Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Democracy Fund

The Bright Lines Project

The Brightlines Project, housed at Public Citizen Foundation, is a nonpartisan team of tax attorneys developing bipartisan recommendations to clarify what political activities are acceptable for nonprofit organizations under IRS regulations.

​Why We Invested

The high profile and often vauge roles of nonprofit organizations in recent election cycles has highlighted the need for clearer rules delineating the political activities 501(c)4 organizations can undertake. In fact, more than 8 in 10 voters think it’s important to have clear rules in place.

In response to the IRS’ request for rules guidance on these rules, the Bright Lines Project developed and submitted a set of recommendations to strike a common sense middle ground that protects important free speech and advocacy activities while ensuring candidate speech is not subsidized by tax exemption benefits. If adopted, BLP’s rules could encourage political actors to move into a more suitable tax status and allow others to confidently engage in the intended and appropriate activities. If done correctly, this rulemaking could improve public confidence in our political and policy process and provide one set of rules for all organizations who engage in politics. The Bright Lines Project helps support a neutral and consistent application of the IRS rules related political spending by amplifying the voices of policy experts.

Total Commitment

2017: Up to $90,000 over two years. 2014: Up to $150,000 over one year. 2015: Up to $150,000 over one year