Public Charities Can Participate in Elections…How so?

Raise your hand if you’ve received calls begging you for campaign contributions. Now raise your hand again if you’re receiving at least 1-20 emails by the incessantly pleasing with you to contribute or how Super PAC’s are the worst thing to have happened since canned meat. **raises hand**

By the way, if you’re thinking these campaign contributions count as tax deductible, well, they’re not.

Now, if you consider yourself to be somewhat interested in becoming involved in this campaign but are just so turned off by the overtly offensive political ads of both the left and right, we’ve found another way to get involved.

You CAN make a tax-deductible contribution to certain non-profits that are currently involved in the political process. But the loophole is that these particular non-profits do not favor or oppose any candidate.

To be more specific, these are “Public Charities”, otherwise known as non-partisan charities, as in “tax-exempt nonprofits formed for charitable, religious, scientific or educational purposes. Public charities include groups such as churches, schools, nonprofit hospitals, and food banks.” The only difference is that these charities educate the public on policy issues.

An article on Inman News recently came out with the top “4 ways public charities can participate in elections” and here they are:

“Issue advocacy: Public charities can engage in issue advocacy — that is, they cay attempt to influence public opinion on political issues, including those that divide the candidates in an election. For example, a public charity may advocate for the abolition of the death penalty by issuing publications, sponsoring public forums on the issue, or sending out mailings. However, public charities cannot engage in any issue advocacy that attempts to influence public opinion about candidates running for office — for example, they cannot make comparisons between candidate proposals or positions on issues.”

“Helping people vote: A public charity may work to help people vote. This includes voter education activities and voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. For example, a public charity can offer rides to the polls, canvass the neighborhood, and hand out voter information, or call voters about the election. However, it can’t engage in any of these activities in a way that favors or opposes any candidate for office.”

“Sponsoring candidate appearances: Public charities may also invite political candidates to speak at events they sponsor. However, the nonprofit must ensure that all candidates are invited and no fundraising occurs at the event.”

“Voter guides: Finally, public charity may prepare and distribute nonpartisan voter guides to help voters compare candidates’ positions on issues.”

All in all, contributing to these non-partisan charities will serve no other purpose than truly helping out the causes that matter the most. The added bonus, public charities ARE tax deductible!

Can’t lose with that, right?