The Education Fund enables local Leagues to solicit tax-deductible donations.
All state and local Leagues are classified by the IRS as 501c (4)
nonprofit organizations. As such, donations to them are not
tax-deductible. Those who wish to make tax-deductible
donations must make their checks payable to the "League
of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund."
The League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund (LWVILEF)
was established under Illinois law in 1979 as a separate, tax-exempt
organization with a 501c (3) status. Organizations with 501c (3)
status are allowed to solicit contributions that are tax deductible
as charitable donations. There are, however, many rules and conditions
that go along with the process. If these rules are not followed,
the LWVILEF risks losing its 501c (3) status. Contact Nancy Clark,
Treasurer of the Illinois League, at firstname.lastname@example.org
for complete information.
Local Leagues' Use of the Education Fund
In order to use Ed Fund money to fund a project, it must meet
The League Criteria
- New projects cannot be started before the approval
application is submitted and approved. Ed Fund
trustees must ensure that it will meet IRS and LWV criteria.
- The project must not give direct grants to outside organizations.
- The project must be nonpartisan.
- If the project generates income, the income must be used
for educational purposes only and must
remain with the Local Leagues' Ed Fund.
- LWVIL Ed Fund must be properly credited.
How The Account May Be Used
- Educational Projects. Local League educational projects must be
factual and may not mention or advocate (i.e., lobby) LWV positions. Examples include: Know Your Town pamphlets, directories of
public officials or of service providers in the community, voters service activities, forums, education projects, etc. In order
to use your Ed Fund money, the local League must use the Local League Application for LWVIL
Education Fund Project form and send it to the state League office for approval by the LWVILEF
Treasurer at least two weeks before the project is to be started. If the Treasurer denies use of LWVILEF
monies for a project and the local League has incurred expenses from it, they will be responsible for those
A project should be submitted for approval before funds are raised for a new proposal, including grant
proposals. However, if a local League has raised deductible funds and a project is denied, the funds will
stay on deposit for future projects of that local League.
If a publication is to be funded with Education Fund money, pre-publication approval is necessary. This
requirement means that adequate time must be allowed for a final draft to reach the state office prior to
All printed matter should contain a statement crediting the LWVILEF and recognizing the donor if desired.
The statement may read: "Funding was made possible by the League of Women Voters of Education Fund
to the (______) League through a grant by the XYZ Company."
After a project is completed a brief report of it should be sent to the state office along with any sample
material that was produced. Copies of pamphlets and guides, etc. are maintained at the office as samples
and ideas for other local Leagues.
- Per-Member-Payments. Local Leagues may choose to pay up to 25% of their state PMP and up to 50% of
their national PMP with tax deductible funds. This may be done by submitting a check from an individual
donor or business made payable to the LWVILEF together with a notation that those funds are to be applied
to that League’s PMP. It is not necessary to open a LWVILEF account for this. Or, a second method of
paying PMPs with tax deductible money is for the local League to request a transfer of unrestricted funds
from its LWVILEF account and to credit that amount toward either their state or national dues.
- Educational Publications. Local Leagues may apply their unrestricted LWVILEF funds toward purchase of
educational publications for the general public or for their own use.
- Educational Studies. Local Leagues may apply their unrestricted LWVILEF funds toward expenses of
studies (local, state, or national). These expenses would cover only materials involved in the study phase,
which includes materials prepared for the consensus as well as consensus meeting expenses. Action on
positions cannot be funded by Education Fund dollars.
The expenses of all voter service activities, such as debates, voters guides, and registration drives, may be covered
by Ed Fund dollars. Expenses of educational seminars, forums or events, such as part or all of a State of the
Community Dinner, may be underwritten by the League’s Education Fund.