AFP Political Action Committee Fact Sheet and Q&A

What is a PAC?

A PAC is a vehicle through which associations and other types of nonprofits can support federal candidates who agree with their positions on critical issues. Through a PAC, an association can contribute funds to the campaign committees of federal candidates. Without a PAC, associations are prohibited from contributing money to a federal candidate.

There are hundreds of thousands of PACs in the United States, representing every conceivable issue and cause. Florists, machinists, bus drivers, government employees, association executives - all are represented by PACs.

What is AFP PAC?

"AFP PAC" is the short name for the Association of Fundraising Professionals' Political Action Committee. AFP PAC is the political action committee formed by the Association of Fundraising Professionals to support federal candidates running for office who are champions of fundraising and philanthropy. AFP PAC is the first political action committee to focus on philanthropy and represent the fundraising profession.

How does AFP PAC work?

Members and staff of AFP, and their families, can contribute to the PAC much like they contribute to the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy. Those contributions are then used to support candidates for federal office (members of the Senate and House of Representatives) who support fundraising and philanthropy. AFP PAC is run by the Public Affairs Department in AFP's International Headquarters with leadership from a volunteer board. However, it is a separate, legal body distinct from AFP. Associations are prohibited from using funds from their general treasury or from member dues to fund a PAC, except for certain administrative and accounting expenditures.

Who can give to AFP PAC?

Only AFP members who are U.S. citizens can contribute to AFP PAC. Contributions from members outside the U.S. cannot be accepted.

Can my organization support AFP PAC?

No. AFP PAC can only accept contributions from individuals, not from charities or corporations.

Are contributions to AFP PAC tax-deductible?

No. Unlike gifts to the Foundation, contributions to AFP PAC are not deductible for state and federal income tax purposes. 

How much may an individual give to a PAC annually?

An individual can give up to $5,000 to a PAC every year. A husband and wife each have separate $5,000 limits, even if only one has an income.

Who decides which candidates are supported?

A volunteer board of seven members (the AFP PAC Board) decides which candidates will receive contributions. The decisions are based on the following factors:

  • Position on issues important to AFP: charitable fundraising, volunteerism, charity accountability and oversight, as well as association and general nonprofit issues.
  • Past support provided to AFP and its public policy programs and initiatives.
  • Committee assignment(s)
  • Seniority on key committee(s)
  • Leadership position
  • Incumbency
  • Open seat opportunities
  • Candidate's experience as a staff member or volunteer of a nonprofit, or member of a nonprofit's board of directors
  • Recommendations of AFP PAC contributors
  • Declared candidate for federal office in a general election
  • Party affiliation, with a partisan balance desired

Will giving to AFP PAC have an impact on the organization I work for?

No. Thousands of individuals who work for nonprofit organizations give to PACs every year.

Will giving to AFP PAC affect giving to the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy?

Nearly all associations have found that when they formed a PAC, their foundation giving was not adversely affected. In some cases, giving to the PAC and the foundation actually increased.

If you have further questions, please contact the AFP Public Affairs Department at paffairs@afpglobal.org.

 

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