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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

139 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 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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I live in El Paso County CO. It's about as red state and religious as it gets...in a blue site. Focus on the Family and New Life Church are here. We elected Doug Lamborn and Gordon Klingenschmitt to office. FFRF remains a presence here countering the religious zealots that poison ideas like live and let live. Schools are scrutinized and people like Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church were met with a huge protest where FFRF was definitely in evidence. It feels a little safer here with such a presence.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF is a wonderful organization fighting for the separation of church and state in the United States. I am grateful that FFRF is a national voice for those like me who are not religious. They fight abuses of religious power and publicize that there are many atheist/agnostic/freethinking people in the country. They also sell many publications on these topics and have radio programs and emailed information about current and historical topics.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a member of The Freedom From Religion Foundation since January of 1983. Right from the beginning I knew I had found a "home"; a place where I could be open about my atheism.
Living in a small community of mostly white Christian conservatives; the same village I had been born into, I thought nobody else in the world was a non-believer --- until I started college! Imagine my relief to find a copy of a humanist magazine in the college library one day, discovering that there were at least tens of thousands of folks like me!
Today I live in a rural Amish area. I feel more at home here than I ever did in the community in which I was raised. These folks are very religious, but not one of them has ever proselytized or made me feel unwelcome. If all Christians were as Christian as my Amish neighbors, what a wonderful world this would be. (Thank you, Sam Cooke.)
The day my copy of the FFRF's "Freethought Today" newspaper arrives is usually the brightest day of the month for me, and I read it cover to cover the day it hits my mailbox.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I contribute to only a few charities and consider FFRF to be the best. They have constant feedback on all of their activities and have a well run organization that focuses on their stated goal of protecting the first amendment's separation of church and state clause and do not run off on some wild goose chase pursuing other activities. WAY TO GO!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization translates their funding into direct action, advocating for a secular government, and if necessary, taking cases to court to assure the wall of separation between government and religion, guaranteed by the First Amendment. They regularly update their members and contributors about their efforts, and about threats to our rights that should be of concern.

1 Rudi C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

More now than ever,we need Fredom From Religion...

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The best way to fight against ignorance and to make sure The Constitution is adhered to.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This non-profit does more than just exist, it watches government sites and formally protests ones used inappropriately.

Druie C.

Donor

Rating: 5

This non-profit organization does a phenomenal job of helping to keep religion out of politics and government. I support it whole-heartedly and hope that even more people will support it in the future.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This group, Freedom from Religion Foundation, has my full support. They work effectively on separation of church and state issues. They use my donations well and without waste and high overhead. They are dedicated and responsible.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the weekly updates on the work they're doing, and the monthly newsletters. This organization is powerful, effective, and invaluable!

1 John423

Donor

Rating: 5

Freedom From Religion is a very effective and responsible voice for Humanism and rational thinking. They are especially important in this time when religious zealots have gained increased control of our government.

1 HWFL

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FFRF is helping us now in Pensacola to address a large cross in a public park that is maintained with taxpayer dollars. To stand up to religious privilege we all need FFRF. Please support it.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Performs a vital service in working tirelessly to reinforce the wall of separation between church and state--a wall that is constantly threatened by zealots within the government and a constitutionally-ignorant citizenry.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Constantly effective by fighting at the source: the choices that government at all levels makes daily. FFRF cooperates with other organizations and enlists assistance to maximize its impact, always striving to educate supporters as well as opponents. Nonpartisan, it is an unconditional force for good.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Absolutely first rate organization!!! What else do I need to say to convince you?

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

FFRF was responsive to some questions I had and provided advice. They work hard for the causes I support.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Freedom from Religion Foundation vigorously defends the First Amendment rights of all citizens, religious and nonreligious alike. FFRF achieves this daunting objective with a small, but dedicated legal and administrative staff. Their work is critical to the future of religious freedom in this country. They handle thousands of constitutional violations. Their success rate is astonishing. FFRF a key player in preventing the United States from turning into an oppressive theocracy.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

For several decades FFRF has been out front regarding state-church separation problems. They are our voice when theists simply refuse to listen, which is so often it's tiresome.

1 Catherine95

Donor

Rating: 5

Tireless efforts to separate church from state at every level of civic life and for all Americans. Defender of free-thought and free-thinkers from the state-supported religion. Funding of legal defense and political action in support of people and groups discriminated against by religion using the power of government to enforce their religious beliefs and traditions over all others onto the citizenry using all taxpayer dollars to do it. Proponents of free thought (including atheism, agnosticism and skeptics) over religious dogma as the the way to maintain true freedom from tyranny.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Seems as if a typical religion wanting to pray before Congress and proselytize for their beliefs. Mischaracterize U.S. Constitution as "Godless" even though several founders wrote letters indicating United States would only last as long as the people remained God-fearing. Are an extreme, left-leaning, liberal, now so-called progressive political movement. Seems as if their religion is subsumed into their liberal/progressive/dishonest/immoral political agenda. Fundamentally dishonest people. I thought they would be intellectually honest.

1 Martin14

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF does remarkable work in the area of Church and State Separation. They are very responsive to their members, and are always available to help anyone who has an issue with an overzealous government entity or school with regards to religious activity. I've been a member for years and have very high regards for this organization.

2 Bruce51

Donor

Rating: 5

To all appearances, FFRF is completely open about and transparent with their financial records. FFRF diligently complies with federal regulations concerning non-taxed, charitable organizations.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Simply a great organization. Works to keep religion out of our political system, in accordance with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FINALLY! We Atheists, Agnostics, Secular, Humanists and NONES are represented. FFRF!
I live in a Sr. Residence. In 2008 I started a group, "ATHEISTS ANONYMOUS". GREAT speaker every month for 3 years. Every religion, Non religion, Atheists, well represented. Pushing 90 now (in 1 and 1/2 years), and not up to the difficult work of finding TOP SPEAKERS. The only kind I want.
16 at the 1st meeting. Standing room only 1/2 way into the sessions. PBCS filmed us, showed us on TV. Another Channel filmed us as well. IT WAS NOT EASY! In trouble from the beginning with the 'Powers That Be' here. Andrew Seidel was instrumental in keeping the 'course' going.
Many calls from all over (Paris, etc.) Letters from Atheists stating that they would love to come to a THINKING Sr. residence. "Up to now, I thought Sr. Residences were all faith based religious entities. Thank you".
FFRF is a necessary and needed organization. Into my 8th year here. Have run out of money.
Social Security doesn't go up, but the monthly here does. I KNOW a book of my crazy life would be a best seller.....My friend, Gore Vidal could have helped me. He certainly gave my friend, Scottie Bowers a boost for his book, "Full Service". Best seller NYTIMES many weeks.
ANY of you folks out there, wondering where to GIVE/leave $$$$$$.....FFRF! You couldn't find a more worthy cause ANYWHERE!
Love,
Brigit Clarke-Smith

1 Lynn120

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They did an excellent job advising me on a separation of church and state issue in my town.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FFRF is excellent in that it provides detailed information about various people who do not specifically believe in a divine being. Some are agnostic, some are atheist--all have fascinating backgrounds. It is ALWAYS worth reading about.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

FFRF is the largest and most effective organization working for the separation of state and church.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Helps me believe I'm not alone in standing up for my beliefs and gives a louder voice showing there are others in this country and that they should not be looked down at or overlooked.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If you are a free-thinker, atheist, agnostic or just 'A-Religious' and feeling outnumbered and unrepresented, this is the group for you! By joining FFRF, I no longer feel alone. I am relieved to put my faith in science instead of in faith, and relieved to be free of the terror imposed by the religious. It is enlightening to rely on reason and to trust in the glory of nature, free of superstition. This organization is well run, very informative, and is peopled by a host of brilliant pragmatists & idealists alike. I highly recommend joining FFRF. It is a bulwark between government & church, protecting our precious constitution from theocrats. Thanks!

1 Irene15

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I regard The Freedom from Religion Foundation leading the campaigns for separation of church and state to be of incredible importance. All the constant infringements of this are the focus of FFRF. Thank goodness for them! Robert G Ingersoll, "The Great Agnostic", who championed the separation of church and state 140 years ago, would be proud. Way to go!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Freedom From Religion Foundation works tirelessly to protect the Constitutional mandated separation of church and state. People have the right to believe or not believe, as they choose, separate from government as government is for all the people regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization does great work defending our constitution and fighting religious discrimination. They are very active and usually get good publicity because they are nationally recognized as a reputable, knowledgeable organization. They also know how to have fun. They are not a bunch of grumpy atheists. Their monthly newspaper is quite informative. It always features inspiring stories of caring members young and old who make our country great.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The FFRF has done an excellent job of exposing and educating the public of the evil, lawlessness, and criminality that exists in all organized religious sects of any stripe. The FFRF fills an educational service long overlooked.
Individuals have, over time, exposed the evil found in all religions, but I am unaware of any organization, other than the FFRF, whose purpose is to inform all of the rank conduct of religious sects. It's work is vital. The execution of its goal is flawless. Judge (ret.) Dennis DePorter, Illinois

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

With the crazy religious fanatics taking over the government in January (especially VP Pence), it's more important than ever to keep religion out of government. Freedom From Religion is the best chance we have of doing that.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Keeping all of us safe from theocratic zealots is as American as you can get!

1 Richard145

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF is really making a difference. They know what it takes to achieve the wall of separation between religion and government - lawsuits and threats of lawsuits. Google "FFRF sues". Well worth the donation.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization does incredibly valuable work and is one of the very few organizations out there striving to keep the separation of church and state, and I am grateful that they fight the fight on a daily basis. I look forward every month to reading their "Freethought Today" newspaper.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Charles Darwin 11/18/2016

Thank you for the kind review. We are glad you enjoy our newspaper, Freethought Today. We've recently hired a new Editor-in-Chief, PJ Slinger, and think he's boosted our paper into something truly special. We will continue to fight daily for state/church separation.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FFRF assisted in halting several church/state violations at my children's public school. They are very professional and I am grateful for their help.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

Charles Darwin 11/18/2016

FFRF's legal team works diligently to respond to each and every complaint we receive in a timely and efficient manner. We are glad to have been able to assist you and your family. If you ever have future violations, please don't hesitate to report them.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Freedom from Religion Foundation stands strong in the fight to maintain the separation of state and church. It continues to educate everyone about the fact that we were founded as a secular nation and FFRF and its members will continue to keep that "wall" stranding despite the constant bombardment from those who would make this country into a theocracy.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF works hard to protect the separation of state and church. I've supported this group for years, and not only do they help out students in school districts, or adults with city council prayer concerns, or stop restaurant church bulletin discounts which discriminate against those who don't attend a church, but they have different campaigns on a secular donation page so people can help others in need without any religious component.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

FFR, Inc. makes extraordinarily good use of its resources, which are often meager..

2 Teresa103

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Last year I joined the local chapter of the FFRF because I believe that church and state should remain separate. We are deep in a fight against Islamism (the merging of Islam with government) and we must guard against falling victim to Christianism here. Religion has incited more horrific violence and nasty judgemental dogma than any other belief system, and I belief the best future for humanity is in learning how to be moral based on science and reason, instead of having to believe in some chastising deity. The FFRF has a terrific team of lawyers that assist when people are ready to bring charges based on the Establishment Clause of the constitution, and they are looking out for our free speech rights. In the days to come when right wing Christians are running both houses and the executive branch of our government, we can expect agnosticism, atheism, and secular humanism to be attacked while Christianism will be enshrined. FFRF has their work cut out for them and they can use all the support that you can give.

This photo shows a status of Jesus on public land that stands still in spite of the FFRF's efforts. Just two days ago I heard a story about a woman who works for the state in Swain County NC whose entire department has a prayer session at 10am every work day. If she chooses not to pray, she does not get a break but is expected to continue working. This kind of institutionalized religion violates labor laws and the constitution, yet it is pervasive. To the degree that we can bring our workplaces and public spaces into non-religious behavior, we will have a civilization nation that respects all its citizens.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Just good to know that you're out there, as I survive (more or less) in this physically beautiful, but "holy, holy" hilltop town!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was a member of FFRF for 10 years before I became a board member this year. I have always been impressed with the total dedication of the co-presidents, Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, and the staff. No one works harder to educate about, and affirm the constitutional separation of church and state. No violation is too small to escape FFRF's notice, and they have a very good track record in getting violators to see the error of their ways. The Legal Department is kept very busy and their work is likely to increase under the new administration. This organization continues to be one of the major players in the First Amendment arena. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone wanting to keep religion out of all levels of government. Request a free copy of their newsletter at ffrf.org and see for yourself.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A great organization that fights important battles for state and church separation. They have great newsletter and radio show.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm very grateful that the FFRF works tirelessly to stop violations of the constitutional doctrine of separation of church and state. They actively involve local free-thinkers as well, so the organization is not monolithic or exclusive. They dedicate themselves to preserving fundamental freedoms and educating the public about those freedoms and their frequent violations. These are tasks that I wish I could do myself, but cannot, for practical reasons. I'm glad FFRF fights for what I believe in on my behalf. They do a fantastic job, and when I have my millions, I will fund them much more substantially than I can now.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These people are good and not for any other reason but to be good. They fight for equal rights and I trust FFRF completely to do what is right for our country.

1 Jim_181

Donor

Rating: 5

The FFRF is a great organization of hard working people. They strive to keep religion from influencing our government, schools, and other public institutions, which is something every American should value - after all, the Pilgrims came to America to escape enforced religion, and even if you are religious you would not want to be forced to follow a different religion.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fighting to keep secular government free from sectarian influence, with success in all spheres of government.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm a long-time member who has also included FFRF in my estate planning, as that's how strongly I feel about the work that they do. This organization fights tirelessly for the rights of all Americans to live in a secular society.

2 Craig39

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are doing the very needed work of keeping religion out of schools and governments. We need to be making decisions based on evidence and reason, not ancient story books!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Ethical, progressive, gets results. Vital protector of the separation of state and religion helps keep our democracy from the threat of theocracy.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

We NEED freedom from religion -- from religious ideas of learned helplessness, xenophobia, fear, superstition, dominance of the many by the few, the idea that human beings are intrinsically evil unless bullied into submission, that the only hope for us is some imagined "other world" that we can go to only when we die -- all of that. Unlike the Humanists, this organization tells it like it is, and places the blame for so many of mankind's problems exactly where it lies: with religion.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an FFRF life time member I have witnessed over the years hundreds of successful encounters against those who violate laws governing separation of church and state. I fondly remember meeting Annie Laurie and Dan during FFRF protest at Reliant Stadium in Houston concerning Governor Perry's extreme violation of the law at his Texas government sanctioned prayer event. Thanks to both of you and all that FFRF does.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

FFRF is the most successful organization working on the separation of church and state. Using their own experiences and relating to members, they continue to provide great work in this effort. i am a $1000 lifetime member, and If I could afford it I would be contributing generously to FFRF on a monthly basis. In spite of recent election, I continue to remain hopeful for our country due to the diligence of the committed staff and members of Freedom From Religion, Inc. Along with protecting our constitutional rights re respect of dis-belief, this organization gives me great intellectual and mental solace knowing there are others who agree with my atheism.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

FFRF provides total transparency and although is a rapidly growing national watchdog organization, will still send a hand written thank you card for donations sent in.
Myself and my family - husband and two daughters - have been members for 10 years. I find their writing to be clear and always educational. I have asked for their help with church state violations over the years, and they always provide sound advice and tips for further research, even legal advice. This is a group of smart, dedicated people out to help anyone and everyone who loves our constitution and who does not want to be bullied by an entitled majority. If I could give more stars, I would.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization provides real assistance to people facing difficult situations. Highly recommended.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

FFRF continues to resist the intrusion of religion into our government functions and public schools. The people who want prayer and religion in our government would not be so accommodating if it was a religion they didn't like. Separation of church and state must be defended.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Unsung champions of the wall of separation between church and state. These folks are for real and deserve your support. They are fighting an uphill battle against superstition but are slowly gathering momentum. Check them out at: FFRF.org...

2 Jon_39

Donor

Rating: 4

Works very hard to keep religion out of government.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Nothing but the finest, most honest and dedicated people running this nonprofit. My only concern is who will replace them in the future.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Focuses on core mission and uses resources to educate the public and correct instances of violation of the separation of church and state doctrine. Very little is spent on fundraising and administrative costs.