EP. 03 — Individual vs. Organizational Activity
Staff, volunteers, and board members of 501(c)(3)s have to make sure they avoid supporting or opposing candidates on behalf of their organization when they’re on the clock. But, those rules only apply to the organization. People that work or volunteer for a 501(c)(3) can – on their own time, and in their individual capacity - support or oppose candidates of their choice. But, as always, the devil’s in the details. In this episode, Tim, Leslie, and Quyen cover best practices to keep your personal partisan support separate from your 501(c)(3) work.
Our attorneys for this episode:
- 501(c)(3)s cannot support or oppose candidates for public office – see ROTG episode 01. But those rules do not apply to individuals on their own time in their own capacity.
- Important to show separation.
- IRS Guidance is old.
- The key is to ensure (c)(3) funds are not subsidizing personal partisan work.
- Tips for showing separation on social media:
- Multiple accounts
- Can a (c)(3) employee go to the DNC?
- Yes, in a personal capacity.
- Employer may have policies that have added restrictions.
- Best Practices:
- Acting in good faith
- Don’t be cute
- Do any partisan things on your own time
- Be clear that it’s you and not the organization – know what hat you’re wearing
- Board Members and Election Year Activities
- Election Activities for Individuals Associated with 501(c)(3)s
- Sample 501(c)(3) Organizational Policy for Election Season
- Bolder Advocacy’s TA hotline: 866-NP-LOBBY
- Email us at Advocacy@afj.org