Alliance for Justice and the Council on Foundations are weighing in on a case that has serious implications for nonprofits’ ability to weigh in on policy matters. The organizations have filed a joint amicus brief in Parks Foundation v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
President Trump’s recent statement that he would “destroy” the Johnson Amendment is raising questions about political activity by houses of worship and other 501(c)(3) nonprofits, as well as the history and content of the amendment itself. Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy project specializes in clarifying the political and lobbying activities that are permissible for all types of nonprofits, including religious organizations, and offers numerous online resources to help organizations, media and the public understand the issues in play.
The West Coast offices of Bolder Advocacy, a program of Alliance for Justice, recently asked the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) to extend the public comment period for the second draft of an extensive proposed revision of the state’s Political Reform Act. In a letter to the FPPC dated December 21, AFJ noted that it convened California nonprofits and attorneys who work with nonprofits to review the proposed reforms, including the Sierra Club, ACLU of California, and attorneys from the California Political Attorneys Association. The groups were in agreement that more time is needed for adequate public review and input.
Alliance for Justice’s Bolder Advocacy team is working to remind advocates that they have an important role to play when a new administration—either a new president or governor— is coming into power. During a transition period, nonprofit organizations will have a window of time when they can build relationships and work to have their concerns made a priority of the new administration.
The Northern and Southern California offices of Bolder Advocacy, a division of Alliance for Justice, this week urged the California Fair Political Practices Commission to extend the public comment period on the state’s Political Reform Act. This landmark ethics law is undergoing revision, and Bolder Advocacy strongly believes that nonprofit organizations in the state should have as much time as possible to provide input. Click here for a copy of Bolder Advocacy’s letter.
Bolder Advocacy announced today that it is offering a new, free tool for nonprofits seeking a quick diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses in their advocacy strategies. The tool is called ACT!Quick, and is a streamlined version of Alliance for Justice’s Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT). ACT!Quick can be downloaded or completed online in minutes. By answering a few key questions, organizations get immediate feedback about critical needs in their advocacy strategy – and where to concentrate valuable resources to create better results.
We are delighted that the IRS realizes it needs to go back to the drawing board. While we appreciated the stated goal of providing greater clarity, the proposal withdrawn today vastly overreached and threatened to do serious damage to the ability of everyday Americans to have an impact on the political process. The proposal was a club when what we really needed was a scalpel.
For years, nonprofit advocacy groups have called for the IRS to provide clear guidance around the “facts and circumstances” test because the current standard is so vague. The test, which has been the standard for what constitutes election-related activity, has created a compliance and enforcement nightmare for the advocacy organizations, as well as IRS staff.