The Utah Nonprofits Association has strong concerns about proposed federal legislation (H.R. 781, and S.264) that would politicize charitable nonprofits. Current law (known as the Johnson Amendment) allows 501(c)(3) nonprofits to speak out on issues of the day and advocate on legislation, but keeps us away from the divisiveness of supporting or opposing candidates for office. The proposed legislation would alter this longstanding federal law that protects charitable nonprofits and foundations – and the donating public – by allowing this type of political activity.
UNA has called the office of each of Utah's congressional delegation to explain our concerns and has followed up by sending each Senator and Representative a letter as well. View an example of our letters here.
You can read UNA's media release here.
UNA has also joined the National Council of Nonprofits, our nationwide network, and nonprofits and foundations from across the country, in signing onto a special Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship. This letter will be delivered to our U.S. Senators and Representatives to show them that charitable nonprofits, foundations, and our many supporters are united in opposition to efforts to politicize our community.
Here’s what you can do:
Sign the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship
Share the letter broadly with your board members, your colleagues at other organizations, and others in your networks so they can join in this vital effort to preserve the protections in current law.
“Nonprofits accomplish so many wonderful things in our state. We have the privilege of engaging with our youth and helping them to dream for brighter futures. We work to preserve our lands and make sure our water and air are safe to drink and breathe. We provide housing, food and assistance for people living in poverty. We provide museums and galleries and wetlands preserves and many more things. The moment we begin to politicize our missions we begin to lose the trust the public has bestowed upon us”, indicates Kate Rubalcava, UNA Chief Executive Officer.
UNA Board Chair, Kristy Chambers adds, “larger concerns regarding donor confidence are apparent. When charitable nonprofits receive donations those donations are meant to support the work and the mission of the organization. Donations are not meant to go toward a political campaign or agenda.”
Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits indicates, “Nonpartisanship is vital to the work of charitable nonprofits. It enables organizations to address community challenges and invites the problem solving skills of all residents, without the distractions of party labels and the caustic partisanship that is bedeviling our country.” Mr. Delaney further explains, “Nonprofits are already free to exercise their First Amendment rights to advocate for their missions. Allowing political operatives to push for endorsements would put nonprofits in a position where they become known as Democratic charities or Republican charities and put missions at risk.”
“In Utah we owe it to our residents, the nonprofits that serve them, and the larger community to remain nonpartisan”, states UNA CEO Kate Rubalcava.
For more information on this national issue:
The National Council of Nonprofits' site: Protecting Nonprofit Nonpartisanship
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