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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Defending Dissent Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Censorship, Freedom of Speech & Press, Citizen Participation, Civil Rights

Mission: We have merged with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee! Please check us out at our new profile page: http://greatnonprofits.org/org/bill-of-rights-defense-committee-defending-dissent-foundation

Results: For the past 10 years, DDF has led or participated in coalitions to try to stop the onslaught of legislation, executive orders, administrative rules and practices that have added to the arsenal of repressive tools available to the Executive branch, while reducing oversight and transparency. We have focused on the removal of restrictions on FBI agents; and the escalating rhetoric that equates radical ideas with violence and terrorism. Fear-mongering about “radicalization” has especially targeted American Muslims and progressive demonstrators, including those involved in the Occupy movement.

Target demographics: Everyone who wants to live in a free society.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Every year we fight to protect our democracy! 2013 highlights include protesting NSA surveillance, promoting oversight of the FBI and educating Congress and the public about the value of dissent in a democracy

Geographic areas served: the U.S.A.

Programs: DDF is launching a new public education campaign called Dissent is Essential to promote understanding of the value of dissent in democracy, and the methods the government (particularly the FBI and local police) use to suppress dissent and marginalize progressive movements. Our advocacy work centers on rolling back the expansion of the FBI’s domestic intelligence mission and working to prevent the use of domestic intelligence authorities to chill organizing for progressive social change.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sommer G.


Rating: 5

I appreciate the Defending Dissent Foundation for their excellent communications. They send only a few emails, and these emails let me know precisely what concrete actions are being taken with my donations, from submitting briefs in important court cases to lobbying for particular amendments. These announcements are also timely, and help me interpret what I'm reading in the news about particular legislation from the perspectives of informed civil liberties advocates.


Rating: 5

This group has long defended free-speech and anti-harassment rights -- issues that are once again under challenge today.


Rating: 5

Consistently, for over 50 years under earlier names, it has done what its name says, preventing people from being jailed or suppressed by other means of law for holding unpopular views. Or on suspicion of holding such views. Its actions probably show a bias towards support of people who criticize the government; this would be because agreeing with the government is rarely a form of dissent that goernments try to suppress.