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SuperPAC Hacks for Social Good - #sxsw17 #everylibrary #lgbttech 12 March 2017


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EveryLibrary and LGBT Technology Partnership are social good organizations set up as 501(c)4 organizations rather than 501c3s. In this workshop originally presented at South by Southwest Interactive (2017), executive directors John Chrastka and Chris Wood take you through how they setup their respective organizations to maximize both efficiencies and impacts.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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SuperPAC Hacks for Social Good - #sxsw17 #everylibrary #lgbttech 12 March 2017

  1. 1. Super PAC Hacks for Social Good Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  2. 2. Before We Begin, You Must Know Legal Disclaimer: 1. This is not professional or legal advice. 2. Please consult your legal or financial professional. 3. Virginia, West Virginia and Illinois examples only. #superPAChack
  3. 3. Trying to solve some problems Why a 501(c)4? #superPAChack
  4. 4. New Approach with a PAC #superPAChack
  5. 5. Why a PAC instead of a NFP? In the United States, a political action committee (PAC) is a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation.* * Janda, Kenneth; Berry, Jeffrey M.; Goldman, Jerry (2008-12-19). The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in a Global World (10 ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning. p. 309. ISBN 054720454X. Referenced 2017-01-15. #superPAChack
  6. 6. LGBT Technology Partnership Why did you launch as a c4? • Paperwork and Legal Structure • Speed • Research #superPAChack
  7. 7. Every Library Why did you start a c4? • 140 year history of 501(c)3’s in the library space. Libraries are themselves units of government. • Approach taken was to distinguish EveryLibrary’s work was that (c3) works 364 days a year and (c4) approach works on election day(s). #superPAChack
  8. 8. c4 as Start-up Is a Super PAC right for you? #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  9. 9. C4 as Start Up What does a starter know about taking an idea to market: • Business model (Differentiator) • Product development (Rapid / mvp) • Funding model (Venture or sales) • Relationship ethos (Employees, funders, customers) #superPAChack
  10. 10. C4 as Start Up What does a starter know about taking an idea to market: • First - anticipating an emerging social or civic need • Best - 2.0 version of an existing legacy organization • Unique - niche in an advocacy ecosystem #superPAChack
  11. 11. C4 as Start Up We see the c4 as an expression of the start-up approach: 1. Allows for rapid iteration - MVP and ‘Day One’ c4 filing instead of 27 months (c3 filing) 2. Allows for capital to be leveraged for outcomes - c4 donor dollars are not limited to “charity” 3. Allows for team-based approach to management - ‘agency management’ model of c4 board instead of ‘fiduciary and policy’ model of c3 4. The newness of the work is sexy to the market - GET IT DONE! 5. All within the law #superPAChack
  12. 12. c4 Basics Getting to MVP #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  13. 13. Simple Steps to Get Started 1.FEIN ( 2.State Filings (corp, trust, or a unincorporated association) a.File bylaws and Articles of Incorporation with your state. 3.Bank Account (Citi and Chase) 4.File 1024 Form with IRS a.MUST be filed between 1 day and 27 months. b.Currently at 9 months for determination 5.File Annual 990 FEIN State Filings Bank Account 1024 Form 990 Annually #superPAChack
  14. 14. Legal Filings & Organizational Structure Getting to MVP #superPAChack
  15. 15. Organizational Structure 501(c)3 • Religious • Charitable • Scientific • Literary or educational • Testing for public safety • Foster national or international amateur sports competition • Prevention of cruelty to children or animals. 501(c)4 • Civic Leagues • Social Welfare Orgs • Local Associations of Employees 501(c) 1-29 - $ Tax Exempt for Donors Tax Exempt #superPAChack
  16. 16. Organizational Structure • State or Local Issue or Ballot Committee - Quarterly filings / halfway between a c4 and a candidate committee • Candidate PACs - CREP • 527s - federal issue PACs (hillary and donald) • LLC or LLP • S corp or C corp • State NFP (Not for Profit) Designation #superPAChack
  17. 17. Legal and Corporate Filings • Tax Exempt • Individual State Filings. • Individuals/Companies Can Make Tax Deductible Donations. • Can Receive Funding From Foundations. • Tax Exempt • No Individual State Filings.* • Individuals/Companies CAN NOT Make Tax Deductible Donations. • CAN NOT Receive Funding From Most Foundations. $ 501(c)(3) 501(c)(4) #superPAChack
  18. 18. Organizational Structure Six member board - “Agency Model” & active everyday Flat organizational structure Executive Director & Political Director - Paid Development Director, Special Projects, Editorial team and editorial board, Outside advisory committee - Volunteer Academic and Project Interns - Stipend #superPAChack
  19. 19. Organizational Structure Board of Directors Staff / Volunteers Advisory Committee #superPAChack
  20. 20. Employee “time” is programmatic and not administrative or overhead. C3 board as a hazard for some organizations we know “Boards that suck the life out of the people who want to do the work” “It is all in the bylaws” ByLaws - nonprofit bible Think about your board 1st board - Start-up/Utility board. 2nd board - Financial requirements, programmatic work/interest, #superPAChack Organizational Structure
  21. 21. Organizational Structure 1. Set clear goals. 2. Define plans that fit the organization. 3. Don’t let external factor shift the organization focus but be aware of external factors. 4. Review and communicate progress toward mission. Success #superPAChack
  22. 22. Financial Considerations Getting to MVP #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  23. 23. Financial Considerations #superPAChack
  24. 24. Compliance and the IRS Getting to MVP #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  25. 25. Compliance, Disclosure and the IRS • Know your state’s laws and regs • Know the ‘safe harbour’ provisions (state & federal) for early work • Plan to ‘re-file’ - it’s not a problem • Transparency with your board • Trust and Openness with your donors • Respect for current law and regulation “Paperwork is the grease on the wheels of bureaucracy” #superPAChack
  26. 26. Compliance, Disclosure and the IRS What triggers additional disclosures and filings? City/County triggers State triggers IRS 990’s State corporate reporting and filings State political reporting and filings #superPAChack
  27. 27. Establishing the Brand Getting to MVP #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  28. 28. Establishing Your Brand LGBTQIAII+ LGBT LGBTQ LGBTech #superPAChack
  29. 29. Establishing Your Brand Because tech doesn’t discriminate, people who create policy do. Because tech doesn’t discriminate, people do. #superPAChack
  30. 30. Establishing Your Brand Assumptions: The Book is still the brand; Low awareness that libraries on the ballot; “Every” will be truly inclusive across a silo’d industry Vision statement: “Any library funding issue anywhere should matter to every library everywhere” Mission: “Building voter support for libraries” #superPAChack
  31. 31. Agenda Setting Getting to MVP #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  32. 32. Agenda Setting A “Heart- Head- or Hunch-Based” Agenda Is your idea a “Core” or “Complementary” organization? How much cheese needs to be moved? Is it personal or professional? Local, state, federal? Multi-local, multi-state, national? #superPAChack
  33. 33. Agenda Setting EveryLibrary Business Plan - 4 year cycle Call it a strategic plan because of industry optics EveryLibrary Annual Report Exec Summary and Long Form (16 - 20 pages) Talk about ‘Why’ and report on ‘How’ #superPAChack
  34. 34. What problem are you trying to solve? Your Turn #superPAChack
  35. 35. Moving into Operations Day-to-Day #superPAChack
  36. 36. Fundraising Approach Operations and Day-to-Day #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  37. 37. Fundraising Approach • Individuals •One time and Monthly • Corporate •General and project support • Unions • Other PACs #superPAChack
  38. 38. Fundraising Approach C3 vs. C4 Fundraising Understanding the flow of money - Restricted Funds #superPAChack
  39. 39. Fundraising Approach Diversifying your fundraising portfolio • Merchandise • Speaking Circuit • Books and Webinars • Adding a c3 component organization “...and Institute” #superPAChack
  40. 40. Research Agenda Operations and Day-to-Day #superPAChack Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech
  41. 41. Research Agenda • LGBT Tech’s “Everything we do runs through the filter of research. If we do not have a solid basis in the research or the literature, we will not touch it”. • 3rd parties: ‘scattered’ • LGBT approach was to start with “Literature survey, aggregation” and move into original research. 1st project was on Homeless LGBT youth and Tech. #superPAChack
  42. 42. Research Agenda Every Library exists in built-out ecosystem, but no one asks “our questions” though • Adding Voter questions to the national deck • Polls and Surveys with individual localities • Developing a Think Tank w/ higher ed Not core to our business, but key to our success #superPAChack
  43. 43. Coalitions, Partnerships and Relationships Operations and Day-to-Day #superPAChack
  44. 44. Coalitions, Partnerships and Relationships Driven by a Shared Values Framework Common Cause? Common Concern? Never 100% overlap or you should just merge orgs Coalition Leader / Key Organization / Junior Partner #superPAChack
  45. 45. Government Relationships White House, FCC, FTC, Representatives “HR 6254” - Don’t Block LGBT Act 2016 Partner with National Orgs HRC, PFLAG, CenterLink, GLAAD Credibility - Validate the idea with/by who? Research - Public Comment Coalitions, Partnerships and Relationships #superPAChack
  46. 46. • EveryLibrary publishes our “Action Agenda” and “Coalition Strategy” • As a ‘complimentary’ organization we look to in-fill gaps by our coalition involvement, and to address gaps by what we convene • We don’t want to mistake sponsors for partners Coalitions, Partnerships and Relationships #superPAChack
  47. 47. Advancing the Brand Operations and Day-to-Day Presented By: John Chrastka & Chris Wood @EveryLibrary @LGBTTech #superPAChack
  48. 48. Advancing the Brand Use “Calls to Action” Petitions Contact Electeds Local Actions and Local Events Donate & Matching Programs *Own all of your own data $ #superPAChack
  49. 49. Advancing the Brand By “Showing Up, Sharing and Giving a Heads Up” • Research starts with Heart, Head and Gut and moves to partner- driven projects • Partners - caring about them and our relationship is additive • We don’t ask for permission, but we do talk with other organizations before getting to ‘go’ *You have to ask for what you need #superPAChack
  50. 50. Advancing the Brand Being “Smart and Effective” • Publish - don’t just blog • Advance your expertise • Talk about failures and shortfalls • Write and speak outside your sector • Donate to other groups *Open Source and Open Access #superPAChack
  51. 51. What do you need to succeed? Your Turn #superPAChack
  52. 52. Thank You EveryLibrary and John Chrastka, Exec Director 312-574-0316 LGBTTech Chris Wood, Exec Director 202-888-7081 #superPAChack