Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

aka FFRF   |   Madison, WI   |  http://www.ffrf.org/

Mission

The purposes of the Freedom From Religion Foundation are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to nontheism.

Ruling year info

1978

Co-President

Dan Barker

Co-President

Annie Laurie Gaylor

Main address

PO Box 750

Madison, WI 53701 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

39-1302520

NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

First Amendment violations are accelerating. The religious right is campaigning to raid the public till and advance religion at taxpayer expense, perverting the notion of religious liberty and attacking our secular public schools, the rights of non-believers and the Establishment Clause. FFRF recognizes that the United States was first among nations to adopt a secular Constitution. The founders who wrote the U.S. Constitution wanted citizens to be free to support the church of their choice, or no religion at all. Our Constitution was very purposefully written as a godless document, whose only references to religion are exclusionary. It is vital to buttress the Jeffersonian "wall of separation between church and state" which has served our nation so well.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Legal Activism

FFRF advances the constitutional principle of church-state separation by educating about the law, responding to and investigating potential violations of the law, and enforcing or attempting to change the law via education, litigation and lobbying.

Population(s) Served
Adults

FFRF seeks to increase understanding about freethought and the value of state-church separation for all, regardless of religious faith or the lack thereof. Specific activities include an annual convention and other events featuring freethought viewpoints, support of local chapters, student scholarships, awards, radio and TV broadcasts, newspaper, advertising, books and music.

Population(s) Served
Adults

FFRF seeks to inform lawmakers and the public about the importance of secular laws and oppose measures that use religion as the basis for public policy.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. End violations of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution by educating public officials about the law and taking legal action when necessary to end illegal activity.
2. Promote the understanding and acceptance of nonreligious people and the value of secularism in public life for people of any faith or no faith.
3. Use a comprehensive legislative advocacy program to educate lawmakers and the public about the importance of secular laws and oppose measures that use religion as the basis for public policy.

1. Conduct educational outreach to public school officials about how to avoid state/church violations.
By educating public school officials about common state/church violations and how to avoid them, FFRF proactively addresses the most common type of legal complaint it receives. Such education serves the parents of school-aged children who object to the inappropriate practice of religion in public schools by school officials; the children themselves who are often the subject of ridicule or ostracism for not being religious or of a different religion than the majority of their peers; and school staff who disagree with these inappropriate practices and face professional repercussions if they publicly object. FFRF legal staff will create materials to educate school officials, including videos, written guidelines and informational brochures. In addition, staff will reach out to educational associations to offer to present on the topic.
2. Encourage critical thinking and avenues for self-expression for freethinking students. FFRF endows and conducts five student essay contests with cash awards for the top entries, as well as offering awards and scholarships for outstanding student activists and freethinking individuals who have experienced discrimination while participating in the Boy Scouts of America, an organization that requires participants to profess a belief in god. FFRF will strengthen our partnerships with secular organizations that specifically serve students and youth to expand our outreach and increase visibility.
3. Pursue litigation when a legal complaint is not resolved by educational outreach.
FFRF receives hundreds of complaints annually about potential violations of the Establishment Clause. The legal staff sends an average of 1,000 letters annually in response to the public officials involved in the violation. The purposes of the letters are 1) to educate officials about the law and how to address the violations, 2) to gather more information about the issue, and 3) Investigate activities by government officials and raise awareness of practices that run afoul of the law.
4. Via the Educate Congress initiative, FFRF aims to build working relationships with Congress members to promote the creation of public policy and legislation to support the separation of state and church and uphold secular values. This two-pronged initiative relies on the direct communication efforts of FFRF's Director of Governmental Affairs overseen by the Director of Strategic Response and the strength of grassroots outreach efforts designed to empower secular constituents to advocate for reason-based public policy and legislation.

To be added.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    FFRF, a 501(c)(3) educational organization, is the largest association of freethinkers (mainly atheists and agnostics) in the United States. We also work with other stakeholders (individuals and organizations) who support the mission of FFRF.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, We typically hear from 1,000 to 3,000 members of the public annually seeking our legal assistance.,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    FFRF recently began working with an agency to carry out a 3-year diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan. This was in response to both internal and external feedback from stakeholders about the importance of increasing diversity, equity and inclusion within the secular movement and within FFRF itself.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    FFRF recently began publishing our annual audit on its website in order to increase transparency about FFRF's financial status. Our 2020 membership survey revealed members' opinions about social issues, and we began providing more educational statements about how those issues intersect with FFRF's mission. We also created a strategic response team and director of governmental affairs to tackle legislative matters (within the bounds of our 501(c)(3) charitable status) that also reflect the concerns of the membership and other key stakeholders.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/20/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Stephen Hirtle

Cheryl Kolbe

Dan Barker

Annie Gaylor

Jim Zerwick

Michael Cermak

Todd Peissig

Steve Salemson

David Tamayo

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/15/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data