The Difference in Distinction between ACLU of Rhode Island and ACLU Foundation of RI


Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years

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ACLU of Rhode Island & ACLU Foundation of RI

What is the Difference?

The Rhode Island ACLU is comprised of two separate corporate entities: the ACLU of Rhode Island and the ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island. Although both are part of the same overall organization, it is necessary that the ACLU of Rhode Island have two separate organizations in order to do a broad range of work in protecting civil liberties.  These two organizations are referred to collectively as the Rhode Island ACLU.

Although there is some overlap in the work done by each organization, certain activities the Rhode Island ACLU does to protect civil liberties must be done by one organization and not the other. This is primarily in the area of lobbying. The ACLU of Rhode Island engages in legislative lobbying. As an organization that is eligible to receive contributions that are tax-deductible by the contributor, federal law limits the extent to which the ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island may engage in lobbying activities. Therefore, most of the lobbying activity done by the Rhode Island ACLU and discussed in this Web site is done by the ACLU of Rhode Island.  By contrast, most of the Rhode Island ACLU's litigation and communication efforts described in this Web site are done by the ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island.

You may make a contribution to either the ACLU of Rhode Island the ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island, or both. A contribution to either organization will be used to support, promote and defend civil liberties. However, each organization will only use the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the specific activities it conducts as part of the overall ACLU mission. A donor may make a tax-deductible gift only to the ACLU Foundation of Rhode Island. A donor who chooses to “Join” and become a card-carrying member of the ACLU is making a shared contribution to the national ACLU and the ACLU of Rhode Island. Membership dues and other gifts to the ACLU of Rhode Island are not tax deductible.