This month’s Emerging Leaders Networking lunch featured Jeff Narabrook and David Zeller speaking on the subject of nonprofits and voter engagement. Many 501c3 nonprofit organizations err on the side of caution because they want to guard carefully their right to perform mission-related work as a tax-exempt organization eligible to receive tax-deductible gifts. Either public charities (aka 501(c)(3) nonprofits) do not know that they can or do not know the extent to which they can participate in the political process.
Federal law, as it stands, does not forbid public charities from involvement with government. The problem, as outlined in the book A Voice for Nonprofits, is that 501c3s are not actively engaging in the political process and speaking for their constituents to the extent that they are allowed by law.
So what can a nonprofit do to provide valuable information to the public in an election year without jeopardizing its 501(c)(3) status?
*Disclaimer: I am not an expert, lawyer, or IRS employee (although I consulted and learned from a few to write this post), so please do the proper research before acting on what you read here!Read more