Lobbying and Political Activities

Summary of Policy

This policy states that no employee or student should engage in lobbying activity on behalf of the College without prior approval.

Affected Parties

All Groups

Policy Statement

Dartmouth College
Employment Policies and Procedures
Policy last updated:  December 1, 2006

Applies to: All employees


Federal law provides that "no substantial part of the activities" of a tax-exempt organization such as Dartmouth may constitute "carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation."

In addition, the federal Byrd Amendment imposes a complete prohibition on the use of federal funds to lobby Congress or the Executive Branch.

To assure compliance with the "no substantial part" limitation and the Byrd Amendment, and in order for the College to communicate as effectively as possible with federal, state, and local authorities, no employee or student should engage in lobbying activity on behalf of the College without prior approval.  Proposed lobbying activity should be approved by the one of the following:

Federal issues:

Office of the Provost

State issues:

Office of the General Counsel

Local issues:

Office of the Provost

Federal law provides that tax-exempt organizations such as Dartmouth may not "participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office."   To assure compliance with this provision, Dartmouth in its corporate capacity may not intervene or participate in any campaign by endorsing or opposing a candidate or taking a position on an issue involved in a campaign for the purpose of assisting or opposing a candidate. 

In addition, Dartmouth staff should take care, when expressing individual views, to avoid doing so in ways that imply official College support. Thus, letters supporting candidates for public office should not be written on College stationery, and College resources (e.g., mailing lists, telephones, photocopying, e-mail, and so on) should not be used to support candidates for office. 

College meeting rooms may be rented by outside political organizations, but such organizations are required to pay the fair market rental charge for such facilities. Advertising and publicity material for such an event should state prominently that the event is not sponsored by Dartmouth College.  College departments, programs, and recognized organizations may sponsor appearances by political candidates if they follow College rules designed to ensure that such appearances are consistent with limitations on political activity by tax-exempt organizations.  These rules are set forth in the Student Handbook at


Questions concerning these limitations may be directed to the Office of the General Counsel.

Definitions or Regulations:

Rules on Sponsored Visits by Political Candidates


Federal Tax Regulations, 26 Code of Federal Regulations 1.501(c)(3)-1



Policy ID


Effective Date

December 1, 2006

Last Revised Date

December 1, 2006


Office of the President

Office of Primary Responsibility

Office of Human Resources (HR)

Last Reviewed Date

December 1, 2019

Next Review Date