Toolkits & Guides

Voting & Elections: A 501(c)(3) Guide

This online introduction to 501(c)(3) nonprofit voter engagement work describes a range of appropriate and legal activities and details easy ways to engage all members of your community.

Nonprofits, Voting and Elections Online

Checklists

501(c)(3) Permissible Activities

Nonprofits are permitted to engage in a wide variety of voter outreach activities, including voter registration, voter education and Get Out The Vote.

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Factsheets

What Can Nonprofit Staff Say About the Election

This discusses what nonprofit vote staff and volunteers can talk about when engaging with clients, constituents and others or responding to questions about candidates - while remaining nonpartisan.

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Factsheets

Using Social Media to Promote Voting

Answers to common questions about using social media at your nonprofit to promote voting.

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Factsheets

HIPAA & Civic Engagement at CHCs

HIPAA is the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 related to safeguarding privacy for the health information of patients. This fact sheet discusses how civic engagement activities like voter registration are allowable under HIPAA.

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Webinars

Being Nonpartisan: 501(c)(3) Guidelines

This webinar covers the basics of nonpartisan voter engagement work for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, offering helpful tips on how to remain nonpartisan throughout the process.

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Partner Resources

Factsheets

Commenting on Candidates and Campaigns in an Election Year

How 501(c)(3)s can respond to candidate's position on issues during an election year.

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Factsheets

Maximize Your Lobbying Limit: Using 501h test

Follow these instructions on how to measure your lobbying under the 501(h) test.

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Webpages

Taking the 501(h) Election for Lobbying

An explanation of the benefits of taking the 501(h) election to clarify and expand your lobby limit from the National Council of Nonprofits.

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Toolkits & Guides

A Funders’ Guide to Voter Engagement

This guide reviews the rules for foundations who fund electoral participation.

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Webpages

Staff Policy for Election Season

This sample policy provides language you can use to remind your employees of the rules for 501(c)(3) employees.

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Reports

Influencing Public Policy (and elections) in the Digital Age

This guide looks at questions for nonprofits regarding the use of the Internet and social media in lobbying and elections. FAQs are grouped both by organizational type and by social media type.

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Checklists

Election Checklist for Houses of Worship

This checklist describes the permissible election activities that houses of worship can participate in and outlines those that are prohibited.

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Checklists

Election Checklist for 501(c)(3) Public Charities

A 501(c)(3)'s role during an election must remain educational, which includes encouraging civic participation. While there is a lot a 501(c)(3) can do around an election, the organization cannot directly or indirectly tell people how to vote or for whom to vote.

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Factsheets

Election Activities and 501(c)(3) Staff

Use these examples and guidelines to determine when an individual’s actions represent the nonprofit and when they should be treated as personal time.

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Factsheets

501(c)(3) Employees Running for Office

Employees of 501(c)(3) organizations can support or oppose candidates in their personal capacity and outside of work hours and can even run for office themselves. Find out what you can do to avoid giving the appearance of supporting or opposing the candidacy.

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Webpages

Foundations and Ballot Measures

This resource details how foundations can support 501(c)(3) grantees that are engaged in ballot measure activity.

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