POLITICS
08/26/2013 03:07 pm ET

Freedom From Religion Foundation, National Atheist Group, To Expand Headquarters After Huge Growth

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2007 file photo, Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor stands in front of
FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2007 file photo, Freedom From Religion Foundation co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor stands in front of the door at the foundation headquarters in Madison, Wis. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb reached the conclusion in a lawsuit the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Madison-based group of atheists and agnostics, brought against former President George W. Bush's administration near the end of his second term. The foundation argued the day violates the separation of church and state. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

After seeing their paid membership ranks increase 130 percent in six years, organizers of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a national group of atheists and agnostics based in Madison, Wis., said Monday that they are set to begin a large-scale expansion of their headquarters.

Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the nearly 20,000-member group, told the Wisconsin State Journal that recent high-profile legal victories had increased the foundation's popularity and allowed them to consider an office addition that will quadruple its total square footage.

The construction project is slated to take a year, and the organization is hoping to raise $1.5 million to help fund it.

The FFRF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that has made a name for itself by taking a central role in a number of lawsuits concerning the separation of church and state. The group's legal endeavors have ranged from ambitious challenges of the placement of "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency to more individualized lawsuits against public schools for posting religious displays on their grounds.

Officials with the FFRF are currently pressing forward with a lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service, claiming that the agency has failed to enforce a federal restriction banning partisan politicking by tax-exempt religious groups.

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