and Payment with the New Payment System, and How to Add a Refund and Deduction
Article: Delete a Contribution
Article: Steps to Import Expenditures – with an Example Spreadsheet Template – Political Only (2016 Upgrade)
Article: How to Enter a New Payee
Article: How to Enter an Invoice for a Payee
Article: How to Record a Contribution Refund – Primarily for Political Customers
Article: Enter Contributions
Video: Getting Started 106b – Entering Contributions (POLITICAL ONLY)
Video: Credit Card Memo Entry (using 2015 version of Financial)
Video: Deposits – Setup Bank Account – Set Bank as Default – Create Deposit
Video: Make a Loan Payment (Interest Bearing and Non Interest Bearing)
Training Link: Introduction Training to Trail Blazer (Required Before All Other Trainings)
Training Link: Curriculum Page of Trail Blazer Classes
3rd Party Resource: PDF Instructions by the FEC for the Form 1
3rd Party Resource: Registration Toolkit on the FEC Site
3rd Party Resource: Full List of Printable Forms for Registration and Reporting by the FEC
Trail Blazer Live Support
* As a policy we require that you have taken our intro training class before calling or emailing our live support team.
Click here to view our calendar for upcoming classes and events. Feel free to sign up other members on your team for the same training.
* After registering you’ll receive a confirmation email with the instructions for how to log into the GoToMeeting session where we host our live interactive trainings.
* This service is included in your contract.