Simple response assignment
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I’ve underlined the questions that will need a response. Each case will need a response below, and the underlined questions at the bottom will need to be answered.
Organizations that are exempt from income tax under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as organizations described in section 501(c)(3) may not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office. (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-07-41.pdf)
Each of the following hypothetical cases is based on examples from IRS Revenue Ruling 2007–41, released June 18, 2007. In each case, do you think the organization described violated the law? You can check your answer against the IRS’s opinion by looking at Revenue Ruling 2007–41 on the IRS website (www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rr2007-41.pdf).
- Organization B (as denoted on IRS website), a 501(c)(3) that promotes community involvement, sets up a booth at the state fair where citizens can register to vote. The signs and banners in and around the booth give only the name of the organization, the date of the next upcoming statewide election, and notice of the opportunity to register. No reference to any candidate or political party is made by the volunteers staffing the booth or in the materials available at the booth, other than the official voter registration forms that allow registrants to select a party affiliation.
- Organization C is a 501(c)(3) that educates the public on environmental issues. Candidate G is running for the state legislature and an important element of her platform is challenging the environmental policies of the incumbent. Shortly before the election, Organization C sets up a telephone bank to call registered voters in the district in which Candidate G is seeking election. In the phone conversations, Organization C’s callers tell the voter about the importance of environmental issues and ask questions about the voter’s views on these issues. If the voter appears to agree with the incumbent’s position, Organization C’s representative thanks the voter and ends the call. If the voter appears to agree with Candidate G’s position, then the caller reminds the voter about the upcoming election, stresses the importance of voting in the election, and offers to provide transportation to the polls.
- Mr. D is the board chair of Organization M, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that educates the public on conservation issues. During a regular meeting of the organization shortly before the election, Mr. D spoke on a number of issues, including the importance of voting in the upcoming election, and concluded by saying, “It is important that you all do your duty in the election and vote for Candidate W.”
- Ms. E is president of Society N, a historical society that is a 501(c)(3). In the month prior to the election, President E invites the three congressional candidates for the district in which Society N is located to address the members, one each at a regular meeting held on 3 consecutive weeks. Each candidate is given an equal opportunity to address and field questions on a wide variety of topics from the members. Society N’s publicity announcing the dates for each of the candidate’s speeches and President E’s introduction of each candidate include no comments on their qualifications or any indication of a preference for any candidate.
- Minister F is the minister of Church Q, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Sunday before the November election, Minister F invites Senate Candidate X to preach to her congregation during worship services. During his remarks, Candidate X states, “I am asking not only for your votes but for your enthusiasm and dedication, for your willingness to go the extra mile to get a very large turnout on Tuesday.” Minister F invites no other candidate to address her congregation during the senatorial campaign.
- List two of the alternative terms many nonprofit organizations use instead of the word lobbying and discuss why they make those substitutions.
- Do state or national associations increase the role of nonrprofits in advocacy? Why or why not?
- Describe the National Council of Nonprofit Associations (NCNA) and the role it plays. What benefit can it provide to the nonprofit sector?
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