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Q&A on an AFP Political Action Committee

AFP has assembled a list of common questions that members have about PACs and AFP PAC in particular.

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.

How does a 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. An AFP PAC, like the Foundation, would be housed in AFP's International Headquarters, but would be a separate, legal body. 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 AFP PAC solicit?

AFP can only solicit contributions for AFP PAC from its U.S. members. Contributions from members outside the U.S. cannot be accepted.

Can my organization support the PAC?

No, AFP PAC can only accept contributions from individuals.

Is a contribution to the AFP PAC tax-deductible?

No. Unlike a gift to the Foundation, a contribution to the AFP PAC is non-deductible.

How much can 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?

The AFP PAC would have a separate board that would decide which candidates would receive contributions. The decisions would be based on the candidates' positions on charitable giving issues and their past actions in support of philanthropy. The PAC would give to candidates regardless of party.

From a practical standpoint, AFP would tend to give to Members of Congress who sit on the House Ways and Means or Senate Finance Committees, since these committees have jurisdiction over taxes and charitable organizations. Other candidates who show a particular interest in philanthropy might also be selected.

Will giving to AFP PAC affect giving to the Foundation?

Most associations have found that when they formed a PAC, their foundation giving was not adversely affected.

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

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