Nonprofit Integrity vs. Partisanship
Dear Nonprofit Family,
NAM is calling on charitable nonprofits, private foundations and religious groups to join others around the country in sending a clear message to Congress and the Administration that partisan politics have no place in the 501(c)(3) community.
There is a longstanding protection in federal tax law that keeps 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates, often referred to as the Johnson Amendment. This amendment, proposed by then Senator Lyndon Johnson, was signed into law by President Eisenhower in 1954.
The cornerstone principle of this law supports nonpartisanship as a means to strengthen the public's trust in and maintain credibility of the charitable community to work with elected officials of all parties at local, state, and federal levels to address community needs.
In recent weeks, the President vowed to "get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment." This paved the way for one such bill, H.R. 781;S.264, to weaken the protections.
Weakening the law will:
• Allow individual leaders of 501(c)(3) entities to endorse candidates for public office and engage in limited partisan electioneering activities.
• Compromise the Federal Treasury as people take tax deductions for political contributions that they could funnel through charitable nonprofits.
• Create a loophole to avoid campaign contribution disclosure laws.
• Empower politicians to exert pressure for access to foundation assets and charitable funds for partisan campaigns rather than for the public good.
• Allow preachers to freely endorse candidates from the pulpit.
Please sign the community letter of support and help protect our sector's identity, independence, and integrity. It is legal for charitable nonprofits to exercise their rights this way. Join other organizations across the nation and send a clear signal to Congress and the Administration that partisan politics has no place in the 501(c)(3) community.
Thank you for your help!
Anne Hindery, CEO
Nonprofit Association of the Midlands