FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION INC

Protecting Your Right to Know Since 1985

Tallahassee, FL   |  www.floridafaf.org

Mission

The First Amendment Foundation believes that government openness and transparency is critical to citizen trust and involvement in our democratic society – without Government in the Sunshine, civic engagement cannot bloom. Through ongoing monitoring of the state’s public records and open meetings laws, and the education of government officials and the citizens they serve about those laws, the Foundation promotes the public’s constitutional right to oversee and to participate in the governance process.

Ruling year info

1985

President

Barbara Petersen

Main address

317 East Park Avenue, Lower Level

Tallahassee, FL 32301 USA

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EIN

59-2449379

NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Censorship, Freedom of Speech and Press Issues (R63)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

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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?

FOI Hotline

The First Amendment Foundation runs the FOI Hotline, where callers to our toll-free number (800-337-3518) can get information and assistance with their questions about the application of the Sunshine Law and the Public Records Law. Currently, the FOI Hotline is averaging about 200 calls a month, with almost half coming from the general public. The Foundation also responds to emailed questions about open government.

Population(s) Served

The Foundation holds a series of Sunshine Seminars around the state, inviting the participation of government officials, journalists, and members of the general public. In addition, the Foundation will provide individual seminars on request, with tailor-made presentations to meet the needs of the participants.

Population(s) Served

The Manual is a comprehensive guide to Florida's Open Meetings and Public Records Laws, and is published by the First Amendment Foundation each year in cooperation with the Attorney General's Office. The Sunshine Manual provides public officials, citizen activists, and journalists with up-to-date information, including recent case law and attorney general opinions. The Foundation also offers an electronic (Kindle) version of the manual available for purchase at amazon.com. The e-manual includes a searchable database of the manual, as well as a searchable database of exemptions from access requirements.

Population(s) Served

The Foundation monitors the Legislature, state agencies, the courts, and, when possible, local governments, for actions and issues related to open government, alerting its members through periodic reports of all open government activity.

Population(s) Served

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.

The First Amendment Foundation aims to keep Florida's Sunshine Laws strong and honestly and effectively executed. Each legislative session brings scores of new challenges. Most often the new proposals coming before the Legislature would in some way diminish the public's right to information. FAF seeks to remediate or halt the harmful legislation and support beneficial legislation.


FAF aims to educate and train Florida citizens and public officials on the Sunshine Laws through workshops and publishing training manuals..
FAF will expand its electronic outreach to citizens and to civic non-profits through website improvements, webinars and social networking.
FAF will create partnerships to expand its educational programs
FAF will step-up its montioring of records and meetings law implementation across Florida, alerting the public and public officials of possible violations.

FAF is developing a strategic plan to create new programs over the next five years. FAF will seek grants to create a legal, journalism and civic fellows program with the ultimate goal of creating an endowment to support the fellows program. FAF hired a fundraising professional to launch the fundraising effort in 2014 to raise $500,000. Foundation, corporate and individual grant applications will be submitted at the state and national level. Since 1984, the Foundation has been primarily supported by a news industry that believed the public has a right to know what their government is doing and why. This support has diminished, and the Foundation must look for support beyond the founders. By creating new programs through the fellows program, the Foundation will expand its works with public policy centers, NGOs, and citizen activists. All have the potential to support the Foundation and provide greater public awareness. This vigorous advocacy on behalf of open government in Florida will secure FAF's future for the next 30 years.

The First Amendment Foundation has a singular purpose to embrace the fundamental principle that open government meetings and public records are the keys to citizen trust in government and participation in democracy. As the pioneer in open government in Florida, FAF has had a profound impact and is capable of moving forward with its strategic five-year goals. The Board supports the goals and will engage in fundraising. There are more than 300 members of FAF and a network of citizen activists that will provide a base of support to launch the fundraising campaign. A professional has been hired to direct the fundraising campaign and work with the Board. A Board Development Committee has been created and the Committee is actively identifying major gifts prospects. A fundraising training session for the Board is scheduled for the June 2014 meeting.

FAF is preparing for a major gifts fundraising campaign to secure $500,000 to launch the Legal, Civic and Jounalism Fellows program in the fall of 2014. The Board and the staff will begin making cultivation and solicitation calls in May 2014.

Financials

FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION INC
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Operations

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

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FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION INC

Board of directors
as of 04/04/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Carol LoCicero

Thomas & LoCicero