US election season rules & reminders

US election season rules & reminders

Hello, Chapter Leaders!

As the US presidential election gets closer, we'd like to take a moment to inform you of a few important regulations regarding nonprofit organizations and political participation.

She's the First is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is regulated in the United States by the IRS. At the most basic level, it means that donations to She's the First are tax-deductible. For more specifics on what it means to be a 501c3, visit our FAQ or the IRS website

As a 501c3 organization, we are obligated to follow a variety of rules and restrictions, including the prohibition of participation in any political campaigns or political activities

"An organization will not qualify for tax exemption under IRC 501(c)(3) unless it "does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."

This website offers a more thorough explanation of the restrictions if you're interested in learning more. 

So what does this mean for you? It means that any use of your She's the First social media accounts, chapter meetings, or campus activities to explicitly support, campaign for, endorse, or oppose a specific candidate for political office is strictly prohibited. Your chapter is seen as an extension of She's the First, and as such, anything deemed "political activity" on the part of your chapter could put STF's 501c3 status in jeopardy. This is a rule that the IRS takes very seriously and is especially important to keep in mind during a heated election cycle.

There are no limitations on what you can do as an individual, and we strongly encourage you to use your personal brands and voices to advocate for the issues (and candidates) you care about. Being engaged in the political process is a huge part of being a global citizen! Your chapter is also free to participate in non-partisan activities, such as voter registration drives. 

If you have any questions about these policies and how they affect your chapter, please let us know.

Happy voting!

Katie Riley, Campus Programs Manager  

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