President Donald J. Trump has promised to “destroy” the so-called “Johnson Amendment” that prohibits 501(c)(3) charities from participating in election campaigns. Several Republicans in Congress have introduced bills to do just that.
And yet, the National Council of Nonprofits, the Independent Sector, the Council on Foundations and many operating charities have taken strong positions against a change. Is this an issue that makes much of a difference? Is it really something to get worked up about?
We think it is. It would undermine the trust in the charitable sector and make them less effective in pursuing their missions. But equally important, it would put more unaccountable “dark money” into our political system —and make it tax-deductible!