Associated Grant Makers has joined the thousands of nonprofit organizations around the country in signing on to a Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship to urge Congress not to repeal or significantly weaken the Johnson Amendment, a 63-year-old law that prevents 501c3 organizations from endorsing or financially supporting political candidates. President Trump has indicated his desire to repeal the amendment, and several bills have been introduced in Congress to repeal or severely weaken the law. Many national organizations representing the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors have come out in full support of keeping the Johnson Amendment including the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the National Council of Nonprofits, Council on Foundations and Independent Sector, among others. Locally, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network has issued a call to action to support maintaining the Johnson Amendment.
Organizers of the effort are asking you to sign the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship by this Friday, March 31, 2017, in advance of the publishing of the community letter next week.
FOUNDATIONS: For background and more information, The Forum has a Johnson Amendment resource page on its website that Foundations may find helpful. The Council on Foundations has determined that private foundations can lobby on this issue under the self-defense exception to lobbying restrictions on private foundations. Foundation CEOs, staffs and boards could find themselves feeling pressured to not only endorse political candidates at local, state and federal levels but to support them financially, draining resources that would otherwise be going to charitable purposes.
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS: The National Council of Nonprofits has an information page on Protecting Nonprofit Partisanship.
Please act today.