PANO serves as a unified voice to influence state policy on behalf of more than 27,000 nonprofit employees and 100,000 nonprofit volunteers in Pennsylvania.
We advance public policies that support a strong nonprofit sector in Pennsylvania to build vibrant, thriving communities. We educate and engage elected officials on issues of importance to nonprofits and the people who count on them.
5 Fast Questions: Have you have been successful or unsuccessful in obtaining a PPP or EIDL loan? Please answer five fast questions which will help us give our delegation information […]
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (S. 748) provides significant funding for businesses, hospitals, schools, and social support programs, among many other things. Please click here […]
On March 19, the President signed into law, H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill includes a complex set of temporary paid leave mandates and employer reimbursement […]
Please read: Letter to General Assembly Signed by 23 Nonprofit and Philanthropic Organizations What You Can Do 1. Read What You Should Know (below). 2. Read the Unemployment Compensation Case […]
PANO and 40 other state associations and philanthropic organizations came together to write this letter, laying out the following requests to Governor Wolf, all 203 members of Pennsylvania’s General Assembly, […]
PANO opposes policy that limits or prevents eligible nonprofits from obtaining or maintaining their tax-exempt status. PANO believes that Payments in Lieu of Taxes should be fully voluntary and not […]
Yes. Every charitable nonprofit can and should make its voice heard on issues that are important to its mission and to the people it serves. As advocates, nonprofits are required to speak up about policies, laws, and regulations. Lobbying by nonprofits is permitted by law. Unless a charitable nonprofit has elected to have a 501(h) designation, organizations may not spend a “substantial” portion of revenue on lobbying. The IRS does not define substantial.
On the federal level, lobbying is contact with a legislator to influence legislation. On a state level for PA, it is contact with a legislator or any member of state government to influence legislation or administrative action. This also includes time spent planning or researching in preparation for a lobbying contact. For reporting requirements, organizations should track the amount of time spent on activities that fit the federal definition of lobbying whether that be on a federal, state, or local level.
Educational contacts that do not include a call to action are not considered in the definition of lobbying.
Absolutely. Nonprofits have a constitutional right and responsibility to engage in policy-making processes. Though federal regulations require that nonprofits remain strictly nonpartisan (neither supporting nor opposing candidates for elected office), much can and should be done, including voter education guides, voter registration, get-out-the-vote drives, and candidate forums. Each of these activities is legally permissible if conducted in a strictly nonpartisan manner.
No. While lobbying by nonprofits is permitted by law, charities are strictly prohibited from electioneering. Electioneering is engaging in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. Charities cannot endorse any candidates, make donations to their campaigns, engage in fundraising, distribute statements, or become involved in any other activities that may be beneficial to or detrimental to any candidate for public office.
Charities must operate in nonpartisan mode. Charities must be aware that engaging in prohibited campaign activity could result in excise taxes imposed on the money spent electioneering, loss of tax-exempt status, and more severe penalties for flagrant violations.