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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Freedom From Religion, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Censorship, Freedom of Speech & Press, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Democracy

Mission: To keep church and state separateand to educate the public about nontheism

Programs: Lawsuits challenging entanglement of religion and government,government endorsement or promotion of religion. Ffrf had 10 ongoing lawsuits at the close of 2014, including 2 new lawsuits filed in 2014, and successfully settled three lawsuits. Ffrf maintained 5 staff attorneys, 1 legal fellow, 1 legal publicist and a total of 7 legal interns. Staff attorneys wrote 1,054 formal letters of complaint, ending over 210 state/church violations without going to court, which is ffrf's goal. They researched and responded to more than 3,000 requests for information or help about first amendment violations.

educational events, convention, meetings, media appearances, speeches, debates, travel, and awards. Ffrf recognized achievements in promoting freethought and state/church separation at national convention with more than 500 participants, as well as a raleigh regional convention with about 200. Offered freethought programming with noted speakers without cost and spoke at more than 50 public events in about 25 states and 2 foreign countries, including more than 30 campus appearances, including 6 debates. Was interviewed for more than 1,100 news articles, tv, and radio. Sent out 57 alerts related to freethought or state/church separation and 162 news releases about ffrf activities. Gave $31,350 in cash scholarships to 48 students in 3 separate essay competitions(college-bound high school seniors; ongoing college; grad students) plus $11,000 in 9 other youth activist awards, and several other awards for special achievement.

publishing, broadcasting, and educational outreach. Published 10 issues of 24-page newspaper; 2 issues of private line membership newsletter; broadcast 52 weekly editions of freethought radio, plus podcasts reaching 700,000 annually including ffrf activism reports and prominent guests; maintained major educational website with news updates, daily calendar, legal and freethought faqs and resources, forum, facebook, and twitter; distributed ffrf-published books and educational products promoting its missions; undertook several major educational advertising campaigns , personalized "out of the closet" billboards featuring ffrf members, and other billboard campaigns. Placed several full-page ads in the new york times, a monthly one-third page educational ad in scientific american, and debuted a 30-second tv spot by ron reagan on primetime tv.

operation of freethought hall in madison, wi and lake hypatia, al,maintenance of library for members' use, and chapter rebates

Community Stories

138 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF does more with my dollars than any other organization I know. Their advocacy for non-theists is tireless. I am comforted to know they are working on these issues, even when my own energies flag.

Comments ( 1 )

Charles Darwin Thank you so much for this amazing review. Our founder, Anne Nicol Gaylor, worked tirelessly to stretch every dollar donated to our organization. We will continue to work on state/church issues both large and small.

1 Cheryl K.5

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is on the top of my list of excellent organizations. They have a very clear purpose - very clear on what they do and how they do it. Their charity navigator rating of 100% is well deserved. Almost 90% of their funds go directly to program expenses so I know that when I donate to this organization, my money is going to actually make a difference.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about FFRF 10 years ago. I was so impressed with the effectiveness of this organization that I immediately donated and became a member. I believe in this organization so strongly that I have become increasingly involved over the years. This is a top notch organization, extremely well run, amazingly effective and they have an exceptionally talented staff. Their legal work to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church is impressive year after year. FFRF has grown dramatically and yet they continue to maintain excellence across the board – very impressive. I cannot say enough positive things about this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I enjoy FFRF's work in the legal environment to ensure that non-believer rights are protected and that religion does not overreach. Their work is critical and I am a frequent donor. I asked for and received a director-level position with FFRF! We need to continue to grow and to influence our society to be more accepting of us. FFRF helps directly with that - thank you!

1 Todd P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My sister has children in school and she had an incident a few years back that I told her to report to FFRF. She did and the incident was taken care of in a few days. It involved my sister's son's school bus that pulled over to let an older gentleman on the bus with a box full of bibles to hand out to the children on the bus. FFRF took control of the situation by contacting the school district and the bus company and they both reassured my sister that something like this will never happen again.

Previous Stories
3

Board Member

Rating: 5

The FFRF (Freedom From Religion Foundation) is an awesome organization. This non-profit corrects church/state separation problems across the United States, responding to citizens who complain about violations in their own communities. This organization is the height of efficiency. What impresses me the most is how much work they get done and the speed at which they work. They respond almost immediately to any request that is submitted regarding a state/church separation issue. The lawyers get right to work and many times the issue is corrected immediately with just a friendly letter but if needed the FFRF is ready to take legal action in court. All this is done while keeping costs of running the organization low. They are also involved in charitable giving around the world. I really appreciate all the work and effort put forth by the staff and volunteers of this great organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization does fantastic legal work to maintain the Jeffersonian Wall of religion and government separation. They are frugal with donations and provide a lot of information to their supporters. Their conferences are amazing and their staff is the best.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Freedom from Religion Foundation deserves recognition There is no organization that supports atheists and humanists more vigorously and unapologetically than FFRF! They fight tirelessly on all fronts to maintain the separation of State and Church: in schools, in public facilities, and in government offices at all levels. The care that they take in allocating their funds to worthy causes is amazing and above reproach; the Board of Directors is very active and engaged in providing input and oversight on projects and initiatives. FFRF has a talented and committed team of attorneys and interns working effectively on legislative and lobbying efforts.
Long before joining the Board, my local freethought group was an active chapter with the FFRF. We were well supported with speakers and information that would help inform our members. Being part of FFRF has changed my life for the better, as it has for so many others, whether they realize it or not!

Previous Stories
2

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a member and supporter of the FFRF for many years. And while I have also held memberships with various secular, atheist, and humanist organizations, no organization does as much as the FFRF to fight for the Constitutional separation of church and State and promote normalcy for nonbelievers. At the same time, their leadership models kindness and generosity toward the victims of religious extremism, and they reach out a helping hand to activists around the world who risk their lives to support our shared freethought values.

Their excellent attorneys, staff, and volunteers work tirelessly for reason and against superstition and religious scams of all kinds. They are very frugal with their expenditures and I feel that by donating to them, I am getting more bang for my buck than anywhere else.
Kudos to the FFRF!

2 Erin Louis

Donor

Rating: 5

When my son's elementary school sent home a flyer promoting a not so cleverly disguised church event that promised a free bike for every child that attended, I contacted FFRF via their facebook page. They asked me to get confirmation that the event included religious services, and then sent a letter to the district informing them that it was unconstitutional for a public school to promote such an event. The school stopped promoting it.
It may seem like it's harmless or a good thing to allow a church to give away free bikes in this manner, but is ultimately harmful to non-Christians and secular students. My son has faced bulling and proselytizing by both other students and staff simply not belonging to a church. Knowing that an organization like FFRF is there to remind public schools and other public entities about their duty to remain secular and to maintain the separation of church and state has been a huge help and comfort to not only me, but my son.
I became a member and volunteer after this incident. Since then, I have become aware of just how important the work that FFRF does. Their work in protecting our secular constitution is invaluable. America is not and was never intended to be a theocracy, and FFRF works tirelessly to protect our right to freedom of religion and our freedom from religion.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been a member of FFRF for many years and attend all the conventions I possibly can. They have a terrific legal team and they actually make their conventions fun! They do more with their dollars than any non-profit I can think of and truly make an effort to address my number one concern, which is the deterioration of the separation between church and state, which is constantly being gnawed at by the right wing.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been an FFRF member for nearly 20 years. They are one of the most important and effective organizations fighting against unconstitutional involvement of religion in America's governmental institutions. FFRF has won many court victories reversing practices such as prayer in public schools, prayer at public government meetings, distribution of religious materials in schools. display of religious statues on government owned public property paid for by taxpayers, use of taxpayer dollars for the benefit of religious organizations, and much more. If you believe in strict separation of church and state it's important that you join FFRF to support their mission. I am proud to be a member.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Cults, religions, magic and superstition must not be allowed to influence legislation.

Thank you FFRF!

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF embodies everything I could hope for in a government watchdog. The religious fanatics that constantly attack our country’s freedom and constitution are barely held at bay. FFRF is a great frontline defense. I have included them in my estate planning, and suggest you consider the impact this could have as well.
I am a relatively recent survivor of six decades of religious nonsense, and have gone from god by my side, to a more faithful and loving companion. Dog is always by my side.

1 Jon P.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love the work they do! This is so important, protecting our constitution

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FFRF is the most effective organization to support the views of non-theists and, thus, respecting the wall of separation between state and church, as Thomas Jefferson introduced in the founding of this nation.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

As a longtime supporter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, I never cease to be amazed by their untiring work to maintain a clear separation of church and state in government and public life. Not surprisingly, their efforts to make sure that public officials respect the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which not only forbids the government from establishing an official religion, but also prohibits government actions that unduly favor one religion over another, generate a lot of angry mail and sometimes threats from people who mistakenly believe that America is simply a Christian nation, which it is not. I've also been impressed by how efficiently the organization is run, and how effective it has been in its work. Not surprisingly, the FFRF receives a well-deserved four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

Donor

Rating: 5

I’m a former devout Mormon. I would like to see more secular friendly businesses around here. My area here in Clinton, Utah declined having a Chili’s business come to town because they served alcohol in a bar. So now we have only one restauraunt, a Chinese place not allowed to serve alcohol. Can we change this?

2 advocators

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello FFRI Members im Marx i live here in the Philippines,I was an atheist activist i was promoting and advocating Freedom from Religion and separation of Church and states i advocate Atheism here in our University and our city,even its was very scary because of the Threat of this Religious Christian rebels and Isis Terrorist Fanatics in our Land in Mindanao.I was still promoting it because i hope someday the People will learn and understand Science.You can contact me here :( polodakomarxco@gmail.com ) or help my Atheist Advocacy to reach to our people.I need financial help to boost our Freedom from Religion.

1 Rigel R.

Donor

Rating: 5

The most important amendment is the first. It protects everybody's freedom to think and speak for themselves. They do a fantastic job of protecting this amendment and these rights which are under attack now. These attacks have to be countered now before it's too late and we're fighting from a very disadvantaged position!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In my young adulthood I was a fifth-generation Baptist minister. I saw the light that religion was all man-made and that there was no supernatural being in charge of the universe. I left religious ministry, went back to graduate school to become a PhD of Clinical Psychology. I joined FFRF many years ago and have found this non-profit to be incredibly well-run and helpful in separation of church and state. This organization does a great job in a most important realm -- we are a secular nation, not a religious one. Everyone is free to believe or not believe as he or she sees fit.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

FFRF does exactly what they say they'll do. I know that evfery dollar I give them will be used just the way they promise.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

A terrific organization that is fighting the good fight to maintain separation between church and state in the United States.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

--One of the finest protectors of the United States Constitution with its emphasis on the separation of state and church. Professional, ethical and exact with its analysis of the guaranteed protections due citizens from undue religious self-righteousness, FFRF captures the essence of constitutional protections.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Freedom From Religion Foundation may well be said to be among the most patriotic of organizations, for its utter determination to uphold the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, keeping State and Church SEPARATE. In so doing, it aids in leveling the playing field for ALL religious practitioners, as well as for those of us who practice NO religion. I personally feel myself privileged to have been able to work with Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor in assisting with their efforts, through the Northern Ohio Freethought Society.

These are good people doing good work, full stop.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This non profit focuses on an underserved minority in America with detailed attention and a respect for the values in our Constitution. Not only do they prevent abuses of the first amendment, they educate others on its importance. Hoensty and integrity are promoted across the country by this wonderful group.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I first heard about FFRF in 2007 after which I subscribed to the monthly magazine/newsletter. I joined shortly thereafter and subsequently became a lifetime member. I especially admire the courage and commitment of the staff in confronting public officials for their violations of the 1st Amendment. I thought that the Supreme Court decision in the early 60s that deemed school prayer to be against church-state separation had essentially solved that problem, but FFRF's constant vigilance has revealed the ways that religious individuals and groups work hard to impose their beliefs on everyone else. Keep up the good work; you have my support.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I find Freethought Today to be a refreshing change from the constant pro-belief attitude so prevalent here in Texas. FFRF fights for the acceptance of non-believers as equal citizens and to not have other's religions shoved in our faces as if that is their right.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF is critical to upholding the Constitution in its clea separation of church and state. We are not to be a theocracy. We are a diverse nation of multiple faiths and secular spiritual choices. I applaud FFRF for its courage and support them wholeheartedly!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Unabashed champion of the rights of non-believers.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Helping to keep religion out of politics and making the public aware there is a sizable number of people who dont believe in popular myths and superstitions.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

For a small non-profit, FFRF makes tremendous strides in keeping our religious freedoms free, for all of us. If you care about our Constitution and what should be our secular Republic, Freedom From Religion Foundation is at the top of the list.

1 Franklin E.

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a great organization for Atheists who believe strongly in the separation of church and state! Great people run the organization, and they do great work in our Communities!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Very pleased with how much each dollar I contribute gets used to fight for the separation of church and state! I am regularly communicated with on what projects are being worked on and their status and outcomes. Well worth every penny!!!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Fantastic Organization! The only real choice for freethinkers everywhere!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

They are upholding the Constitution of the United States and trying to keep church and state separate like our founding Fathers intended. They are NOT trying to take anybodys right to pray and worship away, as the religious right would have you think. We just want a fair country for all.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had nothing but wonderful interactions with this group.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FFRF tells the truth! They deal with facts, not beliefs or rumors. The fact that our political and governmental officials need to have their feet held to the fire goes without question. The ability and the tenacity of FFRF to fight for our constitutional rights should be held in highest regards. Truly a professional and dedicated team. Outstanding role models, that are needed so badly at this time, for all in this nation.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I enjoy learning the news that keeps them active. People violating the supreme law of the U.S., the Constitution of the United States of America and how the Freedom From Religion Foundation sets them straight. And if they have no concern for the letter FFRF sent, FFRF will take them to court to get them to comply with the law of the land. Separation of church and state.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FFRF points out the unconstitutional activities that people of
religion, invariably Christians, go to to ensure that their point
of view, and only their point of view, is stuffed down the throats
of school students around the country.

The actions of politicians that want their version of Christianity
to invade the lives of citizens is another area FFRF gets regular
complaints about.

The fear Christians instill in people as they decry Islam and
the possibility of Sharia law while crying persecution when
their 10 commandment monuments illegally placed in public areas
are finally removed or prevented from being placed. They cry
persecution when any attempt to remove their religious point of
view is upheld in courts or a religious neutral perspective is
upheld.

The blog, radio program, and monthly newspaper of FFRF point
out these constitutional violations and so many, many more
instances of why religion is so divisive.

FFRF doesn't go looking for violations. They are kept busy
just replying to and investigating reports from citizens around
the country that don't need/want the religious view of others
invading their lives.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The FFRF has been a champion for the separation of church and state for decades. Those of us who are freethinkers stand behind this organization that protects the rights of those that prefer science and reason to feckless faith. Most important, they help keep reason and science in schools, and religion somewhere else. Every American has the right to worship as they please, and to not have someone else’s beliefs foisted on them. FFRF is a key part of that effort.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am 68 years old and just discovered FFRF. I appreciate their stance regarding belief or not as a personal choice, and recall the many times at school and in Boy Scouts when I felt embarrassed at having to bow my head or otherwise acknowledge a belief or power I don't subscribe to.

1 Wesley M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A well-produced show that is to be commended for it's thoughtful content, centered around maintaining the Constitutional separation of church and state. Interesting guests and music!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I appreciate having someone to contact when I see violations of separation of church and state.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have donated and supported Freedom From Religion, Inc. for over five years. We have received their newsletters and emails specifying all their accomplishments and events nationally in promoting the separation of church and state. They appear to be very organized, productive, efficient, and well intentioned. We particularly applaud all their efforts in keeping religion from being promoted at public schools.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I grew up as a non-believer in a time and place where religion and its associated guilt were a major part of everyday life. My Southern California town of 25,000 housed 7 major religions. Everyone I knew as a child assumed that religion formed the very basis for life on earth. Even worse, they were willing to accept the most outrageous stories as absolute truth. When I moved away to college, I let go of most of the notions I had absorbed as a child. Later, one of my friends gave me an FFRF newsletter. That simple gift completed my journey to freedom from religion. I'm proud to be a life member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Freedom from Religion Foundation is doing a great service to this country by working hard every day to keep church & state separate. So many of our polititions today do not respect or heed the establishment clause, and that is causing a lot of problems. Maybe the pols are just playing dumb, but they will lose in the end with the FFRF being the watchdog over these missteps. From high school coaches encouraging prayers before games to politicians invoking prayer at the most inappropriate times, FFRF is trying mightily to keep the establishment clause in operation...religion must be kept out of government...that is why I respect what FFRF is doing.

Donor

Rating: 5

The FFRF plays a rare and vital role in America, helping shine an objective light on the role of government and religion in our institutions, our schools, and our communities. They are professional, thoughtful, and effective - a very well run national nonprofit organization!

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organization! Fearless defenders of The Constitution.

Chris Todd
St Louis Park MN

Jim L.2

Donor

Rating: 5

Freedom from Religion Foundation is keeping it real!
Keep up the great work!
Proud member,
Jim L.

Michael M.7

Donor

Rating: 5

I sleep easier knowing this well-run, action-oriented successful nonprofit is hard at work protecting church and state separation. It may seem counter-intuitive to the sorts of things they combat, but FFRF's efforts actually *protect* religious people, too! Keeping the correct distinction between public/secular and religious space is critical to a functional and well-running democracy that marshals the full inclusion and power of its citizenry. I'm proud to support this group!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Excellent source for useful publications and an impressively active NGO supporting the US Constitution

Donor

Rating: 5

They poke and prod for ALL of Americans, to keep the wall of separation between church and state for the good of us all. As to the argument that the majority of US citizens have Christian background, just think in the coming decades when it might be muslims who are the majority. No religion, no matter how currently popular, should be promoted by our government.
Just look at the various countries of the world that have an official religion; I don't see people rushing to move there.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Freedom From Religion Foundation assures that the 1st amendment separation of church and state is enforced. As an atheist I appreciate what they do to keep this country from becoming a Christo-fascist dictatorship.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an organization that helps guide others that might need clarification and help in organizing their own efforts to uphold the Constitution. I live in East Texas and supporting minorities that want to be free from religious dogma is very difficult. I regularly use the articles and information from FFRF to organize my own efforts. I had a local problem school/religion issue that they helped clarify and I am now working on another, "In God We Trust" that showed up on my city's police cars this month. I lived through a religious over throw of a government and am acutely aware of the danger of religious dogma in large letters over our law enforcement cars. The most important thing the FFRF does for me is let me know that I am not alone out here. Smart, sharp organized people are working hard helping anyone who wants to stand up. We must stand up or the United States will not be a place we can be safe and proud.

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF is an organization that gives a voice to me as someone who is marginalized due his minority beliefs.

John424

Donor

Rating: 5

I think that they are a hugely important and influential organization. They continually strive to promote the separation of church and state. I donate as much as I can to them.

Donor

Rating: 5

Honest and candid. They use their dollars appropriately and sparingly.

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF works tirelessly to maintain separation of church and state and wisely utilizes the funds that individuals like us donate to them.

Donor

Rating: 5

Bible based organization teach their members to discriminate against people that don't fit their belief system hence all the discrimination toward people and all the wars. People don't chose to be black or white or be from a particular country or LGBT.

It is very simple all people should be RESPECTED not demonized because they are different.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

it is reassuring to me that those of us who believe that religion and politics should remain separate have a voice & presence in this diverse society. I salute their dedication to this important work in the face of rabid persecution from the 'religious right'.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My personal freedoms are jeopardized by any organization that seeks to legislate their ''personally'' held religious beliefs into a secular society. We need FFRF now more than ever.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FFRF does excellent and very necessary work. I have never known them to be frivolous or wasteful.

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF is a consistent and voracious in their mission to educate the world on the ideals of critical thought and secularism, and more importantly to promote and help enforce the separation of church and state. As a long time donor I have no reservations that they are 100% representative of and dedicated to their stated mission. We as a nation would do well to use them as a model for all non-profits.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Freedom From Religion Foundation works very hard, spends it's money and energy wisely, and keeps it's members informed on an almost daily basis. They are honorable people doing very important work and their salaries are reasonable, if not low. My only regret is that I can't afford to give more!

Donor

Rating: 5

This nonprofit always keeps me in the loop with their latest efforts, struggles that are pertinent to my way of life, and progress with court cases across the country.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Very responsible with their money and they stay true to their mission.

1 Jared8

Donor

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is highly effective in carrying out its mission and in communicating with members and supporters. It has an excellent newsletter, frequent email reports and many national and local events. Highly recommended.