Electioneering Practices and Guidelines
Did you know?
- There are currently 59 million Girl Scout alumnae.
- Five of the six current female governors are Girl Scout alumnae.
- More than half (52%) of women in business are Girl Scout alumnae.
Help Girl Scouts Send a Strong Message to Congress: Pass Charitable Giving Incentives
Millions of individuals and families are served by the essential work of America's public charities such as Girl Scouts. This service is helped by incentives for charitable giving in our tax code. Thanks to your support, this past summer, in partnership with others from the nonprofit sector, Girl Scouts achieved an amazing victory when the House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved charitable giving legislation. However, differences with the Senate stalled progress. Now, as Congress returns for a post-election session, we need your help to make these charitable tax provisions permanent.
Girl Scouts is supporting the House-passed proposal in the American Gives More Act (H.R. 4719) that would extend the deadline, to April 15, for making charitable contributions donated in the previous year. Further, the proposal would reinstate the IRA rollover that allows individuals age 70 1/2 and older to donate from their IRA to charities without being taxed.
Thank you again for helping us get the charitable giving bill passed in the House--and please join us now in sending a strong message to Congress to permanently pass this important legislation. No doubt the effort will encourage philanthropy and increase our capacity to serve more girls.
The laws governing nonprofit organizations draw a distinction between lobbying activities and electioneering activities. Electioneering is defined as participating in the electoral process by promoting particular candidates for office. While GSUSA encourages councils to actively work with and lobby their public officials on issues on the Girl Scout legislative agenda, it is important to remember that any type of electioneering in your official Girl Scout capacity is prohibited. Such activity is a direct violation of the tax law that governs non-profit organizations. You may, however, campaign on behalf of a political candidate as an individual without reference to your role as a Girl Scout.
The official GSUSA policy on electioneering is as follows:
Political and Legislative Activity
Girl Scouts of the United States of America and any Girl Scout council or other organization holding a Girl Scouts of the United States of America credential may not, nor may they authorize anyone on their behalf to, participate or intervene directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; or participate in any legislative activity or function which contravenes the laws governing tax-exempt organizations.
(Blue Book of Basic Documents 2012)
For more details, please review the Electioneering Practices and Guidelines
The State of Girls: Unfinished Business is a groundbreaking report from the Girl Scout Research Institute that stakes out key issues and major trends affecting girls' leadership and healthy development in the U.S. today. A report of this magnitude and breadth focusing specifically on girls has never been conducted, making it a much-needed resource in the field. As the "voice for and of girls," Girl Scouts believes it is critical for those who support girls to have up to date, accurate information about the state of girls' physical, social and psychological well-being.
The report finds that while there is promising news for girls in areas such as their educational attainment, many girls are being left behind, and not all girls are faring the same. In particular, black/African American and Hispanic/Latina girls face significant challenges in making successful transitions to adulthood. However, we know that "data is not destiny" and Girl Scouting is committed to ensuring all girls reach their full potential.
Girl Scouts Advocacy Network girlscouts4girls.org
Be the Voice For Girls! The Girl Scouts Advocacy Network provides tools for you to become a voice for girls and to make a difference in your community and across the nation. Together, we can educate policymakers and community leaders on issues that directly affect girls and the Girl Scouts. By being an advocate, you will have an impact on girl policy issues moving through Congress and state legislatures.
Through the Girl Scout Advocacy Network website you can swiftly take action on the following issues:
- Prevent cyberbullying and aggression (stop the emotional damage caused by the mean-girl culture).
- Support STEM careers for girls.
- Promote Healthy Images of Women
Check out the tool at the Advocacy website that helps you find your elected officials!
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.