The Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution would only be well-meaning promises if people did not fight to protect them. The American Civil Liberties Union is the leading national organization dedicated to defending and extending civil liberties for all people in this country.
We're in the courts every day for hundreds of ordinary people when their rights to equal treatment, fairness, privacy, freedom of speech or religion are threatened. We staunchly support every person's right to make personal decisions - without government interference - about religion, political ideals, reproductive choice, marriage, and other family and lifestyle matters. We are working to make sure that emerging technologies do not diminish our rights to privacy and that freedom of speech is protected in cyberspace.
The ACLU is a leader in the fight for equal opportunity regardless of skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. Since our founding in 1920, the ACLU has learned that liberty must be defended over and over again. That's why ACLU attorneys stand before the United States Supreme Court more often than anyone else except the government itself.
And for every case we bring before the Supreme Court, we bring hundreds more nationwide to lower courts and community government boards.
ACLU of New Jersey
The ACLU of New Jersey works to defend liberty throughout our state. We are involved in litigation and advocacy on behalf of individuals, and we lobby on scores of bills in the state legislature and local councils. In addition, the ACLU is active in many public education and community organizing projects.
The ACLU of New Jersey is located in Newark. We implement legal, legislative, public education programs in conjunction with large numbers of volunteers to advance the ACLU's goals of liberty and justice for all.
A statewide Board of Trustees sets policy, raises funds, and provides legal and fiduciary oversight.
ACLU-NJ vs. ACLU-NJ Foundation
The ACLU-NJ's work to protect the enduring values of freedom and equality is based on a three-pronged approach: litigation, public education, and lobbying.
In order to support all three advocacy tools and to comply with federal tax law, it is necessary to have two organizational entities: the ACLU-NJ and the ACLU-NJ Foundation. Fully funding both is vital to protecting civil liberties in New Jersey and across the country.
- The ACLU-NJ is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation. Gifts to it are not tax-deductible. It is the membership organization, and you have to be a member to get your trusty ACLU card. ACLU-NJ monies fund our legislative lobbying--important work that cannot be supported by tax-deductible funds. Thus, your membership dues supported our successful lobbying efforts in Washington, DC and Trenton.
- The ACLU-NJ Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Foundation gifts fund our litigation and public education efforts. Gifts to the ACLU-NJ Foundation are fully tax-deductible to the donor.
Many donors choose to make their larger tax-deductible gifts to the ACLU-NJ Foundation, but also continue to make smaller gifts to the ACLU-NJ in order to maintain their "card-carrying" membership status with the ACLU-NJ and to support our important lobbying efforts.