501(c)(4)’s generate some legitimate criticism for operating in the shadows. Economic Growth DC intends to be extraordinarily transparent about the way we operate and what we do with the money we raise. Attached to this post are our articles of incorporation, bylaws, basic business license and IRS Form 1024, which is our application for non-profit status with the IRS. The one area where 501(c)(4)’s get into the most trouble is their ability to accept anonymous donations. Transparency advocates find this very frustrating and thus the name, “shadow money outfits.”
We will ask each of our contributors to support us publicly by allowing us to make their identity public. However, if they ask us to remain anonymous, we will honor that request because it is their right by law and the courts have declared the right to remain anonymous constitutional. We equate it to our secret ballot system. We have a secret ballot election system for a reason — so that you can go into the ballot box and vote the way you want without having to worry about your vote having repercussions for you at work or in your community. The desire to donate money to a political cause or organization falls into the same category. You can make the case that you should be able to exercise your 1st amendment right to freedom of assembly through a monetary contribution to a like minded organization without fear of repercussions. Again, we will push our contributors to donate to us publicly, but for these reasons, if they ask to remain anonymous, we will honor that request.