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Nonprofit Nonpartisanship Under Attack

The West Virginia Nonprofit Association joins the National Council of Nonprofits and other charitable organizations in opposing any effort to repeal the Johnson Amendment.

Since 1954, the Johnson Amendment has barred charitable nonprofits from engaging in partisan political activities, such as endorsing a candidate, while still allowing nonprofits to advocate for policies that help their clients and move their mission forward. Recent efforts at the federal level put the Johnson Amendment at risk. And if the Johnson Amendment is repealed, the trust that forms the foundation of the nonprofit sector would likely go with it. Nonprofits are safe spaces where people can turn for services, support, comfort, spiritual guidance and inspiration regardless of their political beliefs. Our clients should not worry if they will get the services and support they require if their partisan views do not align with a nonprofit’s views. And our donors should feel confident that charitable contributions go toward advancing the mission, not toward advancing the careers of politicians or lining the pockets of political consultants

*New* Resources to Learn More

Previous Updates on the Status of the Johnson Amendment

Most Recent Update:

6/13/18 UPDATE: Response from National Council of Nonprofits to Inclusion of Anti-Johnson Amendment Rider on Appropriations Bill

Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, which advocates on behalf of charitable nonprofits nationwide, released the following statement in response to action today by the House Appropriations Committee approving the FSGG Appropriations bill, which includes a rider in Section 112 that would weaken enforcement of the Johnson Amendment:

“Today’s party-line vote only underscores the importance of keeping the longstanding protections of the Johnson Amendment in place. Charitable nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations have united to warn Congress to keep the divisive and corrupting influences of partisan politics away from our missions – but the Appropriations Committee ignored their warnings. In order to do our work helping our fellow neighbors, we need to remain above the partisan fray, bringing people together regardless of party leanings. It should say something to the public that the Members of Congress pursuing this radical change are ignoring the strong and active opposition from the overwhelming majority of charitable, religious, and philanthropic organizations across America.”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

Maintaining the law unchanged is indeed the prevailing view across the country, as reflected in the Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship, signed by more than 5,800 organizations in all 50 states, in the Faith Voices letter signed by more than 4,500 faith leaders, in the separate letter signed by more than 100 denominations and major religious organizations, and another letter from the law enforcement community, as well as polls showing that 72 percent of the public support keeping the Johnson Amendment in place and nearly 90 percent of evangelical pastors who say it is wrong for preachers to endorse candidates from the pulpit.

 

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