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Topic Created Posts Views Last Activity
Pros/Cons of ARRL as 501(c)3 vs. 501(c)4 Organization? Nov 16th 2011, 17:59 6 10,752 on 7/7/17
Sales Statistics for ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook? Nov 16th 2011, 17:39 6 7,354 on 16/12/11
More prominent display of Amateur's Code on ARRL Web Site? Nov 16th 2011, 17:28 6 8,002 on 14/6/14

Latest Posts

Topic Author Posted On
More prominent display of Amateur's Code on ARRL Web Site? K3FU on 6/4/14
Thank you!

73, Paul, K3FU
Pros/Cons of ARRL as 501(c)3 vs. 501(c)4 Organization? K3FU on 18/11/11

Your latest clarification helped illuminate for me the somewhat technical answer from the IRS above. If I were to restate it more simply, there is no apparent legal path to make a 501(c)(4) organization using any of the assets, leadership, or name of a 501(c)(3) organization, even if we had wanted to, and it seems that it's not a useful path for us, anyway. I'll be sure to pass this answer along to colleagues if the subject comes up again.

TNX ES 73,

Paul, K3FU
Pros/Cons of ARRL as 501(c)3 vs. 501(c)4 Organization? K3FU on 18/11/11

Thank you for your reply. You're answer is certainly correct, but maybe I didn't phrase my questions clearly enough as to what I was asking. Specifically, has the ARRL considered the strategy of forming both 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations, much like how the NRA is both the NRA (501(c)4) and the NRA Foundation (501(c)3)? I suspect that the answers are what I enumerated above. Specifically, that we can't bring enough money to the table to make a 501(c)4 cost-effective relative to its limitations, and the few important restrictions on 501(c)3 organizations, including restrictions against certain types of campaigning and political contributions, really don't impact us in terms of our influence with elected officials (who we can usually talk to "anywhere, anytime" about issues that affect us).

Since this seems to be a question and concern that comes up occasionally, but often enough to be significant, with other people I talk to about the ARRL, both members and non-members, I wonder if a discussion of these issues that occurred in a QST article I seem to recall from about 20 years back, would bear repeating, either as an article, or an FAQ item on the ARRL web site.

TNX ES 73,

Paul, K3FU
Pros/Cons of ARRL as 501(c)3 vs. 501(c)4 Organization? K3FU on 16/11/11
As I mentioned in my previous article asking about the Radio Amateur's Handbook, I try to talk up the ARRL and ARRL publications to other friends and colleagues, some of whom may or may not be radio amateurs. One common question that I hear back from those who are savvy about how government works, and how to effectively petition/lobby it, is why doesn't the League organize a 501(c)4 organization in addition to the existing 501(c)3? I know that this was addressed in a past article in QST (maybe 20 or more years ago). Some of the answers that I can recall that were in the article included things like:

- A 501(c)4 organization would have unacceptable restrictions, including the inability to receive Federal grants and tax-exempt donations.

- The only significant limitation on a 501(c)3 organization is that it cannot support or oppose anyone running for public office. Otherwise, the ARRL is free to talk to "anyone, anytime" through its registered government relations representatives ("lobbyists" like Paul Rinaldo, W4RI, et al).

Some of the answers that I thought of included:

- The ARRL does not have the membership base of something like the National Rifle Association (about 12:1 difference, actually). To organize a 501(c)4 would require a lot more money, and from a much smaller membership base. The economies of scale are just not there.

- Getting too deep into the "dirty" business of government lobbying might strike the ARRL and its members as unseemly, possibly backfire as elected officials start to see us as "yet another" lobbying/campainging group rather than as a public resource.

I directed these questions to my Division Director, Cliff Ahrens K0CA, some time back (about 2008). He replied, saying that they were good questions and that he was curious about the answers himself, so directed them to those at HQ involved in government relations. I didn't hear anything back further about this.

Would this be a good topic to revisit in a future article in QST, or maybe reprint the previous article, or at least add the answers to an FAQ section about the ARRL on its Web Site?

TNX ES 73,

Paul, K3FU
Sales Statistics for ARRL Radio Amateur's Handbook? K3FU on 16/11/11
This is a ARRL publication that I have in my shack, and have also seen on many other's bookshelves, including those of college professors and working engineers. You may be aware of this Time Magazine article from 1968 where it was named #16 on a list of all-time best sellers in non-fiction books:,9171,837843,00.html

My question is, how are its sales statistics recently? Has anyone been tracking overall sales over the years, and would it still rank competitively if the 1968 Time Magazine list was recompiled today? I directed these questions to the ARRL Technical Information Service some time back (around 2006). Zack Lau, W1VT, replied saying that he would look into it, but I never heard back.

I was just curious myself, and always looking for good talking points to sell the ARRL and the Radio Amateur's Handbook to friends and colleagues, some of whom may or may not be currently licensed amateurs.

TNX ES 73,

Paul, K3FU

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