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After a couple years lurking on this site, and enjoying the fruits of labor produced by many interesting Cossacks, I feel it's time for me to step out.  It's time for me to join the team and create some word combinations to express myself.

The title is misleading because I do know what Non-Profits do, as I've worked for a couple.  Drug/Alcohol treatment, women's sober living, Juvenile mental health treatment.  There is a need for organizations that offer services we all need, some for free.  They provide what you need, and you pay what you can.  

However, for the life of me I can't understand how some organizations can exist as a 501(c)(3), when their purpose is mostly political and they lobby to the extent that is done today.  Namely, I speak of the NRA, and also the Crossroads PACs that Carl Rove operates.  I'm sure there are others, but these two specifically have made an immense impact trying and succeeding to influence political and legal outcomes.  How is this possible?  How is it that the NRA can raise millions of dollars from their members, which are then used as tax deductions for the members.  They also make a shit-ton of money from the firearms manufacturers as their lobbying arm.  Where do those extra dollars go,  you know, the profit?  To judge by the financial sector, my guess would be bonuses for the vultures who are stuffing their accounts full.  What did Wayne Lapierre make last year, and the year before that?  Just how much money do they all make and where does it go.  

I don't even want to try to list ALL of the political non-profits, but it would be nice to get an accounting of the money flowing to these organizations, along with an accounting of salaries/bonuses paid and money spent on lobbying.  Remember, this is all money subsidized by the American people as tax deductions.  How does that make you feel?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good points! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nica24, ichibon

    They sell themselves as a gun safety organization, and apparently have their lobbying arm walled off as a separate legal entity for tax purposes.

    Many non-profits are of dubious value - for example model train hobby organizations.  Sure, back when railroads were killing 10,000 workers each year, one could make the case that training on the HO scale train was necessary as a safety measure before heading off to work on the full size model, but in this day and age that seems to be fading in importance.

    And religion, did I mention religion?   What a boondoggle that is!!

  •  The NRA... (3+ / 0-)

    ..., according to wikipedai, at least, is a 501(c)(4) non-profit, not a (c)(3), which gives them a bit more latitude regarding political involvement.  Also, I believe their most overt political activity is carried out by the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), which is a separate organization affiliated with the NRA.

    And before we jump on them, keep in mind that many progressive organizations do the same thing -- I belong to one, for instance, that is a (c)(4) non-profit with an affiliated (c)(3) educational foundation, and a registered political action committee.  

  •  They're a 501(c)(4), not a (c)(3). (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep, misslegalbeagle
    How is it that the NRA can raise millions of dollars from their members, which are then used as tax deductions for the members.
    They don't.  The membership fees are non-deductible.
    •  Thanks for the info. I hadn't heard of a c4, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      that clears it up a bit.  This from their web-site:

      In 1990, NRA made a dramatic move to ensure that the financial support for firearms-related activities would be available now and for future generations. Establishing the NRA Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization, provided a means to raise millions of dollars to fund gun safety and educational projects of benefit to the general public. Contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible and benefit a variety of American constituencies including youth, women, hunters, competitive shooters, gun collectors, law enforcement agents and persons with physical disabilities.
      I guess I was specifically referring to the NRA Foundation.
  •  Add churches that politicize also! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ichibon

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 12:26:39 PM PST

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