Ready Reference Audios - Lobbying and Electioneering - two (20 minute) audios
Electioneering for Nonprofits
Every year is election year. And nonprofit organizations know that the outcome can significantly affect their work. 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations and 501(c)(6) trade associations may participate in election campaigns, but 501(c)(3) charities must be careful not to intervene in an election campaign at any level because “electioneering” can cost them their exempt status.
Lobbying for Nonprofits
Every session of Congress, the state legislature or local government offers the possibility of public policy change that can significantly affect the work of nonprofit organizations. Many 501(c)(3) pubic charities think they will lose their tax-exempt status if they lobby for public policy change, but that is a myth. They may lobby so long as it is not a substantial part of their activities. Nonprofit Issues® editor Don Kramer argues that “if a public charity isn’t lobbying, it is probably not doing its job.”
Learn how the IRS defines lobbying, why so much advocacy is outside the definition, which actual lobbying activities don’t count against the limit, and how much lobbying a public charity may do without jeopardizing its status. Kramer and Tish Mogan, Standards for Excellence Director for the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, provide practical insights based on many years of dealing with nonprofits of all kinds and sizes.