Legal Do's and Don'ts

Permissible Election Activities 501(c)(3) public charity organizations are strictly forbidden from engaging in any political activity in support of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. The IRS will consider all of the facts and circumstances surrounding an activity to determine whether the activity violates this prohibition. However, 501(c)(3) public charity organizations can engage in nonpartisan voter education activity and in a limited amount of lobbying. 501(c)(3)s MAY:

  1. Engage in limited lobbying, including work on ballot measures
  2. Conduct nonpartisan public education and training sessions about participation in the political process
  3. Educate all of the candidates on public interest issues
  4. Publish legislative scorecards (with certain restrictions)
  5. Prepare candidate questionnaires and create voter guides (with certain restrictions)
  6. Canvass the public on issues
  7. Sponsor candidate debates (with certain restrictions)
  8. Rent at fair market value mailing lists and facilities to other organizations, legislators, and candidates (with certain restrictions)
  9. Conduct nonpartisan get-out-the-vote and voter registration drives
  10. Establish a controlled 501(c)(4) organization
  11. Work with all political parties to get its positions included on the party’s platform (with certain restrictions)

501(c)(3)s MAY NOT:

  1. Endorse candidates for public office
  2. Make any campaign contributions
  3. Make expenditures on behalf of candidates
  4. Restrict rental of their mailing lists and facilities to certain candidates
  5. Ask candidates to sign pledges on any issue (tacit endorsement)
  6. Increase the volume or amount of incumbent criticism as election time approaches
  7. Publish or communicate anything that explicitly or implicitly favors or opposes a candidate


03/08/2018 - 12:07


Nailah Summers
(305) 393-2521,
Misha Cornelius
(510) 318-1020,

MIAMI – Today, youth justice organizations and...

01/09/2018 - 15:16

For Immediate Release: January 9, 2018
Contact: Ricardo Ramírez,, (202)-728-9557

Washington – The Trump administration announced this week that it will continue purging the United States from...

01/30/2018 - 00:31

We knew Trump’s first State of the Union Address would not be for us. Since day one, this president’s rhetoric has criminalized people of color and fed off of a whitelash.

The remarks underlined that this administration’s plan is to troll us and deny us. Trump even took a swipe against athletes decrying police terrorism – yes, the same ones whose mothers he called ...

01/22/2018 - 18:07

Washington – Today the U.S. Senate voted to a proposal to end the Trump Shutdown while turning its back on young immigrants. Advancement Project’s national office released the following statement:

“Talk from so-called allies of the movement was tough, but there were no consequential actions to follow,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project...

03/09/2018 - 17:30

March 9, 2018

Nailah Summers
(305) 393-2521,

Zerline Hughes
(202) 487-0967,



01/16/2018 - 09:47

January 15, 2018
CONTACT: Elana Needle, 201.248.9724

New York, NY –  In today’s divisive environment, pausing to recognize the significance of and need to participate in a National Day of Racial Healing (#NDORH) is vitally important. On Tuesday, January 16, 2018, many organizations, individuals...

01/18/2018 - 12:07

January 18, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Advancement Project’s national office is excited to announce that it is one of the final recipients of Colin Kaepernick’s $1 million in 10 months pledge to local and national advocacy organizations. Kaepernick, professional football player and social justice advocate, decided to announce a winner a day over a 10-day period which began...

01/04/2018 - 17:04

WASHINGTON –Last night, the White House announced that the Pence-Kobach Commission is no more – a move that sends relief, yet inquiry as to what the administration’s next move will be to impact citizens’ fundamental right to vote.

Advancement Project has gone on the record stating that the Pence-Kobach Commission would rather misdirect the public and stoke fears about...

03/13/2018 - 11:57

WASHINGTON – In the wake of Atty. Gen. Jeff Session’s announcement today to to “improve” school safety and better enforce existing gun laws, Advancement Project’s national office released the following statement:

“The writing is no longer on the wall; it’s on the books. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions’ announcement today to award lucrative grants to police...