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Action Alert in Support of Protecting Nonprofit Nonpartisanship

by Jennifer Gray

Please join us in reaching out to our federal delegation to urge them to oppose efforts to weaken and repeal the Johnson Amendment!

Preserving Nonprofit Nonpartisanship – Speak Up Now

Last year, the White House and some well-funded special interests aggressively lobbied Congress and came dangerously close to repealing the Johnson Amendment (the longstanding law that protects charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations from demands from candidates for public office and their operatives for endorsements and other partisan activities). Strong and united opposition from people like you who demanded that Congress keep the rancor of partisan political electioneering out of our charities, houses of worship, and foundations were the key to defeating this effort.

Your voice is needed again – now – to protect the Johnson Amendment, because those who seek to politicize 501(c)(3) organizations are back. All who care about the integrity and effectiveness of a nonprofit’s mission need to take action to protect the Johnson Amendment and urge Congress not to change this vital and longstanding law.

Members of Congress are writing a bill NOW to fund the government through the rest of the current fiscal year (through the end of September) and potentially address scores of other issues. This “omnibus spending bill” could be the last significant piece of legislation that works its way through Congress before the elections in November. The legislation must be passed by March 23, but congressional leaders are negotiating right now about what will go into the bill – and what issues are too controversial to be included.

Your voice is needed again – now – to protect the Johnson Amendment, because those who seek to politicize 501(c)(3) organizations are back. All who care about the integrity and effectiveness of a nonprofit’s mission need to take action to protect the Johnson Amendment and urge Congress not to change this vital and longstanding law.

Members of Congress are writing a bill NOW to fund the government through the rest of the current fiscal year (through the end of September) and potentially address scores of other issues. This “omnibus spending bill” could be the last significant piece of legislation that works its way through Congress before the elections in November. The legislation must be passed by March 23, but congressional leaders are negotiating right now about what will go into the bill – and what issues are too controversial to be included.

Take Action Now

1. Call Our Senators and Representatives 

NOTE: Studies show that calls to congressional offices are the most effective means of constituent advocacy – so make the calls first before taking other actions!

  • Sample Script: “The vast nonprofit community, both in Maine and across the country, strongly supports the Johnson Amendment, the longstanding law that protects charitable organizations, houses of worship, and foundations from caustic, partisan politics. We ask you to oppose any attempt to attach a rider to the omnibus spending bill that would repeal or weaken the Johnson Amendment. Nonprofits are counting on the [Representative/Senator] to protect and preserve nonprofit nonpartisanship.
Contact Information:

 2. Tweet Your Representatives and Senators

Senator Susan Collins: @SenatorCollin
Senator Angus King: @SenAngusKing
Congressman Bruce Poliquin: @RepPoliquin
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree: @chelliepingree
 
Be sure to start with a period before the politician’s handle.
  • Sample Tweet: [.@Representative’s/Senator’s Twitter Handle] Oppose any anti-Johnson Amendment rider on the omnibus spending bill. #Nonprofits are effective because they focus on #CommunityNotCandidates. Maintain #JohnsonAmendment http://bit.ly/2nV6SQI
  • Here are some additional sample tweets for you to use or to give you inspiration.

3. Sign On

If your organization hasn’t already, sign on to the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanshipand forward the link to colleague organizations and encourage their support. More than 5,600 charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations (84 from Maine) have joined this letter in calling on Members of Congress to oppose “efforts to weaken and/or repeal the current law that for six decades has successfully protected the integrity and effectiveness of charitable nonprofits and foundations by keeping them apart from partisan politics.”

4. Write an Op-ed or Letter to the Editor

An article doesn’t have to be in the biggest newspaper in the state to get the attention of Representatives and Senators. They studiously read the clips from all their local papers, including from the small and weekly publications, and especially when their names are included in the articles. Newspapers have published the views of hundreds of people from nonprofits who have written on behalf of the Johnson Amendment and the importance of nonpartisanship.

One thought on “Action Alert in Support of Protecting Nonprofit Nonpartisanship

malizine says:

Thanks Dave! I just answered Rina above.

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