Celebrating 30 years of helping you give wisely
America's most independent,
assertive charity watchdog
Top Rated

Freedom From Religion Foundation

CharityWatch report issued
October 2022

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Freedom From Religion Foundation
PO Box 750
Madison, WI 53701-0750

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

To keep church and state separate and to educate the public about nontheism.

View similar charities
Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 12/31/2021

Program Percentage: 92%

The percentage of Freedom From Religion Foundation's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $1

How many dollars Freedom From Religion Foundation spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Freedom From Religion Foundation IRS Form 990 39-1302520
Freedom From Religion Foundation Audited Financial Statements 39-1302520
Entity: Freedom From Religion Foundation
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 39-1302520
Entity: Freedom From Religion Foundation
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 39-1302520

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
Freedom From Religion Foundation
meets governance benchmarks.
Freedom From Religion Foundation
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Annie Laurie Gaylor Co-President $139,711
2 Dan Barker Co-President $124,094
Name: Annie Laurie Gaylor
Title: Co-President
Compensation: $139,711
Name: Dan Barker
Title: Co-President
Compensation: $124,094

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) 2021 tax filing, FFRF reports re: the existence of a family or business relationship among officers, directors, trustees, or key employees: "Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor are married and are co-Presidents" (IRS Form 990, Schedule O re: Form 990 Part VI, Section A, line 2).

In addition to being co-Presidents, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor are also reported as board members. FFRF reports having nine voting members on its board at year-end 2021; eight of the voting members are reported as independent (IRS Form 990, Part VII, Section A & Part VI, Section A, lines 1a & 1b). Regarding its governing body, FFRF also reports:

"The governing body has nine seats. FFRF bylaws permit executive board seats to be shared. At present, two of the seats are shared by two people, each with half of a vote. This technically leads to eleven members on the executive board, all of whom have voting privileges, even though there are only nine votes. The co-Presidents are compensated as employees and are not independent so there are eight independent members of the executive board" (IRS Form 990, Schedule O re: Form 990 Part VI, Section A, line 1a).

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 11, Related Party):

"The Thomas Paine Memorial Association, Inc. ('Association') was incorporated during 2020. The Foundation has the power to appoint one member of the Association's board of directors. During 2021 the Foundation made contributions of $12,157 to the Association."

According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation audit of December 31, 2021 (Note 2, Deposits and Investments, Concentration of Credit and Market Risk):

"Financial instruments that potentially subject the Foundation to concentrations of credit and market risk consist principally of cash equivalents and investments. The Foundation places its cash equivalents with financial institutions and limits the amount of credit exposure to any one financial institution. The Foundation's investments are subject to various risks, such as interest rate, credit, and overall market volatility risks. Further, because of the significance of the investments to the Foundation's financial position and the level of risk inherent in most investments, it is reasonably possible that changes in the values of these investments could occur in the near term and such changes could materially affect the amounts reported in the [audited] financial statements."