A 527 organization or 527 group is a type of U.S. tax-exempt organization named after Section 527 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 527). A 527 group is created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to federal, state or local public office.
Technically, almost all political committees, including state, local, and federal candidate committees, traditional political action committees, "Super PACs", and political parties are "527s." However, in common practice the term is usually applied only to such organizations that are not regulated under state or federal campaign finance laws because they do not "expressly advocate" for the election or defeat of a candidate or party.
When operated within the law, there are no upper limits on contributions to 527s and no restrictions on who may contribute. There are no spending limits imposed on these organizations; however, they must register with the IRS, publicly disclose their donors and file periodic reports of contributions and expenditures.
Because they may not advocate for specific candidates or coordinate with the candidate’s campaign, many 527s are run by interest groups and used to raise money to spend on issue advocacy and voter mobilization outside of the restrictions on PACs. Examples of 527s include American Crossroads, American Solutions for Winning the Future, EMILY's List, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Texans for Truth, The Media Fund, America Coming Together, the Progress for America Voter Fund, Secretary of State Project, United American Technologies, American Right To Life Action, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow and the November Fund.
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... Some of these listings identify a parent organization that has created a 527 group but that also engages in many nonpolitical activities ... A total of $439,709,105 was spent by these organizations alone, $307,324,096 of which was spent by Democratic/liberal groups and $132,385,009 of which was spent by Republican/conservative groups ...
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