501(c)(4) donor disclosure

The Times explains what activities nonprofits are undertaking this year.

The rule of thumb, in fact, is that more than 50 percent of a 501(c)(4)’s activities cannot be political. But that has not stopped Crossroads and a raft of other nonprofit advocacy groups like it — mostly on the Republican side, so far — from becoming some of the biggest players in this year’s midterm elections, in part because of the anonymity they afford donors, prompting outcries from campaign finance watchdogs.


501(c)(4) donor disclosure — 1 Comment

  1. I wonder how much the exact percent really matters? Seems, in a sense, like an odd way for the rule to have been set (55% of a huge budget obviously has more impact than 95% of a tiny budget).

    Also of interest is the way that it’s taken for granted that nonprofits are agents, as opposed to tools. I’ve blogged on that distinction here:
    Tools for Corporate Funding of Elections. I think the distinction is important. In the present case, thinking of it in terms of what the nonprofits are doing kind of obscures (for better or worse) that there are human individuals with their own motives behind these nonprofits.