By Annie Laurie Gaylor
Co-Founder and Co-President
Freedom From Religion Foundation
One of FFRF’s members brought to my attention an article in the Boston Globe earlier this month, warning that only 62 cents on the dollar given to nonprofits actually goes for the nonprofit’s charity or program. The rest goes to fundraising companies themselves.
We’re glad to say that’s not true of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. FFRF doesn’t hire professional fundraisers, or even employ a “director of development.” We limit formal membership appeals— brief letters suggesting special projects donors can make possible— to no more than twice a year. This year we only sent out one such request — an end of year appeal. We consider FFRF’s accomplishments (not begging) to be our best advertisement.
I detest phone solicitations, don’t you? How many times have I raced from the laundry room or left a pot boiling over to breathlessly answer the phone, only to hear the aggressive tones of a professional fundraising solicitation on the other end. The Boston Globe points out that most such phone solicitors are mercenaries, not volunteers. Their cut of the proceeds made for interrupting and annoying you at home dilutes any donation one might (inadvisably) make. FFRF will not phone members asking for money, much less ring your doorbell.
At FFRF, we send acknowledgments and thank-yous. We do not answer one donation with a request for even more funds. That’s disrespectful and ungrateful.
FFRF spends only a tiny proportion on fundraising (essentially the cost of preparing, printing and mailing our two annual appeals). We’re proud to have just received the highest 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the sixth year in a row, of which only 3% of charities can boast. The rating is for financial health, accountability and transparency. Surpassing 97% of all nonprofits is something to be proud of. And unlike churches, we account for our funds to the Internal Revenue Service!
Churches demand a 10% tithe of their followers. FFRF only demands a 100% compliance with the First Amendment by the government.
FFRF is a national nonprofit dedicated to keeping state and church separate and educating about nontheism. For more information and a copy of our paper, Freethought Today, please click here.