Individual vs. Organizational  Activity

Staff, volunteers and board members of 501(c)(3)s have to make sure they avoid supporting or opposing candidates on behalf of their organization when they’re on the clock. But, those rules only apply to the organization. People that work or volunteer for a 501(c)(3) can – on their own time, and in their  individual  capacity - support or oppose candidates of their choice. But, as always, the devil’s in the details.  On this episode, Tim, Leslie and Quyen cover best practices to keep your personal partisan support separate from your 501(c)(3) work. 


Our attorneys for this episode 

Tim Mooney 

Leslie Barnes 

Quyen Tu 



  • 501(c)(3)s cannot support or oppose candidates for public office – see ROTG episode 01.  But those rules do not apply to individuals on their own time in their own capacity. 
  • Important to show separation  
  •  IRS Guidance is old 
  • Key is to ensure (c)(3) funds are not subsidizing personal partisan work  
  • Tips for showing separation on social media  
  • Multiple accounts I 
  • Disclaimers   
  • Can a (c)(3) employee go to the DNC? 
  • Yes, in personal capacity 
  • Employer may have policies that have added restrictions 
  • Best practices 
  • Acting in good faith  
  • Don’t be cute  
  • Do any partisan things on your own time  
  • Be clear that it’s you and not the organization – know what hat you’re wearing