Advocacy Update: The Johnson Amendment

Thursday, April 6, 2017

by Gretchen Greiner-Lott
Vice President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Last week, I wrote about the Johnson Amendment – the law that prohibits nonprofit organizations from engaging in partisan campaign activities – and the possibility of its repeal during tax reform efforts this year. WRAG signed a Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship, encouraged the social profit community to sign it, as well, and promised to provide updates. Here is the latest.

The Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship went to Congress yesterday. With almost 4500 signatures, representing organizations in all 50 states and in all segments of the social profit sector, the message to leave the law intact was loud and clear. And the general public feels the same way. According to new research by Independent Sector and the Bright Lines Project, “72 percent of American voters want to keep current rules prohibiting 501(c)(3) organizations from engaging in partisan politics,” which underscores this message to leave the law alone.

Again, the social profit sector should remain above the political fray. Let’s hope our elected officials appreciate the importance of the Johnson Amendment and the work of the social profit sector that it protects.