What’s the Difference?
The ACLU in Washington is comprised of two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington Foundation. They are separate entities based on the kind of work they do. However, they share the same mission, and both are part of the nationwide ACLU. This website collectively refers to the two organizations as "ACLU of Washington."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington is a membership organization and engages in non-partisan lobbying and legislative activities at the federal, state and local levels. It is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(4) organization, which means that dues and contributions to it are not tax-deductible.
ACLU of Washington Foundation is primarily involved in civil liberties litigation, research, and communications activities. It is designated by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization, which means that it may receive contributions that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Federal law limits the extent to which ACLU of Washington Foundation can lobby.
Most lobbying activity is done by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington. By contrast, most of the ACLU's litigation and communication efforts described in this Web site are done by the ACLU of Washington Foundation. When you join and become a card-carrying member of the ACLU or make a tax-deductible gift to the ACLU of Washington Foundation, you are helping to defend and strengthen civil liberties. Thank you!