Earlier this year, I wrote about the Foundation Beyond Belief and encouraged atheists to join, and I’m happy that some people took me up on that invitation. Well, the end of 2010 is almost here, and it’s fair for FBB members and potential members to look for a year-end recap of the group’s achievements. What did we do this year? Dale McGowan has the answer:
In 2010 our members fed, clothed, and paid school tuition for 22 impoverished children in Nepal. We have funded science education in India and in US public schools and supported efforts to fight global warming and protect biodiversity.
We put textbooks in Uganda’s humanist schools and peacebuilding teams in Uganda’s conflict areas. We funded efforts to improve access to health care for marginalized populations on four continents and in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. We helped launch a new Camp Quest in Virginia and helped build a new school for girls in Pakistan.
We’ve added humanist voices and dollars to the fight for LGBT rights, the key civil rights struggle of our time. We’ve empowered adoptions, fed the hungry, and worked to protect the most vulnerable—refugees in war, victims of torture, women under threat of religious violence, political asylees, people struggling with addiction, and those hoping for dignity at the end of their lives.
In total, FBB members have raised over $70,000 for 37 charities. For less than a year’s work, that’s pretty impressive!
In addition to all this tangible good, the Foundation Beyond Belief serves another important purpose: it enables atheists to make our charitable donations a positive collective expression of our worldview. Instead of our donations being blended invisibly into society’s overall giving, it makes us visible; it shows that atheists are people of good will and compassion and that we care about creating a better world. In a society where atheists are still widely viewed as immoral and selfish, this is no small thing, and it makes us that much more credible and persuasive when we argue that discarding religion would improve human well-being.
The point of all this is that I believe the FBB is a more than worthy group. And now, it needs our help to finish off the year on a strong note. Unlike many non-profit groups, the FBB doesn’t skim off the top to cover its administrative expenses: 100% of the money which members earmark for its chosen charities goes directly to those charities. This is a laudable policy, but it means that they do have some administrative debt that needs to be retired, so as not to finish the year in the red. I want to see the FBB’s work continue and expand next year, so I’m making a donation for this end, and I urge you to do the same – even if it’s just a few dollars. Donations are fully tax-deductible. The Foundation and I thank you for your help!