Use of Little League in Support of Political Office-Seekers or Legislation
In the local Little League Constitution, there is a specific reference barring the league from supporting a political candidate. This reference mirrors the same prohibition that can be found in the Federal International Revenue Code for non-profit organizations.
The prohibition bars a local Little League or District from providing support to a person’s campaign for any elected office.
However, the specific wording in the local Little League Constitution does allow limited support of legislation:
“In accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, the Local League shall operate exclusively as a non-profit educational organization providing a supervised program of competitive baseball and softball games … no substantial part of the activities of which is … attempting to influence legislation.”
As noted, federal laws permit charities to lobby within certain specified limits. Federal law clearly states that a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity may devote no more than an "insubstantial" portion of its activities to lobbying.
In the case of a local Little League, the Federal government’s threshold for an “insubstantial” amount would be up to 20 percent of the league’s total annual exempt purpose expenditures. (This is for any non-profit with $500,000 or less in total annual exempt purpose expenditures.)
This statement was prepared in 2009.