Regulating Nonprofits

December 26, 1997 • Volume 7, Issue 48
Are tax-exempt groups too political?
By Charles S. Clark

Introduction

Some feed the hungry, some agitate to ban abortion, still others fight to protect the environment. Such organizations enjoy tax-exempt status granted by the federal government to encourage a voluntary sector devoted to causes not handled by government or business. The proliferation of nonprofits in recent years, however, has exposed a downside to the American fondness for joining groups. Corruption scandals and some political misuse of tax-exempt privileges have brought scrutiny of how nonprofits operate and earn their tax-privileged classifications. An effort by Republicans in Congress to rein in their lobbying and advocacy has caused a furor in the nonprofit community. Proposals to regulate election-year advertising by independent groups have stirred a defense of the rights to free speech and association.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Lobbying and Special Interests
Jun. 06, 2014  Regulating Lobbying
Jul. 22, 2005  Lobbying Boom
Dec. 26, 1997  Regulating Nonprofits
Dec. 15, 1989  Getting a Grip on Influence Peddling
Jun. 20, 1986  Think Tanks
Sep. 26, 1980  Special-Interest Politics
Jun. 30, 1978  Corporate Assertiveness
Dec. 13, 1950  Revision of the Lobby Act
May 08, 1946  Congressional Lobbying
Mar. 07, 1928  Regulation of Congressional Lobbies
Jun. 06, 1925  Trade Associations and the Law
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Charities and Philanthropy
Lobbying and Special Interests