Can My 501(c)(3) Lobby to Oppose Administrative Rules?

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The answer is below.  A common bit of legal advice that is frequently given to non-profit organizations formed as a 501(c)(3) is that the organization cannot lawfully engage in political lobbying activities on the federal, state or local level if done regularly so as to constitute a substantial part of the (c)(3)’s activities.

The IRS Rule provides that a (c)(3) may engage in lobbying if it’s not a “substantial” part of organization activities.

So, what is “lobbying”?

The IRS defines “lobbying” as any activity that is directed as supporting or opposing the passage of specific legislation.  It should be pointed out that for IRS purposes, “Legislation” includes ballot initiatives, bond issues, referanda, judicial confirmations, and bills and other legislative proposals.

However, to answer the question in the title above,  for IRS purposes, “legislation” does not include administrative rules and regulations.



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