Leading Civil Rights Nonprofit Organizations

Cheryl Cirelli
Fight for civil rights!

Organizations that deal with specific civil rights all exist for one reason: to fight for equality and social reform. Civil rights organizations are guided by the belief everyone should be given a fair chance regardless of race, sex, or physical ability.

List of Leading Civil Rights Organizations

There are many civil rights nonprofit organizations in existence. Some deal with addressing issues of specific demographics while others deal with particular issues.


Since 1920, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been one of the leading civil rights organizations. This organization was founded to protect the rights of all American citizens. The group responds to issues that protect individual rights and liberties and stand up for all groups of people such as women, prisoners, those with disabilities, lesbians, and gay men. There are currently nearly 2 million members and thousands of attorneys working with the ACLU.


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) promotes the rights of African Americans and other racial minorities. It was founded in 1909, making it the oldest civil rights organization, and it is dedicated to protecting the rights of all minority groups. Featuring over 2,000 local chapters, this organization is a leader in the social justice movement and has changed the way America treats people who are members of minority groups. The organization's mission is to protect political, educational, and social rights of all people and to help banish hatred and discrimination.


National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) has been in existence since 1973. It is the oldest group for lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual people and operates on an annual budget of over $6 million. The organization promotes equal rights for same sex couples and fights to end discrimination against people due to their gender identity. The organization is active in promoting social justice and equality while aiming for the goal of equal opportunities for all genders of people.


National Organization for Women (NOW) was created in 1966 to end discrimination based on gender and is the largest group of grassroots feminist activists in the U.S. They believe women have an equal voice and should be heard. They fight for issues such as workplace equality, right to abortion, birth control, and sexism. They want to eliminate harassment, violence, and racism. NOW is the leading women's rights organization and continues to grow.


National Rifle Association (NRA) is America's oldest gun rights nonprofit and reports nearly 5 million members. This group promotes the right to own a gun and supports the Second Amendment of an individual's right to bear arms. The organization also promotes gun safety. The NRA is the most recognized firearms organization in existence. The group is a major force in the United States and offers programs and speakers to address issues related to firearms.


American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) works for the rights of those who are disabled. The association was formed in 1995 and supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It is the largest organization in the United States that addresses issues relating to the rights of disabled persons. AAPD fights for political, social, and economic rights for people with disabilities.


American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) was formed in 1958 to protect the rights of aging Americans. The organization is one of the largest nonprofits in existence with nearly 40 million members. The group's mission addresses the rights of all people, not just those who are retired from the workplace.

Fight for Your Rights

No matter what issue you have or what cause you are supporting, a leading civil rights organizations exist to address specific matters. These nonprofits form and continue to grow in their fight for equality and justice.

Leading Civil Rights Nonprofit Organizations