How We Fundraise

Deeplinks 2023-11-27


Hello from the fundraising team at EFF!

If you are reading this, you are probably already a donor to EFF (thank you!) or are considering supporting us and want to do your due diligence. We’d like to share some information with you about how EFF raises money for digital rights and (perhaps more importantly) how we don’t.

EFF is Member Supported.

Part of our team’s mandate is to not only raise money to support EFF’s work defending your rights in a digital world, but to bring as many people to our community as possible. Our members don’t only provide the financial support that fuels our organization. When we submit amicus briefs or testify in front of Congress, and say that we speak with 30,000 voices, the courts and legislators listen more closely.

Many nonprofit organizations focus their attention on a handful of high-dollar, powerful donors. EFF’s ethos is the absolute opposite of that approach. Last year, about 60% of EFF’s revenue came from individual donors, including a quarter of all our revenue coming from individuals who gave less than $1,000.

For the tenth year in a row, nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator gave EFF the highest possible rating...

We put your donations to work with humility and respect. About 90% of our expenses as an organization are salaries and benefits, because we invest in the people doing the work. It is our honor and privilege to be trusted stewards of your financial support. For the tenth year in a row, nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator gave EFF the highest possible rating of four stars in accountability and transparency.

Just as Important as How We Fundraise, We Should Also Note How We Don’t Fundraise.

EFF does not engage in practices that disrespect your privacy. Unfortunately, many nonprofits feel the pressure to use invasive tools and creepy tactics to get your attention. Many of the vendors who work with the nonprofit fundraising industry encourage behaviors that can be highly questionable. EFF even published a guide to online privacy for nonprofits to help combat the problem. It’s more challenging to raise money without those tools, but it’s the right thing to do. EFF’s fundraising practices are based on our mission and our desire to have a respectful relationship with you. With those goals in mind, there are numerous things EFF won’t do to fundraise:

  • We don’t buy, sell, or trade donor lists.
  • We don’t share our donors’ data with other nonprofits or mailing list brokers.
  • We don’t add cookies to serve up ads to you on other websites when you leave ours.
  • We have never used email tracking pixels to surveil how and when you’re looking at messages from EFF.
  • We don’t waste money on expensive mailing packages with gimmicks that exploit your emotions and play on guilt.
  • We don’t ask you for money constantly, clogging up your inboxes or creating false urgency.
  • We don’t license our name or endorse products and services.
  • We don’t use wealth screening tools to secretly rate your ability to donate.
  • We don’t send your information through data append warehouses to grab information that you didn’t directly give us (like your employer, political affiliation, or the value of your home).
  • We don't place people on street corners, asking you to donate when you're just trying to grab your lunch.

EFF Fundraises in Line with Our Mission and Values.

Most of our funding is donated without restrictions, which means that the people deciding how EFF should spend its resources are the lawyers, activists, and technologists at the heart of our mission. No donor is big enough to have undue influence on our work.

We celebrate our community and thank you with fun merch that spreads the word about privacy, surveillance, encryption, freedom of speech, and fighting against digital dystopia.

Our commitment to ethical fundraising is a reflection of our respect and appreciation for every individual who supports our mission. We prioritize transparency, safeguard donor privacy, and rely on the strength of our collective voice. With your trust and generosity, we continue to champion digital rights, standing firmly by our principles.

If you have any questions about our fundraising practices, or would like more information about donating, feel free to contact us.


Protect Privacy & Free Expression


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Allison Morris

Date tagged:

11/27/2023, 14:32

Date published:

11/27/2023, 12:39