An Interview With Katina Bishop, Development Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
If it's possible in this Internet age for there to be legendary digital watchdogs, the 20-year-old Electronic Frontier Foundation just might have that distinction. The San Francisco-based civil liberties organization works to protect people's rights on the Web by encouraging and challenging industry and government leaders "to support free expression and privacy online."
With three of its employees strictly devoted to fundraising, what EFF's 30 full-timers fight for includes bloggers' rights while pushing for social networkers' privacy; teaching guidelines about copyright law and calling out those who try to squelch free speech; and calling for the general public to take action to protect individual rights while it tries to do the same. And EFF puts it all on the Internet at eff.org.
Taking a break from her 24/7 digital watchdog role, EFF Development Director Katina Bishop answers a few questions for FundRaising Success.
FundRaising Success: Please tell us a little about the organization.
Katina Bishop: The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil liberties group defending your rights in the digital world. EFF broke new ground when it was founded in 1990 — well before the Internet was on most people's radar — and continues to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation and consumer rights today. From the beginning, EFF has championed the public interest in every critical battle affecting digital rights.
Blending the expertise of lawyers, policy analysts, activists and technologists, EFF achieves significant victories on behalf of consumers and the general public. EFF fights for freedom, primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations. By mobilizing more than 61,000 concerned citizens through our Action Center, EFF beats back bad legislation. In addition to advising policymakers, EFF educates the press and public.
EFF is a donor-supported organization and maintains one of the most linked-to websites in the world.
FS: How do you fund your mission?
KB: Over half of EFF's budget comes from individual donors — both smaller-contributing members and major donors. We also raise nearly one third of our budget from foundation grants, and we receive some money from corporations, event outreach and workplace giving campaigns.