Johnson Amendment

Excerpt below. Download the PDF at bottom.

Weakening the Johnson Amendment Would Harm Nonprofits

For the past six decades, a federal tax law commonly known as the “Johnson Amendment” has required 501(c)(3) organizations – including churches, foundations, and charitable nonprofits – to operate in a nonpartisan manner. The vast majority of nonprofits and Americans support this law. More than 5,500 nonprofits – including 455 North Carolina organizations – have signed on to the Community Letter in Support of Nonprofit Nonpartisanship opposing the repeal or weakening of the Johnson Amendment.

What is the Johnson Amendment?

  • The Johnson Amendment was introduced in Congress by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson in 1954. It was approved by the Republican Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower.
  • It provides that 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations cannot endorse or oppose candidates for office, make campaign contributions, or coordinate activities with candidates, PACs, and political parties.