Using Your Education Fund Account with LWVEF (State and Local Grants)
The League of Women Voters has an education fund that is available to all Leagues through the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). It was established in 1957 as a separate tax-exempt organization with a 501 (c)(3) tax status. The purpose of this service is to allow Leagues to obtain tax-deductible funding for educational projects while at the same time relieving Leagues of administrative burdens connected with maintaining an educational fund.
How to use your Education Fund account with LWVEF:
- Contact GrantServices@lwv.org to obtain necessary information and forms.
- New forms for deposit and withdrawals have been created and are available online in the "Tools for Leaders" section. Please click on "Treasurer," then "State and Local League Grants Program." These forms can also be sent via email, fax or hard copy.
- On all forms, it is important to include your League number as an identifying number (it is the equivalent of your bank account number) for accuracy in tracking deposits and withdrawals. If you do not know your League's number, you can find it under "Find A Local League," click on your state and then "Find Your League's Contact Information."
- Send contributions and raised funds payable to the LWVEF with a completed "Deposit form." Make sure to put the amount of the contributions in the box on the top of the form, and on the bottom of the form indicate that the money be placed in the “League Grant Service Account.” Also, please note the number of checks and the amount of each check submitted. Once the money has been deposited and the account has been updated, you will be sent an acknowedgement stating that the deposit has been added to your League’s account.
- For all EF projects, Leagues should submit a "Withdrawal Request & Approval form," including a brief project description as indicated on the form. If the project meets EF criteria (see below) and sufficient funds are in the local League's account, a check will be disbursed. All requests are processed weekly. The check may take two to three weeks to reach you after you've sent in a request--depending on the mail and when the form arrives in the national office. No other notice will accompany the check; however, each check will include the project number as a means of tracking resources for each project.
- If there are not enough funds in the account, the League must make additional deposits to the account using the "deposit form."
- After the funds have been disbursed and the project has been completed, fill out the project "Final Report" so that LWVUS is certain that the funds were used appropriately. The project will be closed in the corresponding League’s account.
IRS Criteria for using education fund monies for projects:
- The project must be educational.
The project must be completed for the purpose of informing the public in a fair and objective manner. Through the project your League cannot advocate a particular position on legislation or urge any action to affect legislation (federal, state or local). The project cannot involve work with political parties or candidates for office, other than nonpartisan voter service activities. It cannot influence the outcome of an election.
- The project must serve the general public, not League members exclusively.
- Education Fund resources cannot be used to promote League membership.
The project's resources cannot be used to support the membership recruitment or membership maintenance activities of your League. However, internal membership materials (that are funded by other means) and/or other means of offering people opportunities to join are acceptable at EF events.