Saturday, December 3, 2011

Can a PTA donate to the district levy campaign?

Our district will be conducting a levy election in the spring, and the committee that is campaigning for approval has asked our PTA for a contribution.  Is this something we can do without jeopardizing our tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3).

Yes, assuming that  the donation was included in the budget approved by the membership meeting, or is specifically approved at a general membership meeting.   Although PTAs that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code cannot become involved in elections for public office (such as school board, city council or the legislature), they can take positions on ballot propositions, such as levy and bond proposals, or even state-wide initiatives and referendum.  For a thorough discussion of the “dos” and “don’ts” in this area, check out this briefing paper under the advocacy tab of the WSPTA website.