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Rules of the Game: The Bolder Advocacy Podcast

Nov 1, 2023

On this edition, we revisit PACs by talking about three different categories you run into every election cycle. What makes a Super PAC super? What can a traditional PAC do? And will the IRS revoke your tax-exempt status if your charity has to register or form a ballot measure PAC? We’re delving into PAC taxonomy to answer these questions today!


Lawyers for this episode

Tim Mooney

Susan Finkle Sourlis

Quyen Tu



Defining the various types of PACs. We came up with two approaches.

1.     What activity you want to undertake?

2.     What kind of money you want to raise and in what amount?

What is your priority? If you want the most freedom in activities, then there are more restrictions on fundraising or vice versa.

We’re covering three types of PACs:

1.     Super PACs sometimes called IE PACs

2.     Traditional PACs (could be state or federal)

3.     Ballot Measure PACs




Seize the Initiative: A Legal Guide on Ballot Measures for Nonprofits and Foundations

Ballot Measures and Recalls: Basic Rules for 501(c)(3) Public Charities, 501(c)(4)s, and Unions

501(c)(3) Public Charities and Ballot Measures

Ballot Measures Toolkit (compilation of resources)

Nonprofit Requirements for California Ballot Measures (flow chart)

Ballot Initiatives: How Nonprofits Can Stand Up for Direct Democracy (blog)

A New Future for Reproductive Rights: Ohio’s Critical Elections (blog)

Nonprofit Coalition Helps Extend Health Insurance Coverage to 90,000 Nebraskans (blog)

Ballot Measure Committees: Campaign and Registration Requirements (California Secretary of State)

What is a California Ballot Measure Committee? (from the Fair Political Practices Commission)