Election protection 501(c)(3)s in swing states
September 5, 2020 1:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for election protection nonprofits that are tax deductible 501(c)(3)s, work in swing states (especially Pennsylvania and Florida), and still need additional funds during this election cycle to increase voter turnout and prevent voter suppression. Any recommendations?

Examples of the kind of 501(c)(3) I'm looking for are the New Georgia Project, the Voto Latino Foundation, Spread the Vote, and Election Protection.

Additions to this list are welcome even if they don't fit all my criteria, but the perfect answer would be "Such-And-Such is like those organizations but is based in Pennsylvania/Florida, does great work, and can definitely use additional funds right now."
posted by john hadron collider to Law & Government (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: VoteAmerica.com . It's run by a friend of mine who is the best possible voting/voter protection nerd out there. Donate.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:25 PM on September 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For Florida, there's the
Amendment 4 Fines and Fees Campaign
which is paying the fines that people with felony convictions in Florida must pay before they can exercise their restored right to vote. This requirement is under legal challenge, but it's not clear that it will be resolved before the election.
posted by Corvid at 4:03 PM on September 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Movement Voter Project is great- they fund heavily vetted grassroots orgs doing both community organizing and get out the vote work. They have a fund specifically focused on election protection.
posted by cushie at 7:16 PM on September 5, 2020

Best answer: Thank you for this thread. I went to donate to the three charities mentioned here, but of them I believe only VoteAmerica is a simple 501(c)(3). Their EIN is 84-3442002.

The Amendment 4 Fines and Fees Campaign donation page says donations are tax-deductible, but I can't find any mention of a 501c3 or an EIN. Donations specifically go to the "FRRC Education Fund", which again I can't find. FRRC is affiliated with the Tides Foundation which is a 501c3, so maybe they have some system worked out through them? If someone can figure this out I'd love to donate.

The Movement Voter Defend the Election Fund linked above is to a PAC; not a 501c3. Movement Voter does have an affiliated 501c3, details on their website, it looks like it's actually a donation to the Tides Foundation.

There's nothing wrong with projects that aren't 501c3. Or an umbrella 501c3 like Tides donating to specific groups. But 501c3 status qualifies the charity for tax deductions, DAF donations, employee matching for charitable contributions, etc.

While I'm here I'll shout out Marc Elias' Democracy Docket which has been filing 20+ lawsuits in local jurisdictions to protect voting rights, mostly vote-by-mail this year. They are effective and very smart. It is also not a 501c3, at least as far as I could figure out.
posted by Nelson at 7:10 AM on September 6, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for these suggestions so far! More are welcome.

Nelson, thanks for looking into the 501c3 question. I think the deal here is that Tides Foundation (EIN 51-0198509) happens to be the fiscal sponsor for both the Amendment 4 Fines and Fees Campaign and the Movement Voter Fund, but that shouldn't stop you from giving to each of those efforts. Small nonprofits often have a fiscal sponsor to handle tax compliance and bookkeeping, and that sounds like why Tides exists: "Tides supports over 140 projects with fiscal sponsorship, providing them with 501(c)(3) charitable status (and, thus, the ability to accept tax-deductible donations) as well as financial administration, human resource and benefits management, governance, compliance, and risk management."

So if you're just using a credit card you could use each group's tax-deductible donate button and safely deduct the contribution on your taxes, and it will end up where you intend. In a DAF, you would choose 51-0198509 as the recipient in both cases, but add a restriction on one donation like as "Designated for Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Education Fund," and another donation like "Designated for Movement Voter Fund," and Tides would pass the money along to the correct organization.

There's a separate question of whether a given group's c3 serves your goals as well as their c4 or PAC. My hunch is it's probably fine; an org will have lots of ways of serving their core mission using c3 funds.
posted by john hadron collider at 11:51 AM on September 6, 2020 [2 favorites]

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