Nonprofit Political Activity Law

The laws governing nonprofit political activity are complex, nonprofits seeking to conduct political activities should always seek legal counsel before acting. While all nonprofits may engage in some limited political activity such as lobbying, other types of political activity may cause serious damage to the nonprofit that could result in a loss of the organization’s tax-exempt status. Compliance begins with the nonprofit’s founding, as different rules apply to nonprofits established under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, the usual authority for incorporating most nonprofits, and section 501(c)(4), which governs “social welfare organizations” and allows these nonprofits greater leeway to engage in political activities.

The difference between different kinds of political activity is not always obvious, and nonprofits regularly find themselves in trouble having accidentally stepped outside of the law and legally permitted activities. Getting out ahead of these issues is critical, and we can help your nonprofit establish its own limitations so that it meets the requisite legal standards.

Our firm has the knowledge and expertise to fulfill the needs that so many politically active nonprofit organizations face. We can ensure your organization is founded under the proper authority, contains the right provisions in its bylaws and articles of incorporation, and has the proper board of directors acting in compliance with the law’s limitations. We know the letter of the law and exactly what kind of political activity your nonprofit is allowed to engage in.