Six Facts Lost in the IRS Scandal - ProPublica
2. Donors to social welfare nonprofits are anonymous for a reason.
Unlike donors who give directly to politicians or even to super PACs, donors who give to social welfare nonprofits can stay secret. In large part, this is because of an attempt by Alabama to force the NAACP, then a social welfare nonprofit, to disclose its donors in the 1950s. In 1958, the Supreme Court sided with the NAACP, saying that public identification of its members made them at risk of reprisal and threats.
4. Social welfare nonprofits do not actually have to apply to the IRS for recognition as tax-exempt organizations.
With all the furor over applications being flagged from conservative groups — particularly groups with “Tea Party,” “Patriot” or “9/12” in their names — it’s worth remembering that a social welfare nonprofit doesn’t even have to apply to the IRS in the first place.
Unlike charities, which are supposed to apply for recognition, social welfare nonprofits can simply incorporate and start raising and spending money, without ever applying to the IRS.