Alliance Defending Freedom


The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is a Christian Right legal advocacy and litigation outfit devoted to defending traditional “family values” under the guise of religious freedom. Practically speaking, this means that ADF promotes an anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ agenda—so much so that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designates it as an anti-LGBTQ hate group, offering as but one example the fact that it has “defended state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad.” 

Founded in the 1990s by more than 30 Christian ministries, ADF is based in Scottsdale, Arizona and maintains seven global offices with more than 400 employees. It also has an extensive legal network with approximately 4,600 attorneys engaged in litigation, legislation, training, funding, and public advocacy. Since 2011, ADF has won 14 Supreme Court cases. 

In 2022, ADF attorneys were part of the legal team that convinced the Supreme Court to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing women in America the right to access abortion. Kristen K. Waggoner, ADF’s president, CEO, and general counsel, has argued three cases before the Supreme Court, including one (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission) that overturned protections for LGBTQ individuals. 

In 2022, ADF received a $100,000 Innovation Prize from the right-wing Heritage Foundation for creating the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, a tool used to score corporations based on their adherence to conservative Christian values in their business practices, workplace, charitable giving, and political spending. ADF worked with its “collaborating partner,” the “biblically-inspired” asset management firm Inspire Investing, to develop the index. Jeremy Tedesco, ADF’s senior counsel and senior vice president of corporate engagement, promoted the new tool at The Heritage Foundation’s 2022 annual Resource Bank conference.

Tedesco also participated in a panel discussion titled “Fostering True Diversity in Non-Profit Organizations and Corporate America” at the SFOF 2022 Fall National Meeting. South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis hosted the panel, which also included Stephanie Holmes and Patrice Onwuka of the Independent Women’s Forum.

On February 23, 2024 ADF held a press conference in Tennessee promoting “Tennessee House Bill 2100, which protects consumers from de-banking because of their religious and political views.” Tennessee Representative Jason Zachary (R); Tennessee Senator Jack Johnson (R); ADF Senior Counsel Matt Sharp; National Committee for Religious Freedom Senior Advisor Matt Goddard; Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Government Accountability Eric Bledsoe; and a representative from Association of Mature American Citizens all spoke at the event.


Top Funders

  • National Christian Charitable Foundation: $92,757,833 (2014–21)
  • Servant Foundation: $65,992,079 (2018-2021)
  • Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund: $5,506,190 (2016–20)
  • Schwab Charitable Fund: $4,845,788 (2014–21)
  • Christian Community Foundation: $1,583,830 (2014-2021)

Note: Alliance Defending Freedom is not required by law to disclose its donors. The Center for Media and Democracy identified its top funders through an examination of IRS filings.

Core Financials

  • Total revenue: $104,490,113
  • Total expenses: $81,311,475
  • Net assets: $74,998,324

Source: 2021 IRS 990 filing

For more information, visit the ADF page on SourceWatch.

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