Educating Candidates

Presidential_Questionnaire_Buttons_200x200_b2.jpgCandidates can benefit from your nonprofit’s expertise. Your 501(c)(3) nonprofit may provide information to educate candidates on your issues, so long as you make these resources available to all the candidates in a particular race and all candidates receive the same level of support and information.

 

Permitted Candidate Education Activities Include:

  • Sending the candidates a policy paper or research findings.
  • Letting candidates know about your programs and value to the community.
  • Responding to requests for information from candidates on a nonpartisan basis.
  • Responding to misstatements of fact.

Q: Can we provide special research on an issue requested by a candidate?

If your staff does any significant amount of special or new research – versus just re-purposing or formatting what you already have – that is a prohibited in-kind contribution to their campaign. To make it nonpartisan, you would have to take the additional step of notifying or sending it along to the other candidates in the race.

Q: Can we correct a candidate statement related to our issue?

Yes. If they have clearly made a false or erroneous statement that you can document, you may respond in a public communication to correct the record. (see Commenting on Candidates and Campaigns: How 501(c)(3)s Can Respond During an Election Year)