Montana Nonprofit Association

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April 6, 2017 Johnson Amendment Congressional Letter


 
130 Montana Nonprofits joined the National movement to protect the Johnson Amendment and nonprofit nonpartisanship. Thank you. Nearly 4,500 organizations nationwide signed the letter to congress, making this the networks largest organizational sign on to date. Below, you will see the Montana organizations who joined the movement, and the letter that was sent on your behalf to congressional leaders.
 
 
nonpartisanship letter 
 

 
Dear Senators:

The undersigned organizations strongly oppose proposals that would politicize the charitable nonprofit and philanthropic community by repealing or weakening current federal tax law protections that prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates.
Nonpartisanship is a cornerstone principle that has strengthened the public’s trust of the charitable community. In exchange for enjoying tax-exempt status and the ability to receive tax-deductible contributions, 501(c)(3) organizations – charitable nonprofits, including religious congregations, and foundations – agree to not engage in “any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”

That provision of law protects the integrity and independence of charitable nonprofits and foundations. It shields the entire 501(c)(3) community against the rancor of partisan politics so the charitable community can be a safe haven where individuals of all beliefs come together to solve community problems free from partisan divisions. It screens out doubts and suspicions regarding ulterior partisan motives of charitable organizations, as undoubtedly would occur if even just a few charitable organizations engaged in partisan politics. Nonpartisan credibility is critical to the ability of 501(c)(3) organizations to work with elected officials of all parties at the local, state, and federal levels to address community needs.

Charitable nonprofits, including religious congregations, are free to speak on important matters of the day and advocate on public policy issues and legislation. Private foundations, while barred from most lobbying activities, are free to engage in public debates, promote public education efforts, and fund a wide range of issue-focused activities. The relevant language in Section 501(c)(3) merely prohibits partisan campaign intervention, defined to include endorsing or opposing candidates for public office, publishing or distributing statements for or against candidates, or using tax-deductible and other resources to support partisan campaign activities.

We are united in opposing any and all efforts to weaken or repeal this longstanding protection in the federal tax code (sometimes called the Johnson Amendment) that President Eisenhower signed into law in 1954. Weakening the law by allowing leaders of individual 501(c)(3) entities to endorse candidates for public office and engage in some partisan electioneering activities would damage the integrity and effectiveness of all charitable organizations and spawn litigation as innovative partisans seek to expand gray areas in the proposed legislation. Repealing the Johnson Amendment, an approach promoted by the President and some in Congress, would damage the federal Treasury as people take tax deductions for political contributions they could then funnel through charitable nonprofits, undercut fair elections by providing a loophole to avoid campaign contribution disclosure laws, and empower politicians to exert pressure for access to foundation assets and charitable funds for their own partisan campaigns rather than for the public good.
  
We urge you to join us in opposing 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.

Respectfully, 
 
 
Anaconda Community Foundation
Career Transitions, Inc.
Chany Reon Ockert Consulting LLC
United Way of Yellowstone County
St. John's Lutheran Ministries
Family Service
Adult Resource Alliance
Yellowstone Ecological Research Center
Windhorse Equine Learning
Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation
Verge Theater
The Traveling School
The Montana Racial Equity Project
Sweet Pea, A Festival of the Arts
Sage Solutions Nonprofit Consulting, LLC
Reach, Inc.
Montana Outdoor Science School
Montana Conservation Corps
Montana Association of Symphonies
Leadership Montana
Intermountain Opera Association of Bozeman
HAVEN
Gallatin County Love Inc.
Gallatin Valley Land Trust
Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture
Bridgercare
Bozeman Public Library Foundation
Big Sky Youth Empowerment
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Gallatin County
9 Energies Center
National Center for Appropriate Technology
Career Futures, Inc.
Orphan Girl Children's Theatre
Smith River Habitat Project
Montana's Outdoor Legacy Foundation
Glacier National Park Conservancy
Special K Ranch, Inc
Project Hope
Project Hope of Columbus
Upper Swan Valley Historical Society, Inc.
North Central Area Agency on Aging
Bitterroot Collective Impact
Glacier County Regional Port Authority
United Way of Beaverhead County 
The University of Montana Western Foundation
Sunburst Community Service Foundation
YWCA Great Falls
Special Olympics Montana
Rural Dynamics, Inc.
Peace Place
Family Promise of Great Falls
Easter Seals-Goodwill Northern Rocky Mountain
Alliance for Youth
Fox Hollow Animal Project
Ravalli County Museum
Habitat for Humanity of Ravalli County
B.E.A.R. (Bitterroot Ecological Awareness Resources)
The Montana Actors' Theatre
District 4 Human Resources Development Council
Bear Paw Development Corporation 
Youth Homes, Inc.
Youth Connections
West Mont
West NW Consulting  
Prickly Pear Land Trust
Partners Ensuring Equal Rights and Supports (PEERS)
NeighborWorks Montana
Myrna Loy Center for Performing and Media Arts
Montana Shares
Montana Oral Health Foundation 
Montana Nonprofit Association
Montana Council on Developmental Disabilities
Montana Community Foundation, Inc.
Montana Audubon
Montana Association of Land Trusts 
Intermountain
Human Science Institute
Helena Food Share
Helena Area Community Foundation
Florence Crittenton Home and Services
ExplorationWorks Science Center
ChildWise Institute
Bike Walk Montana
AERO
The Nurturing Center
Swan View Coalition
Nate Chute Foundation
Marion Finley Friendship House
Citizens for a Better Flathead
Oneness Project
Laurel Senior Citizens Center
Laurel American Legion Post 123
Snowy Mountain Development Corporation
Kootenai Heritage Council
ASPEN
Art Spot
WaterWorks Art Museum
Eastern Montana Industries
Eastern Montana CASA GAL Inc
DEAP
YWCA of Missoula
Women's Opportunity & Resource Development (WORD)
Women's Voices for the Earth
 The Vital Ground Foundation 
The Flagship Program, Western Montana Mental Health Center
The Clay Studio of Missoula
Tamarack Grief Resource Center
Opportunity Resources Inc.
Montana Innocence Project
Missoula Writing Collaborative
Missoula Manor Homes
Missoula Interfaith Collaborative
Missoula Art Museum
Missoula Aging Services
M+R - Montana Office
Living Art of Montana
Jeannette Rankin Peace Center
Homeword
Home ReSource
Garden City Harvest
Five Valleys Audubon Society
Ecology Project International 
A Carousel for Missoula
Wild Rockies Field Institute
Missoula Community Foundation
Janna Lundquist Consulting
Montana Outfitters and Guides Association
Montana Law Enforcement Museum
North Lake County Library Foundation Board
Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary
Red Lodge Area Community Foundation
O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation, Inc.
Domestic and Sexual Violence Services of Carbon County
Beartooth Recreational Trails Association
SAFE Harbor Inc.
Foundation for Community Care of Richland County
Whitefish Community Foundation
North Valley Hospital Foundation
PWF

National Organizations

Abila 
Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education, Inc. 
AdoptAClassroom.org 
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities 
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 
American Alliance of Museums 
American Association of Anatomists 
American Association of Physics Teachers 
American Association of Teachers of German 
American Bladder Cancer Society 
American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine 
American Brass Chamber Music Association 
American Conference of Academic Deans 
American Heart Association 
American Historical Association 
American Jewish Committee 
American Medical Association Foundation 
American Physiological Society 
American Podiatric Medical Association, Inc. 
American Red Cross 
Americans for the Arts 
Americans Promoting Study Abroad 
Americans United for Separation of Church and State 
Amyloidosis Foundation 
Annie E. Casey Foundation 
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center 
Association for Jewish Outreach Professionals 
Association of American Colleges and Universities 
Association of Art Museum Directors 
Association of Direct Response Fundraising Counsel 
Association of Fundraising Professionals 
Association of Immunization Managers 
Association of Nature Center Administrators 
Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice 
Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty 
Baptist Women in Ministry 
Barr Foundation 
BoardSource 
Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence 
Camp Fire 
Campion Foundation 
Catholic Charities USA 
Catholic Mobilizing Network 
Center for Health, Environment & Justice 
Center for Inquiry 
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation 
Citizen Schools 
CleanSlateNow 
Commonwealth Fund 
Council on Foundations 
Council for Global Equality 
Dance USA 
Dementia Society, Inc. 
Democracy 21 
Destination & Travel Foundation 
Dietel Partners, LLC 
Disability Rights Advocacy Fund 
Ecology Project International 
Engineering Conferences International 
Feed the Children 
Feeding America 
Food & Water Watch 
Ford Foundation 
Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers 
Free Press 
Girl Scouts of the USA 
Girls Inc. 
Global Integrity 
Goodwill Industries, International 
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations 
Greater Nonprofits 
GuideStar 
Habitat for Humanity International 
Harbor Compliance 
HawkWatch International 
Hindu American Foundation 
Histiocytosis Foundation 
Horizons National 
Human Science Institute 
Independent Sector 
International Essential Tremor Foundation 
International Hearing Dog, Inc. 
International Performing Arts for Youth 
International Primate Protection League 
Issue One 
Jessie Ball DuPont Fund 
Jewish Council for Public Affairs 
Jewish Federations of North America 
Leadership USA 
League of American Orchestras 
League of Women Voters 
Leukemia Research Foundation 
Local Learning: The National Network for Folk Arts in Education 
Lumina Foundation 
Lymphoma Foundation of America 
Migraine Research Foundation 
Mentors International 
Morino Ventures, LLC 
National Association of Charitable Gift Planners 
National Association of Health Data Organizations 
National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA)  
National Association of Watch and Collectors 
NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness 
National Center for Appropriate Technology 
National Center for Fire and Life Safety 
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy 
National Council of Behavioral Health 
National Council of Churches 
National Council of Nonprofits 
National Dance Education Organization 
National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence 
National Human Services Assembly 
National Indian Child Welfare Association 
National LGBTQ Task Force 
National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation 
National Runaway Safeline 
National Safe Place Network 
National Tongan American Society 
NEO Law Group 
North American Bramble Growers Research Foundation 
OPERA America 
Partnership for America's Children 
Pension Fund of the Christian Church 
Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement 
Project Wet Foundation 
Project Managers Without Borders 
Public Citizen 
Rockefeller Brothers Fund 
Secular Coalition for America 
Senior Executives Association 
Seva Foundation 
Skillman Foundation 
Silicon Valley Community Foundation 
Smith’s Food and Drug 
Social Velocity 
The Arc of the United States 
The Aspen Institute 
The Commonwealth Fund 
The Dibble Institute 
The Educational Foundation of America 
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi 
The Michael J. Fox Foundation 
The Ocean Foundation 
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation 
The Voter Participation Center 
TIDES 
Unemployment Services Trust 
Union for Reform Judaism 
United Way Worldwide 
University Professional & Continuing Education Association 
US Lacrosse 
Vasculitis Foundation 
Volunteers of America 
Voto Latino 
Wallace Global Fund 
WasteWater Education 
Weingart Foundation 
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 
Words Without Borders 
World Day of Prayer USA 
World Neighbors, Inc. 
Youth Services America 
YWCA USA 


 
 
 
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