At times, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms receives questions from its supporters regarding the types of donations that our organization receives. This article is intended as an informational resource regarding these questions.
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF) is a nonprofit social welfare organization under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our mission is to influence legislation and legislators for the Lord Jesus Christ, and a significant portion of our organization’s activity involves lobbying elected officials. Donations to NYCF are not tax-deductible. Donors interested in making tax-deductible gifts are encouraged to donate to our affiliate organization, New Yorker’s Family Research Foundation (NYFRF), which is a nonprofit charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; donations to NYFRF are tax-deductible.
As a 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, NYCF is permitted to engage in lobbying activity as well as educational activity. Under federal law and regulations, 501(c)(4) organizations like NYCF are also permitted to have some level of involvement in political campaigns; however, NYCF elects not to engage in political campaign activity.
NYCF accepts financial support from individuals as well as from churches and nonprofit charities. A church or nonprofit charity is permitted to donate to NYCF, so long as (a) the making of the donations does not violate the donor’s statement of purpose as set forth in its organizational documents (i.e. constitution and bylaws); and (b) the donations either do not constitute a substantial part of the donor’s activities or are restricted to a specific non-lobbying activity of NYCF that aligns with the organizational mission of the donor. The Internal Revenue Service makes a determination of what constitutes a “substantial part” of a donor’s activities based on the 501(h) expenditure test (which is not available to churches and private foundations) or upon an analysis of facts and circumstances. While the facts and circumstances analysis is vague and undefined, many experts believe that churches and charities that devote less than 5% of their activity to lobbying will not be construed to have devoted a “substantial part” of their respective activities to lobbying. (NYCF is unaware of any church that is currently donating to us at this 5% level.)
Based upon this analysis, churches are encouraged to make donations to NYCF, provided that those donations do not violate their respective statements of purpose and provided that the total annual amount donated by a church does not constitute more than 5% of its annual budget. Churches may also contact our office regarding a restricted donation.
Nothing contained in this article is intended as legal or tax advice. Prospective donors to NYCF are encouraged to contact their respective attorneys and/or tax accountants with questions regarding gifts to NYCF. More information on this topic may be found at IRS.gov.