Private giving is a fundamental freedom protected by the First Amendment

January 21, 2021

Nonprofit organizations serve a vital role in encouraging free speech and the free exchange of ideas. Privately supporting causes — and the organizations advancing those causes — is a fundamental freedom protected by the First Amendment.

In a survey conducted by People United for Privacy in December, 70% of voters said they believe that nonprofit organizations serve an “absolutely essential” or “very important” role in encouraging free speech and the free exchange of ideas.

Our Founding Fathers used pen names to encourage independence from Great Britain. Nearly 200 years later, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the state of Alabama from demanding the supporter list of the NAACP, citing concerns about retribution against the group’s members and financial backers. And earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging a California regulation forcing charities to hand over their supporter lists to the government.

People United for Privacy believes that transparency is for the government. Privacy is for the people. And we’re fighting to keep it that way.

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