On April 5th 2012, Tea Party Patriots held a special webinar for coordinators providing information and discussing issues about forming  501c3’s, c4’s and PAC’s for your local groups.

Based on requests from local coordinators, we asked Alan Dye of Webster, Chamberlain & Bean to help clarify the steps involved with applying for (and restrictions of using) non-profit status. With the sheer number of requests we received for this information, this was a popular webinar, and we provide here links to a recording of the session.

Introduction This section includes an overview of different non-profit organization types and their appropriate use.

Questions Part I This section includes the following questions:

  1. Why isn’t the IRS responding to our application?
  2. what is the difference between campaign activity and social welfare activity?
  3. Can a c4 endorse a specific candidate?
  4. How does the IRS determine whether a group is engaged in campaign intervention?
  5. Is any of this subject matter available in printed documentation? (Note: see The Connection)
  6. If a c3/c4 board member runs for office, must they step off the board?
  7. Can a distinction be made between acting as an individual and acting as a member of an organization?
  8. Does a group need to become a non-profit organization, or can they just become a corporation?
  9. Can an officer post a political sign as an individual?
  10. If an organization devotes 60% of its resources to education and 40% to Get Out the Vote efforts, which form of non-profit organization is best?
  11. Can a corporation offer membership for a suggested donation?
  12. If an organization hosts a debate and invites candidates of all parties, but only one parties’ candidates appear, is it considered campaign intervention?


Questions Part II This section includes the following questions:

  1. What percentage of activity can be campaign intervention vs. social welfare activity?
  2. Can a non-profit make contributions to a for-profit corporation?
  3. What is the safest way to organize?
  4. How is merchandise given in return for a donation treated?
  5. Can a c4 start a c3 for charitable work?
  6. Group exemptions – can organizations be chapters of other non-profit organizations and inherit the non-profit status?
  7. Is offer of merchandise considered a donation or a sale?
  8. Questions regarding taxable status of fundraising for campaign activities.
  9. If no funds or donation are collected does your group even need to file for non-profit status?
  10. As a for-profit corporation are you subject to campaign finance law limits?
  11. As a for-profit corporation, if you collect donations and spend a portion on educational activities, how long can you keep the balance?
  12. Are individual officers responsible for corporate actions?