In the News

In recent months, a narrative has taken hold that is compounding a reputational problem for an entire class of nonprofits—and it is threatening to rob advocates of one of their most powerful tools for effecting change.

Nonprofit Quarterly | May 15, 2019

The IRS is seeing an uptick in 501(c)(4) registrations which allow organizations to lobby and engage in political campaigning, said Abby Levine, who counsels nonprofits on how they can legally advocate.

Fortune | May 8, 2019

Seattle-based microenterprise nonprofit Ventures shares advice to help other organizations design sustainable, effective grassroots advocacy programs.

Stanford Social Innovation Review | January 17, 2019

Fear of running afoul of your organization’s tax-exempt status, or losing the support of important donors by being seen as “too partisan or political,” may be preventing nonprofit organizations from speaking out or encouraging their members or clients to do so.

Nonprofit Quarterly | November 8, 2018

Amid the many legal problems swirling around President Trump, New York state authorities have launched significant investigations of the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

Just Security | October 31, 2018

As nonprofits and companies across the country join forces today to promote National Voter Registration Day, an unexpected group of nonprofits is getting far more assertive and creative in the electoral push: museums.

Chronicle of Philanthropy | September 14, 2018

What is it about advocacy, taking a position on policy issues or lobbying elected officials, even at the local community level, that frightens nonprofits?

Nonprofit Quarterly | August 14, 2018

In their efforts to uncover more deeply rooted causes of problems facing our community, nonprofits sometimes learn that there are existing laws, regulations or public and corporate policies that hurt the people they serve.

Shepherd Express | August 14, 2018

Nonprofits, especially those that receive public funding, are in a precarious position during election cycles. They need to know the do’s and don’ts of what is allowed in dealing with elections, candidates running for office (any office), and issues that may be at play in an election.

Nonprofit Quarterly | June 22, 2018

There’s been a lot of change in philanthropy lately. Major new funders are entering the scene on a regular basis, regional and local giving is on the rise, and fallout from the 2016 election has led to important changes in how some funders operate. As we often report, many foundations and donors have swung behind efforts to push back against Donald Trump’s agenda. Others are making grants to help register and mobilize new voters, especially in communities of color and younger demographics. Money is also flowing for journalism to investigate Trump, his administration, and his family business.

Inside Philanthropy | June 6, 2018

Whoever said “Good things come to those who wait” has never advocated for a cause, shepherded a policy through the legislative process, or run a nonprofit organization. That’s especially true if your nonprofit’s mission is issue-driven, and it’s even more true now, when political upheaval in the Trump era and a looming election put the future of many organizations’ missions in question — whether those missions are related to the arts, science and technology, feeding the homeless, fighting for workers’ rights, or another worthy cause. This year, sitting out legislative policy fights is just not an option.

Philanthropy News Digest | March 26, 2018

The panel was held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and was moderated by William Schambra of the Hudson Institute. Our featured panelists included Gara LaMarche of the Democracy Alliance, Abby Levine of Alliance for Justice, and David Keating of the Institute for Free Speech.

Capital Research Center | March 1, 2018

A petition drive to recall La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt raised questions last week about where it is legal to collect signatures. A signing station was set up Thursday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4031, a nonprofit, near 15th Street and Main Avenue.  Almost immediately, a handful of residents singled out the station at the VFW because it is a nonprofit, and they questioned if nonprofits are allowed to accommodate such political activity or if doing so violates their federal tax status.

Durango Herald | February 13, 2018

When does a charitable donation become a bribe? San Francisco’s Ethics Commission has recommended new legislation to the Board of Supervisors in an effort to answer the question, as part of a new Anti-Corruption Ordinance. It promises to be the strictest regulations in the state overseeing behested payments – donations made by third parties, at the request of a public official, to a government project or charitable organization.

The Bay City Beacon | January 8, 2018

Under its lobbying ordinance, Los Angeles requires people who are paid to try to influence city officials on municipal legislation to register and turn in regular reports on their spending.

Los Angeles Times | January 1, 2018