Protect Nonprofit Nonpartisanship: Tell Congress to Protect Our Role as Neutral Problem Solvers!

Monday, May 1, 2017

This Thursday, May 4, subcommittees of the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing to examine church free speech rights. This includes the Johnson Amendment, which pertains to the final clause of the Section 501 C(3) which provides that in exchange for tax-exempt status and the ability to receive tax-deductible contributions, a charitable non-profit, religious organization, or foundation may not participate in or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

This has been a decades-long standing prohibition that has protected our sector and kept us trustworthy partners in communities.

The issue: Proposals in Congress could repeal or significantly weaken the Johnson Amendment. If enacted, the legislative proposals would politicize charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations, damaging the capacity for organizations through a number of ways, including, eroding missions, threatening charitable contributions, limiting effectiveness, and eliminating a desired safe refuge.

We need you to help us keep the Johnson Amendment intact.


Take Action!

[Note: Private foundations, consult your legal counsel if they consider this self-defense.]

Cut/Paste this to your federal legislator:

Dear Senator/Representative, I ask you to preserve the "Johnson Amendment" as a necessary protection for charitable nonprofits and foundations. The Community Letter of Support of Nonpartisanship included nearly 4,500 nonprofits, foundations, and others that signed this important letter. You will see in the attached letter addressed to you the many organizations from our state that seek your leadership on opposing any efforts to repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment. I ask that you stand with the charitable nonprofits and foundations in our state that can only be effective if they remain above the fray of partisan politics.

To find the link to the State specific letter, click on the link, scroll down to find a specific letter by State and federal legislator.

And, to find your legislator, click here.


Other ways to take action

  • Keep Utilizing Social Media. Retweet our partners from @NatlCouncilNPs and @BuildNPCapacity. Please also find below a few sample Tweets you are welcome to adapt and use – just be sure to utilize the hashtags #CommunityNotCandidates and #JohnsonAmendment where possible.
    • 4500 #Nonprofits to Congress: Let us keep focus on #CommunityNotCandidates #JohnsonAmendment
    • #Nonprofits are effective because they focus on #CommunityNotCandidates. Maintain #JohnsonAmendment
    • The millions of people we serve rely on #nonprofits to focus on #CommunityNotCandidates. Keep the #JohnsonAmendment





  • Publish Op-Eds: As with the article that ran in The Hill last month, the arguments in support of nonpartisanship are ideally suited for joint commentaries by state association and other leaders. Please consider reaching out to your state council of churches, regional association of grantmakers, another state-wide nonprofit organization, or other opinion leader. And please consider targeting smaller publications in congressional districts – Representatives in particular keep track of what the weeklies say about them (so include their names in the body of the article).


Keep up the pressure on Congress!