Is it legal for US non-government organizations to take funding from a foreign country and fund US candidates for office?


Can a private charity 501(c)(3) or (4) be banned in the US for laundering money from a foreign country if they can't prove they have a monetary firewall between it and its other legal entities and have given to political candidates? And will the money they donate to politicians be required to be given back?

K Dog

Posted 2017-01-31T13:12:12.543

Reputation: 1

"laundering money from a foreign country" I don't really understand this. How exactly do I know if money is laundered from a foreign country. – Trilarion – 2018-02-09T09:26:57.407

1That's entirely different than the original question that was asked and answered. Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to just close and post a new one if you're going to change it that much? People who answered the original will get dinged pretty hard for appearing to not answer the question. – PoloHoleSet – 2017-02-01T21:23:15.777

@poloholeset I tried deleting. You can't do that. Sorry – K Dog – 2017-02-01T21:27:29.033

After there's an answer – K Dog – 2017-02-01T21:28:25.233

That's why I said "close" - can't do that either? Not a huge deal. I do like the new wording for its increased objectivity, so don't think I'm criticizing the change. – PoloHoleSet – 2017-02-01T21:35:06.337



These organizations are, by definition NON-GOVERNMENT organizations, and, as such, are under no requirements to meet any kind of special loyalty test.

However, I'm also not clear that accepting donations from Russian-related groups for non-political purposes somehow demonstrates disloyalty, either.

If the groups are non-profit, they are not allowed to give to political organizations. These groups and the advocacy groups are required to create "sister" organizations for reporting their any kind of direct advocacy, political donations or lobbying efforts. Donations to, say, the Planned Parenthood arm that does political lobbying, for instance, is not considered a charitable/tax-deductible contribution. The charitable, non-profit Planned Parenthood organization, in turn, would not be able to legally send money to the "PoloHoleSet Fight The K-Dog" political lobbying organization, though their separate political arm would.

As such, since it is illegal and these organizations have to report their finances, it's doubtful that they have been making political contributions.

If it's shown that they are assisting a group's illegal activities, if ties to certain groups are banned by law, or if it's shown they are disbursing funds in a way contrary to the way I outlined above, then, yes, there would be repercussions. I don't think you've offered any kind of evidence that this is happening, though.

If they only happen to be working with, are supported by or are supporting a group you don't like very much, that's very much protected by the First Amendment, and you couldn't ban that.


Posted 2017-01-31T13:12:12.543

Reputation: 19 833

1This answer would be significantly improved by supporting your claims by references to the applicable law. – indigochild – 2017-01-31T17:49:41.437


There is no requirement that a charity knows those who donated money to those who donated funds to them. Kyc, as it stands, means just one level.

Foreign influence in domestic politics is to be expected, and to some extent welcomed. The state department funnelled billions through many NGOs overseas, and in Russia and China and Ukraine for example.

If we aren't happy about being at the receiving end of a stick, we probably should use that sticj ourselves..


Posted 2017-01-31T13:12:12.543

Reputation: 2 543

This doesn't answer the question; is this what you mean by a stick? – Mozibur Ullah – 2017-01-31T14:02:56.063