Douglas Varley Comments on Nonprofits' Political Activity

Institutional Investor

In an era when a television star is president and celebrities regularly wade into political matters, an organization devoted to keeping politics out of something — anything — seems refreshing. 

. . .

“A 501(c)3 can’t do any political activity, and it can only do a tiny little bit of lobbying,” explains attorney Douglas Varley, who specializes in nonprofits but is not specifically familiar with IPFI. “A 501(c)4 can do a lot of politics and a lot of lobbying.” Both types are exempt from corporate income tax, Varley says. “A 501(c)3 has other benefits, the most important of which is that donors can get a charitable deduction when they contribute to a 501(c)3.” Whatever people or organizations have funded IPFI thus far, they didn’t do it for the tax write-off. 

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Excerpt taken from the article “The Dark-Money Lobbying Group Going After Pension Funds" by Alicia McElhaney for Institutional Investor.

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