Nonpartisan Candidate Education: How 501(c)(3)s Can Talk to Candidates During an Election Year
During an election season, candidates for public office are among our most high-profile public figures. In addition to hosting candidate debates, preparing nonpartisan voter guides, and encouraging people to vote, 501(c)(3)s may be interested in influencing candidates’ policy platforms, encouraging them to raise awareness of an issue, or educating them on how policy decisions impact local communities. 501(c)(3)s may even receive requests from candidates to meet with them to learn about the group’s work and to better understand the needs of their constituents.
501(c)(3)s are prohibited from supporting or opposing a candidate or political party, so they must be careful when meeting with and educating candidates. But a 501(c)(3) can continue to promote issues to further its mission even during an election year.
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