Political Activity Rules & Guidelines for Employees
To protect our non-profit status, please remember that Norton Healthcare and its employees as a class are not able to make contributions or endorsements. IRS codes prohibit 501(c)(3) charitable hospitals from participating in "any political campaign for a candidate for public office." Violation of this prohibition may result in revocation of tax-exempt status and imposition of excise tax.
While federal campaign finance laws place restrictions on hospitals' use of corporate resources in connection with political fundraising, the IRS and the Federal Election Commission, recognize that individuals associated with or employed by a charitable hospital may wish to participate in campaign fundraising activities in their personal capacity.
Personal Political Contributions: Employees are free to make political contributions using their own personal funds but may not represent the contribution as one from the hospital. If you receive a solicitation call from a candidate at the office and you have an interest in working with him or her, please ask the caller to give you a number where you can reach them and call them when you are not working or ask them to call you at home. Service on Host Committee: A hospital employee may serve, in his/her personal time and in his/her individual capacity only, on a host committee of a fundraiser. Volunteer Time: Under the federal campaign laws, an individual may volunteer unlimited amounts of his or her personal time to a candidate's campaign or to a party committee without having to treat the associated value as a contribution.
Please review the activities clearly prohibited by a 501(c)(3) organization:
- Formal or informal endorsements of a candidate for public office.
- Direct financial contributions or other support to a candidate, political party, or political action committee ("PAC").
- In-kind contributions to a candidate, political party, or PAC, including, but not limited to
- providing mailing, membership, or donor lists or other resources for fundraising;
- provision of facilities or office space;
- staff time;
- organizing volunteers for a campaign;
- permitting or facilitating the distribution of campaign literature on hospital premises;
- publicizing campaign events; and
- opposition research.
- Publication or distribution of statements in favor of or in opposition to a candidate.
- Use of the hospital name in fundraising materials.
- Use of system “good will”. Employees must avoid the appearance that either their individual volunteer activities or their individual political contributions are sponsored by or conducted on behalf of the hospital.
- Use of hospital resources or facilities.
In-Home Hospitality: An individual volunteer may hold an event for a candidate or party in his or her personal residence. For the event, the individual may pay with personal funds for up to $1,000 per election for federal candidates and up to $2,000 per year (for party committees) in costs for food, beverages and invitations, without counting those costs against federal limits. The employee may not use any hospital resources to plan or prepare for the event, nor may other hospital employees be used for these purposes.
State limits: In-kind and monetary contributions jointly count toward both the “per elections” and the “per year” contribution limits in state limits.
To Candidate or Slate of Candidates: $1,000 per election
(the primary and the general are consider separate elections)
To Executive Committee: $2,500 per year aggregate
To Caucus Campaign Committee: $2,500 per year.
To Individual: $2,400 per election
To State, District and Local Party Committee: $5,000 per election combined limit
To National Party Committee: $5,000 per election
Sometimes politicians will ask for the maximum contribution of $12,500 to the party. Political parties have "federal accounts" which can be spent on state races. State parties have a "state account" and a "federal account". When you combine both federal account and state accounts, you arrive at $12,500 per individual.
Individual State Total Caucus Campaign Totals
Federal: Individuals 10,000 2,500 12,500 2,500
For more information on contribution limits, go to http://kref.ky.gov/candidate/contlmt.htm.