AFJ Releases "The Connection"
Guide Helps Nonprofits Navigate Post-Citizens United Legal Landscape
Press ContactRichard Wexler firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C., September 20, 2012–Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy initiative today announced the release of a new edition of its popular guide, The Connection. With its clear explanation of the differences between and the laws governing 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, and political organizations, The Connection is an invaluable resource for nonprofit staff, especially for those nonprofits working in coalition with others.
It is available for free here:
The new edition reflects sweeping changes in the law that have occurred in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, allowing corporations and labor unions to make independent expenditures, and the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals in SpeechNow v. Federal Election Commission permitting a new generation of independent expenditure PACs.
Controversy and debate at the national and state level continue over the activities of these organizations, and more changes may occur in the near future. For nonprofit organizations concerned about representing their constituents and causes effectively, the shifting legal landscape can be daunting. This guide helps nonprofits navigate the changes in the rules.
Different types of nonprofit organizations are better suited to pursue various strategies for policy change. Public charities, also known as 501(c)(3) nonprofits, are key players in nonpartisan civic engagement activities like voter registration and voter mobilization. Social welfare organizations, or 501(c)(4) nonprofits, can lobby on behalf of ballot measures and can even support or oppose political candidates under some circumstances.
The Connection assists nonprofit leadership in selecting the organizational structure that will best enable them to achieve their policy goals. The Connection describes the advocacy activities that are suitable for 501(c)(3)s, 501(c)(4)s, and political organizations, and describes the laws governing how these different entities may be organized and work together.
Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy initiative advances and protects the role of nonprofits in influencing public policy. We use our expertise to ensure that the legal and political environment in which organizations operate is fair, balanced, and open to hearing them. By tracking and responding to legislation that affects nonprofit advocacy, fighting for the rights of nonprofits and foundations to conduct advocacy, and responding to potential threats to nonprofit advocacy, we lay the groundwork for more nonprofit organizations to advocate effectively on behalf of their communities. To learn more about Bolder Advocacy, visit www.bolderadvocacy.org