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Fundraise FAQ

Thank you for your interest in raising money for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New York (a.k.a. New York Civil Liberties Union or the NYCLU). In response to the many requests we are receiving for information about holding fundraisers on our behalf, we have developed the following toolkit to make it as easy as possible for you to be an NYCLU fundraising ambassador. Feel free to pick and choose which parts of the toolkit to use.

No fundraiser is too small (or too large), and we do our best to provide support to all fundraisers in any way we can.  Whether it’s a lemonade stand that raises $15 or a dance party that raises $5000, we cannot wait to hear what you have in mind!

Fundraising tip: You don’t need to be an expert on our work to hold a successful event. We have provided some talking points on our work, but the most powerful way you can be an ambassador is by sharing how your own experiences and passions connect to our mission. Make sure your audience knows what inspired you to take action.

Thank you so much for being a partner in the ongoing movement to protect and defend civil liberties.

Please fill out this form to register your event with the NYCLU at least one month in advance

NYCLU DIY Fundraiser Toolkit


Can the NYCLU partner with, co-sponsor, or promote my event?
Unfortunately, we cannot promote third-party events. We occasionally are able to co-sponsor an event depending on size, revenue goal, and staff availability.  Please indicate if you are interested in co-sponsorship when you fill out the form. We will review and respond to your request; if we choose to co-sponsor then we will promote the event.

Do I need permission from the NYCLU to hold a fundraiser?
If you are an established legal entity, in order to ensure alignment with Better Business Bureau standards, in advance of your event we need a written record of how you intend to use the proceeds from your event.  Please indicate on the event registration form.

If you are raising money for the NYCLU as an individual, you do not need permission from us, but we would love to hear about your event, so please do share your plans. If you plan to promote your event as a benefit for the NYCLU, you can say that the event benefits the New York Civil Liberties Union, the NYCLU or the ACLU of New York.  However, you may not use our logo in any promotional content. Its use is reserved for events produced and/or formally endorsed by the NYCLU (co-sponsorship).

Can a representative from NYCLU attend/speak at my event?
While we cannot promise to fulfill every request, we have been successful at accommodating the majority of requests for NYCLU representation at third-party events. Participation depends on staff availability as well as the event being aligned with our mission and advocacy objectives. If you’d like to request a NYCLU representative at your event, please indicate it in the event registration form. Your request date should be made at least one month prior to the date of your event. We will do our best to accommodate your request and let you know in advance if someone can come.

What’s the best way to donate the proceeds from my event?
You may direct people to our online donation page or collect donations at the event and then make a single, lump sum donation of the proceeds to us, either via our online donation page or by mailing a check to us. Please made checks payable to the: NYCLU Foundation, and mail to: 

New York Civil Liberties Union, attn: Development
125 Broad Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10004

Please include the name of your event in the memo line of the check so we can properly allocate your donation.

Can the NYCLU provide donation receipts to individuals who donate money at my event?
The NYCLU is only permitted to provide donation receipts for donations that are made directly to our organization. If your event attendees write checks out to the NYCLU, and all attendee checks are mailed to the NYCLU, they will receive tax acknowledgement letters. If your event attendees donate cash and you keep a record of each donor’s name, address and amount of the donation that you submit with the total donations raised, they will receive a tax acknowledgement letter. However, if cash donations are accepted from many people and donated all at once via a single check or donation to our website, we cannot issue tax acknowledgement letters but will send the organizer(s) a thank you/acknowledgment letter.  

Can the NYCLU track my event donations made through the NYCLU’s online donation page?
Donors can make a donation “in tribute to” you or your organization; and you will receive a letter for each donation made in your honor. Otherwise, we are currently unable to track online donations received on behalf of your event.

Can the NYCLU supply a copy of its tax-exempt letter so my event can avoid paying sales taxes on event expenses?
No. While your event is for charitable purposes, the expenses of third-party events are not considered tax-exempt expenses.

What is the relationship between the NYCLU and the ACLU?
The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) is the New York State affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Donations made by residents of the state of New York to the NYCLU are shared between the NYCLU and the ACLU and vice versa.

Can I designate the proceeds from my event to support a specific program or need?
To remain flexible in responding to urgent, rapidly changing needs, we prefer that donations support our general fund. However, as the donor you have the option to indicate (in writing) how you’d like us to use your donation.  If this fits with an existing program (e.g. reproductive rights), we can earmark the gift.

Can the NYCLU/ACLU provide me with “swag” (promotional items and give-aways) for my event, i.e. buttons, stickers, posters, magnets, etc.?
We are able to provide most fundraisers with a small bag of materials, including brochures, Know Your Rights cards, and branded posters, pens, or pins (depending on availability).  Please indicate that you are interested in promotional materials on the form. The ACLU has a distribution company that handles all other promotional items.  There are a variety of things that can be purchased at the ACLU Store.  

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Civil Liberties Union