Bolder Advocacy Launches New Guide on Private Foundations and 501(c)(4)s
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2021 – Today, Bolder Advocacy announced the release of a new guide on private foundation grant-making for 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations. The guide, entitled How to Fund A 501(c)4: What Nonprofits and Foundations Need to Know, provides important information to private foundation officers and nonprofit executives on the expenditure responsibility rules private foundations must use to fund permissible, nonpartisan 501(c)(4) advocacy.
“Spurred on by changes across the philanthropic sector, many private foundations are increasing their support of 501(c)(4)s to meet objectives on critically important issues like racial justice, climate change, immigrants’ rights, reproductive rights and more,” said Abby Levine, Director of Bolder Advocacy. “501(c)(4) organizations often serve as critical sources of information for voters and communities on a broad range of social and environmental issues, making it critically important that these organizations have the knowledge and resources needed to continue their work.”
As social welfare organizations, 501(c)(4)s share many similarities with 501(c)(3) public charities, but with added capacity to engage in unlimited amounts of nonpartisan lobbying around important social and environmental issues, as well as the ability to engage in some overtly partisan political activities. Donations to 501(c)(4)s are not tax deductible as charitable contributions, however, putting 501(c)(4)s at a disadvantage when it comes to raising money.
Private foundations cannot provide any funding in support of 501(c)(4) partisan political or lobbying work, but private foundations can and do provide critical support for most other forms of 501(c)(4) nonpartisan advocacy. As Bolder Advocacy’s new guide explains, this includes providing grant funding to support nonpartisan issue advocacy and education activities.