Political Action Committee (PAC) 101
What is a PAC? Is Progressive Women’s Alliance a PAC or a Non-Profit?
Progressive Women’s Alliance is an independent, non-connected PAC, not a non-profit. Like all Political Action Committees, PWA is a state and federally registered and regulated organization that pools monetary contributions from members to contribute to candidates who share our goals and to support legislation that furthers our priorities.
There are two main types of PACs, “connected” PACs which are established by businesses, trade groups, unions, or health organizations, and “non-connected” PACs which are formed by groups of like-minded people who share an ideological mission and do not accept corporate money. While campaigns have limits on the amount of money they can accept from individuals, PACs can accept unlimited donations from members and pool member resources to better support candidates. While there are legal limits to the amount we can donate to campaigns, as an organization we are allowed to make much larger contributions than we could as individuals, and as a result, we have a greater impact on elections and public policy!
I have heard negative things about PACs. Why should I donate to PWA?
There are legitimate concerns about the way some PACs, particularly connected PACs and Super PACs, operate and influence our political system. However, there are many reasons that PACs like Progressive Women’s Alliance are forces for good. PWA is a non-partisan, all volunteer, women-led organization that has been working to further progressive ideals in Michigan for the past 15 years. Our members can have confidence that when a candidate applies for our endorsement, we have a committee of passionate women who assess the applicant on their commitment to equality, justice, individual freedom of choice, and the ongoing social and political promotion of the public good. Once a candidate has received our endorsement, we can hold them accountable in a way that individual donors really can not.
In addition to our ongoing financial support of strong progressive candidates, PWA has a long and proud tradition of providing free educational programming for our members. Over the past year, we have hosted events on topics ranging from confronting racism to an overview of immigration policy and the so-called Muslim Ban to an update on the state of women’s reproductive rights locally and nationally.
Doesn’t giving money to PWA take money away from political parties and campaigns?
Political fundraising isn’t a zero-sum game. PWA increases available funds for candidates by engaging new donors who appreciate our non-partisan status and our emphasis on electing more women. We expand the base and provide essential dollars which increase the likelihood of successful outcomes and we encourage members to donate to PWA in addition to, not at the expense of, campaigns they support.
The importance of the elections in 2018 can not be overstated. Please make a donation to Progressive Women’s Alliance today to help elect more progressives to office this November.
We truly can’t do it without you.