First Amendment Voice


aka First Amendment Voice   |   Oakton, VA   |


Reinvigorate citizens to claim, protect and exercise the rights espoused in the 1st Amendment throughout U.S. society through a collaborative campaign of education and advocacy.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Steven Miska

Main address

P.O. Box 624

Oakton, VA 22124 USA

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NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (A01)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS filing requirement

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

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Fear and apathy have pushed many Americans out of the public square. Some fear retribution should they voice their opinion. Others feel nobody would listen anyway, so why bother? FAV finds both trends dangerous to democratic governance, which depends upon active and educated citizens. Hyper-partisanship and polarization have exacerbated theses trends, fueled by partisan ideologues and media personalities who profit from fear-mongering and divisiveness. Misinformation and disinformation in the media and elsewhere add to the confusion, causing many Americans to lose trust in institutions like the media, faith communities, and government organizations.

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?

National Symposium

National nonpartisan convening of leaders who advocate on behalf of freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. The philosophy includes education on first amendment trends, providing tools for engagement in the public square, and inspiration to engage on important issues in participant communities.

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.

FAV seeks to establish a network of Americans who are educated and inspired to use their individual voices and have productive, inclusive communication on difficult topics to find common ground and collaborate to protect First Amendment freedoms. FAV is a community supporting every Americans’ 1st Amendment rights. We believe we are better when connected while our differences make us stronger. Winning entails waking Americans up to the real threats of a loss of civic education, the dangers of polarization, and the need to have an active citizenry that holds elected leaders accountable.

1) Educate – On the importance and approach to conduct productive discussion leading to more inclusion and less division. The First Amendment exhibits complex ideas, with five essential freedoms bound up in 45 words. Freedoms of religion, speech, the press, assembly, and petition can sometimes be in conflict with each other, depending on the topic. FAV offers accessible programming for people at all levels of civic education to engage on their most passionate issues.
2) Advocate – Support individual rights while remaining non-partisan, welcoming all points of view. Since we avoid taking sides on any particular issue, we maintain a neutral stance. With the exception of advocating on behalf of the five essential freedoms embodied in the First Amendment, FAV does not take a position on issues.
3) Facilitate – Difficult discussions for all individuals by providing forums for all people to use their voice. Because we are able to maintain a nonpartisan organizational bearing, people across ideologies trust that we will respect their different viewpoints. As a result, FAV convenes extremely diverse audiences, across generations, ideologies, ethnicities, faiths and gender. Each program bears this characteristic.
4) Make the most of scarce resources – Be responsible stewards of donations and grants; box above our weight while leveraging BOD, Advisor’s, Member’s and Donor’s networks. FAV engages with other nonprofits to collaborate within the public square while adhering to strict standards of transparency and stewardship.

Leadership – board and executive leadership with decades of experience across numerous domains, including the law, military, academia, faith communities, and nonprofits. For example, one board member has litigated cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Another has served in the White House, on active duty for 25 years, in academia at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and has over a decade of experience with nonprofits. All leaders have strong connections in different faith communities. The leadership diversity also reflects the audience diversity that FAV is able to convene.
Networks – broad and diverse national networks of individuals and organizations that span First Amendment principles including religious freedom, free speech, the media, assembly and petition. FAV networks span ethnicities, academic environments, international environments, government, the private sector, including different legal domains.
Communications – consistent digital platforms and in-person forums that convene diverse audiences around topics to educate, engage and inspire active citizenry. FAV produces three blogs every month on contemporary topics relevant to the First Amendment.
Diversity – leadership and audience diversity remain core competencies spanning ideology, faith, gender, ethnicity, and generations. Even when a relatively homogenous partner or sponsor like a church hosts a FAV event, we seek to broaden the audience beyond base membership and incorporate outside viewpoints, cross-generational perspectives, and multi-faith approaches. FAV programing applies in secular as well as faith settings.

National Symposiums – FAV has hosted three National Symposiums in Philadelphia at the National Constitution Center and one Symposium in Washington, D.C. at the National Union Building. These forums have provided annual benchmarks to determine the vibrancy of programming and the movement, an opportunity to assemble high profile speakers on relevant topics in the first amendment space, and a chance for delegates across the country to network.
Coffee Talks programs – FAV has conducted coffee talks across the country from California to Virginia and Georgia. Topics include an overview of FAV, media bias, and a new digital detox for 2020. Due to the coronavirus, FAV has converted the program to virtual format to continue engaging audiences amid social distancing restrictions.
Difficult Conversation workshops – FAV has cohosted Kern Beare’s workshop in LA, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. These are half-day programs that leave audiences wanting more content and wanting to engage more with FAV.
Communications – our website continues to evolve with each new blog and other updates. We have numerous social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram. We post routinely to FB, TW and LI to maintain audience engagement with some annual contests to Instagram to generate awareness and infuse art into FAV programming.
Leadership – following IRS certification as a 501c3 in 2019, FAV doubled the Board of Directors, bringing on a Treasurer with decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, a lawyer who has litigated First Amendment issues before the Supreme Court of the United States, and another lawyer deeply versed in faith communities. FAV leadership also reflects the diversity of its audiences, spanning generations, faiths, gender, and professions.
FAV2025 – the FAV board of Directors recently completed a five year plan (FAV2025) and began implementation including rapidly achieving Guidestar levels of transparency. A consultant who leads strategic growth efforts in the private sector provided pro bono facilitation of FAV2025.
Growth metrics – all growth metrics continue to show solid improvement, especially during in person or live virtual programming.

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

    SMS text surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

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

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Identification of specific needs of veteran commnunity in First Amendment education

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

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

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,


First Amendment Voice

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


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • 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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First Amendment Voice

Board of directors
as of 11/13/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Larry Rosenberg

First Amendment Voice

Term: 2022 - 2019

Stan Ellis


Paul Murray


Chelsea Langston Bombino

Center for Public Justice

Alan Inman

Global Peace Foundation

Larry Rosenberg

Jones Day

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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • 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? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/13/2022

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/13/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.