Friday, November 27, 2015

Beyond PACs: What's a 501(c)4?!

Happy Thanksgiving! This is the time of year when we all sit around the table trying to avoid politics. But should it come up, isn't it nice to know a little something?

Campaign finance is an alphabet soup of FEC, local Board Elections and IRS labels. Beyond your PACs, which file with campaign finance regulators, there's a whole host of non-profit entities to content with. The most common is the 501c4; a non-profit which engages in specific political advocacy.

Unlike a 501c3 (your standard charity) which must stay away from partisan politics, 501c4s:

  • Can support or oppose specific candidates/parties
  • Can lobby for legislation
  • Are only partially tax exempt - donors don't get a deduction for giving (like with a c3) but they don't pay income tax.
There is a LOT going on with the specifics of how these entities at operate and, here at ShiftSpark, we're most thankful this year for everyone working to educate the public on how their system works (no matter how complicated it may be)!

Thank you to Bolder Advocacy for creating this truly amazing and comprehensive guide to 501c4s!

Also, check out their really nifty (super-short) explanations of ALL the types of non-profits; complete with a handy chart, here.

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