Heightened media scrutiny of nonprofits engaging in public affairs during the last presidential campaign served as a constant reminder that any implication of favoritism or preference toward political candidates can result in the loss of a charity’s tax-exempt status. Although the presidential campaign is over, nonprofits must continue to make a conscious effort to avoid participating in partisan political activities. State and local elections are in our midst and nonprofits should do whatever they can to ensure that their board members, employees, and volunteers are aware that the same rules apply when it comes to smaller, less publicized elections. Adding a clause to your personnel, volunteer, and board policies that communicate these rules is one step toward avoiding partisan activities in your organization.
Did you know? Our educational resource packet, “Public Policy Advocacy: Promoting the Public Participation” includes a discussion on remaining nonpartisan in community activities as well as concrete examples of partisan situations. The packet is free and available to Standards for Excellence Institute® members. It is available through the members only section of our website. Hard copies are also available upon request. Log in to access this educational resource packet. Not a member? Join now!