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Human and Civil Rights : Advocacy and Education

Free Software Foundation

Fighting for essential freedoms for computer users

four stars

98.55

51 Franklin Street 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
tel: (617) 542-5942   Web Site
EIN: 04-2888848

Board Leadership
Alexandre Oliva and John Sullivan
Vice Presidents

CEO
John Sullivan
Executive Director

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 98.55 four stars
  Financial 97.95 four stars
  Accountability & Transparency 100.00 four stars
This rating was published 02/01/2020 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free software, particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants - and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. Current projects include GPL Version 3; the GPL Compliance Lab; the Free Software Directory; and Savannah, software development services provided to free software developers around the world. Additionally, FSF is committed to furthering the development of the GNU Operating System, providing development systems for GNU software maintainers.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free software, particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants - and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of software. Current projects include GPL Version 3; the GPL Compliance Lab; the Free Software Directory; and Savannah, software development services provided to free software developers around the world. Additionally, FSF is committed to furthering the development of the GNU Operating System, providing development systems for GNU software maintainers.

Impact Information

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Financial

four stars

97.95

Accountability & Transparency

four stars

100.00

This rating was published 02/01/2020 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
86.6%
  Administrative Expenses 7.4%
  Fundraising Expenses 5.9%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.04
  Working Capital Ratio (years) 1.92
  Program Expenses Growth 8.0%
  Liabilities to Assets 3.9%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Free Software Foundation on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Free Software Foundation on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Free Software Foundation (MA) 98.55 four stars
Families Against Mandatory Minimums Foundation (DC) 92.22 four stars
American Family Association (MS) 90.71 four stars
American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey Foundation (NJ) 91.15 four stars
American Association of People with Disabilities (DC) 91.35 four stars

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REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $2,143,791
   Federated Campaigns $0
   Membership Dues $567,724
   Fundraising Events $0
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $0
Total Contributions $2,711,515
   Program Service Revenue $552
Total Primary Revenue $2,712,067
   Other Revenue $-83,071
TOTAL REVENUE $2,628,996
   
EXPENSES  
   Program Expenses $1,286,326
   Administrative Expenses $93,475
   Fundraising Expenses $66,765
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $1,446,566
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $1,182,430
   
Net Assets $2,543,325

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Program Name Amount Spent % of Program Expenses
Education and Outreach Program $603,983 46.9%
License Education Program $341,058 26.5%
GNU Project $251,261 19.5%

Ratings History
Free Software Foundation has received 7 consecutive 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator.

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2018-09 02/01/2020 98.55 four stars
2017-09 04/01/2019 96.66 four stars
2016-09 03/01/2018 97.15 four stars
2015-09 03/01/2017 99.57 four stars
2014-09 06/01/2016 98.18 four stars
 
CN 2.0
2014-09 12/22/2015 97.76 four stars
2013-09 05/01/2015 95.59 four stars
2012-09 10/01/2013 91.47 four stars
2011-09 06/01/2012 88.23 three stars
2010-09 02/01/2012 91.79 four stars
2010-09 12/23/2011 91.31 four stars
2010-09 09/20/2011 84.25 three stars
 
CN 1.0
2010-09 07/01/2011 83.12 three stars
2009-09 02/01/2011 84.27 three stars
2008-09 09/01/2009 93.09 four stars
2007-09 11/01/2008 89.55 three stars
2006-09 08/01/2007 92.83 four stars
2005-09 12/01/2006 87.21 three stars
2004-09 10/01/2005 82.57 three stars
2003-09 04/01/2005 86.49 three stars

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 04-2888848
Name in IRS Master File FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION INC
NTEE Code [Not Provided by IRS]
NTEE Classification [Not Provided by IRS]
NTEE Type [Not Provided by IRS]
Classification Charitable Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities (120) Publishing activities
(199) Other scientific research activities
(92) Literary activities
Foundation Status Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date May, 1986
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End September
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • September, 2018
  • September, 2017
  • September, 2016
  • September, 2015
  • September, 2014
Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
$96,899 6.69% John Sullivan Executive Director

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Free Software Foundation (MA) 98.55 four stars
Compassion & Choices (OR) 88.78 three stars
Central Coast Alliance United for A Sustainable Economy (CA) 92.22 four stars
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (PA) 95.90 four stars
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MA) 85.50 three stars

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This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Charity Contact Info

Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin Street
5th Floor
Boston, MA 02110
tel: (617) 542-5942
fax: (617) 542-2652
EIN: 04-2888848

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Alexandre Oliva and John Sullivan
Vice Presidents

CEO

John Sullivan
Executive Director

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