Lobbying vs Advocacy & Education

Learn more about how the League complies with the IRS.

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Here is link to a PDF that details how a 501(c)(3) League [not all are 501(c)(3)s] must record time and or money spent lobbying or advocating. Each entity must determine one of two ways to be compliant with the IRS. One is called “Substantial Part Test”, and the other is the “Expenditure Test”

For the purposes of reporting to the IRS, all 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporations (that have taken the section (h) election on the IRS Form 5768) must limit direct lobbying to 20% and grassroots lobbying to 5% of total expenses (averaged over a four-year period if yearly expenses are less than $500,000).

However, these corporations are unlimited in the amount they can spend on general advocacy and education. The distinction between “direct lobbying”, “grassroots lobbying” and “advocacy'” is important. The distinction between “advocacy” and “education” is not important for IRS purposes, and they may be considered interchangeable.

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