Under United States law, grants awarded through Lone Star Prize may not be used for lobbying activities. The following definitions offer general guidance and parameters regarding lobbying. Should you become a Finalist/Awardee of the Lone Star Prize, Lyda Hill Philanthropies will work with you to refine any allowable activities.
LOBBYING – Please visit IRS.gov for rules governing lobbying
Attempts to influence legislation, commonly known as lobbying, may be of two types, direct or indirect:
Direct lobbying refers to certain communications directly with government personnel who are involved in the legislative process. They may be legislators or employees of legislative bodies, or other government personnel who participate in the formulation of the legislation concerned. A communication with these government personnel will be lobbying only if it both refers to specific legislation and indicates a view on that legislation.
Indirect (or "grass roots") lobbying refers to communications with members of the general public. Certain "public relations" or educational activities may constitute indirect lobbying, and others will not.
Indirect lobbying communications include only communications that (1) refer to specific legislation, (2) indicate a view on the legislation, and (3) encourage the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation.
There are a few specific exceptions from prohibited lobbying. The most important of these for the Lone Star Prize grantees are the exception for examinations and discussions of broad social, economic, and similar problems and the exception for nonpartisan analysis, study, or research.
A communication regarding broad social, economic, and similar problems will not constitute lobbying, even if the problems discussed are of a type with which government would be expected to deal eventually. Accordingly, it is permissible to speak to legislators or the general public about problems that the legislature should address. These communications may not, however, discuss the merits of a specific legislative proposal or directly encourage recipients to take action with respect to the legislation.
Nonpartisan analysis, study, or research means an independent or objective exposition of a particular subject matter. It may advocate a particular position or viewpoint, so long as there is a full and fair discussion of the pertinent facts, which is sufficient to enable an individual to form an independent opinion or conclusion.
The results of nonpartisan analysis, study, or research may indicate a view on specific legislation, and they may be communicated to a legislator or government official or employee involved in the legislative process. They may not, however, be communicated to members of the general public with a direct encouragement to the recipient to take action with respect to the legislation.
A grantee may not use the nonpartisan analysis, study, or research exception, such as by omitting the direct encouragement to take action, and then later use the communication for lobbying purposes. If it does, and if the grantee's primary purpose in preparing the original communication was for use in lobbying, the amounts spent to prepare the original communication will be treated as funds used for lobbying.
The use of any Lone Star Prize grant monies to participate in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office is also prohibited by United States law. This applies to elections both inside and outside the United States.
Also, no Lone Star Prize grant monies may be used to make any payments that would be illegal under local law, such as to offer money to a public official to perform an official action or to omit or to delay an official action.
PERMISSIBLE AND PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES
Some Permissible Public Policy Activities
Some Prohibited Public Policy Activities
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