Nonprofit Advocacy: Speak Out for Good

Resources for Advocates and Activists

Alliance for Justice Action Campaign (AFJAC) is a resource and advocate for the 501(c)(4) community.

Our materials explain the legal framework that 501(c)(4) organizations must operate within, as well as practical tips for organizational staff, board members, and funders. These tools provide the building blocks for our ongoing training and assistance to the community.

We also serve as an advocate for 501(c)(4)s. We monitor proposals by Congress, the Administration, the Federal Election Commission and Internal Revenue Service. If nonprofits’ rights as advocates are threatened, we will respond. If regulators try to burden 501(c)(4)s with regulations that will negatively impact their work, we will help develop alternative proposals and advocate for reasonable solutions.

Resources:

Considering Starting a 501(c)(4)? Case Studies
Deciding whether—or when—to establish a 501(c)(4) organization is never an easy decision. Questions about purpose, scope, funding, perception, timing, and legal compliance all come into play. Here we present case studies that describe how three different groups, with different structures, needs, and pressures, answered the questions for themselves.

Starting a 501(c)(4) organization
When you are committed to a cause, a nonprofit organization may be the right vehicle for promoting it. One of the first decisions you should make is which type of nonprofit organization will best help you meet your goals.

Strategy and Discussion Guide for 501(c)(4)s
What are the strategic questions to consider whether, when, and for what purposes to create a 501(c)(4)?

Primer on Social Welfare Organizations: Using 501(c)(4) Organizations for Good
This primer explains the c4 basics, including what c4s can do and who donates to c4s.

A Timeline Chronicle of the Regulation of 501(c)(4) Organizations

The Case for Supporting Progressive Agendas with 501(c)(4) Advocacy
Why individual donors should give to c4s.

Fundraising Toolkit for a 501(c)(4) Organization
This toolkit addresses how new 501(c)(4) organizations should approach fundraising and discusses the rules and best practices of established organizations.

501(c)4 Reporting: When are donors disclosed?
Discusses when—and to whom–501(c)(4) organizations must disclose their donors.

Partisan Electoral Activity: What is it and what can you do?
Overview of the ways in which 501(c)(4)s, traditional federal PACs, Super PACs, and individuals may support or oppose candidates.

Independent Expenditures: What are they and what are the rules?
Explains what an independent expenditure is; how 501(c)(4)s, Conventional PACs, and Super PACs may make them; and reviews the rules and federal law that govern them.

Sample Documents:

Sample 1024
Application for recognition under Section 501(a). This is the form prospective 501(c)(4) organizations file.

Sample 1024 Attachment A
A narrative, sources of support, officers and directors, etc., for a 501(c)(4) corporation.

Sample 1024 Attachment B
Revenue and expense statement for a 501(c)(4) corporation.

Sample Articles of Incorporation
Sample Articles of Incorporation language for a 501(c)(4) corporation.

Sample Bylaws
Sample bylaws for a 501(c)4 corporation.

Sample Solicitation Pages
Sample donation pages for 501(c)4 organizations.

Sample Fundraising Plan
Sample fundraising plans for 501(c)4 organizations.

Blank Fundraising Worksheet
A sample fundraising worksheet for 501(c)4 organizations.