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Free online resource provides electioneering rules for private foundations and public charities

Four leading foundations launch new legal training course for the philanthropic community

Courtesy of learnfoundationlaw.org
April 24, 2014
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The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced today the release of a new interactive training tool to help the staff of private foundations navigate the tax laws surrounding elections. 

The Electioneering Rules course is the third in a series of free online trainings on a variety of legal issues that apply to private foundations. All of the courses take less than an hour to complete and feature “Maya,” a foundation program officer who leads participants through each training session.

The new online course walks users through an overview of the IRS’ electioneering rules for private foundations and public charities. The course showcases a variety of real-life examples and scenarios.

“We developed the Maya courses because there is nothing else out there quite like them,” said Mary Anne Rodgers, general counsel for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. “There are a lot of things that people can do that do not violate electioneering prohibitions. We want people in the field to feel comfortable issue spotting, asking the right questions and taking the appropriate legal steps,” continued Rodgers.

The Electioneering Rules course contains six easy-to-follow modules that cover topics such as:

  • Overview of the Electioneering Prohibition
  • Voter Education
  • Issue Advocacy
  • Interacting with Candidates
  • Voter Participation
  • Other Issues Related to the Electioneering Rules

Participants can navigate the user-friendly online course by going through each module sequentially or by jumping to different topics. The course also offers easily downloadable documents to supplement the online experience.

The goal of the Electioneering Rules course – and all of the other legal courses available in the series – is to supplement existing in-person workshops or training that legal counsel at foundations provide to staff. Other topics in the suite of courses include Advocacy and Lobbying Rules for Private Foundations and Expenditure Responsibility Rules for Private Foundations, with additional courses forthcoming.

For more information about the electioneering course and to view all of the trainings, visit http://www.learnfoundationlaw.org.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation believes in bold ideas that create enduring impact in the areas of science, environmental conservation and patient care. Intel co-founder Gordon and his wife Betty established the foundation to create positive change around the world and at home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit us at www.Moore.org.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation helps people build measurably better lives. The Foundation concentrates its resources on activities in education, the environment, global development and population, performing arts, philanthropy, and makes grants to support disadvantaged communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people — especially those with the fewest resources — have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation is a private family foundation created in 1964 by David Packard (1912–1996), cofounder of the Hewlett-Packard Company, and Lucile Salter Packard (1914–1987). The Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in the following program areas: Conservation and Science; Population and Reproductive Health; and Children, Families, and Communities. Foundation grantmaking includes support for a wide variety of activities including direct services, research and policy development, and public information and education.