Article Archives >> To the Point

Can our 501(c)(3) public charity weigh in on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sotomayor for justice of the Supreme Court, or is that impermissible electioneering?

A public charity may participate and take a position in the confirmation process of a nominee for the Supreme Court. The selection of a Supreme Court justice is not an election, so the prohibition on a charity’s participation in an election for public office is not implicated.  The IRS has ruled that, even though the advice and consent of the Senate does not require a new statute, the Senate’s action is legislative action, and advocating for or against the nomination for a Supreme Court justice (or any other federal judge) is considered “lobbying.”  A public charity is permitted to lobby so long as lobbying does not constitute a substantial portion of its activities.  (See Ready Reference Page:  “Lobbying Rules Create Opportunity for Charities.”)

A 501(c)(3) private foundation would be making a taxable expenditure if it participated in such a lobbying effort.

Comments from our Readers
Thank you for the info.  We actually called the IRS on this when several candidates were being considered and they read the rules and interpreted support for Sotomayor over another candidate as electioneering. After she was selected as the candidate, we issued a press release congratulating President OBAMA on the choice. -- D.C. via e-mail

June 16, 2009

Article Archives >> To the Point

Legal Issues in Volunteer Involvement:
Maximizing the Benefits, Minimizing the Risks


Pre-recorded Webinar -
Listen Today

This pre-recorded webinar discusses: risk management and the organization's liability for the acts of volunteers; legal responsibilities in screening and placing volunteers; liability for harm to volunteers; applicability of volunteer protection statutes and workers' compensation statutes; insurance coverage and indemnification issues; applicability of employment discrimination laws; and more. The session also discusses confidentiality, protection of intellectual property, volunteer contracts, and ways to minimize risk through training and supervision. Learn to balance the risk of possible problems against the risk of turning away valuable volunteer support.

Learn More

Receive the weekly question by e-mail

Sign up and receive FREE:

Weekly question and answer

Notice of each full edition
and its free stories

Report on 501(c)(3) electioneering

 

What our readers say about Nonprofit Issues

Once again you've tackled a tricky question and explained it so we all can understand the issue.--M.V.

Thank you for your informative and keen advice on nonprofit matters. I believe it's a unique and concise place to get answers to this often wispy area called nonprofit. --R.T.

 

Have a question?

If you can't find your answer, submit a question and Don will pick one question a week to answer online and to include in our weekly e-mail notice.

Other ways to
find answers:

Talk to the Editor
Next Conference Call:
Thursday, September 25, 2014

Participate in this bi-monthly telephone seminar conference call and ask your questions directly to Editor Don Kramer.

Access the entire site
($9.95/24 hours, $17.95/3 months).


  Help

Nonprofit Issues Live
Full Day Program
A well-received full-day program that covers the current hottest topics in nonprofit law. Qualifies in Pennsylvania for Continuing Education credits.

Speaking Engagements
Don is available for programs and speaking engagements ranging from a one-hour presentation to a full-day primer on nonprofit law. Contact us if you are interested in having him speak at your program.


None of the information on the Nonprofit Issues Website should be deemed legal advice or
should be acted upon without prior consultation with appropriate professional advisors.
Materials prepared by Nonprofit Issues contained in these pages is copyrighted by Nonprofit Issues, Inc., 2009-2012.

Home | Article Archives | Ready Reference | Ask the Editor | Bookstore | About Us

Change Profile/Password
Subscribe or Renew

Free E-notice

Nonprofit Issues, Inc.
P.O. Box 482
Dresher, PA 19025
(215) 542-7547 FAX (215) 542-7548
1-888-NP-Issue

E-mail Us