NATAPAC: What It Is and How It Works

February 4, 2021 by Beth Sitzler

Established in 2005, the NATA Political Action Committee (NATAPAC) has been the voice of the athletic training profession, seeking better working conditions, fair access and the right to practice for all athletic trainers across America. As a federal group, the NATAPAC provides campaign contributions to approved candidates on behalf of NATA. Nonpartisan, the NATAPAC gives primarily to candidates for the U.S. Senate or U.S. House of Representatives whose view support the advancement of the athletic training profession.


What Does the NATAPAC Do?

Separately incorporated, NATAPAC operates under its own bylaws and articles of incorporation and is governed by the NATAPAC Board of Directors. The board, comprised of a representative from each NATA district, reviews and approves campaign contributions and supports fundraising. The mission of the NATAPAC is to work on behalf of all athletic trainers to enhance health care for both athletic trainers and those who receive care.


NATAPAC Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a political action committee (PAC)?

A: PAC enables employees or members of groups – such as corporations and professional organizations – to pool their resources and make political contributions to candidates who support issues related to the group. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) sets rules governing PACs in the United States. Visit the FEC website for more information.

Q: What is NATAPAC?

A: NATAPAC was established under applicable federal law and has been in operation since 2005. Its only purpose is to make political contributions to officeholders and candidates. Although NATAPAC is crucial to supporting the interests of the athletic training profession, the voluntary contributions of NATA members are the only legal source of funds. It is separately incorporated and is managed by its own board of directors.

Q: Isn’t the money just being used to buy politicians?

A: No! PACs are simply groups of like-minded individuals who pool their resources to achieve a common goal. The contributions are allocated by the PAC Board, not company officers, and given to candidates whose records indicate that they balance fairness with issues that coincide with the advancement of the athletic training profession.

Q: I thought PACs were going to be eliminated – is that not correct?

A: No, PACs remain vital to the political process because they are a legal, legitimate and open method of campaign financing. Even in the current reform debates and after the recent Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC, PACs remain unaffected and are the most viable source of contributions to candidates.

Q: Why shouldn’t I just support individual candidates and bypass the NATAPAC?

A: With individual contributions, candidates may not know why you supported them. When a PAC contributes, it sends a strong, collective message. There is strength in numbers.

Q: How do the candidates use PAC contributions? Why do they need our support?

A: The cost of running for public office has become increasingly expensive. PAC funds go toward many aspects of successful campaigning, including developing printed materials, purchasing advertising time and providing salaries for campaign staff.

Q: Is a PAC contribution tax deductible?

A: No. Contributions to the NATAPAC, or any other PAC, are not tax deductible.

Q: What candidates are supported by the NATAPAC?

A: The NATAPAC is nonpartisan and supports both Democrats and Republicans. Your dollars help support candidates who are sensitive to the issues that affect the athletic training profession. A list of candidates who have received contributions is listed on the NATAPAC website.

Q: How are candidates chosen to receive NATAPAC contributions?

A: Members of Congress, or candidates for Congress, are thoroughly vetted by industry-best processes. Important to these processes is the fact that members of NATA – ATs in good standing, representing not only the NATAPAC, but also NATA, their respective districts and, most of all, their profession – are key people in deciding who gets NATAPAC contributions. In fact, nothing is decided without these ATs’ input. Only issues critical to the athletic training profession are factors in deciding where the NATAPAC dollars go.

As stated above, NATAPAC funds are not designated for anyone based on political stances, but solely for what is best for the athletic training profession. Given the current state of affairs, be assured that NATAPAC is reviewing all procedures in the campaign contribution process. We will always: 1. do what’s best for the AT profession, 2. be compliant with all internal policies and procedures and external regulations and 3. be diligent to do the right thing.

Q: Where can I find more information about the PAC?

A: Visit the NATAPAC website for additional information