We’ve been working to get Dale McGowan a slot at Huffington Post to blog about the Foundation Beyond Belief and secular charity in general and his first post is now up on that site. He notes that religious believers on average donate a lot more money to charity (though those figures include donations to their church, little of which may go to charity at all) and argues that this is largely because religious believers are asked more often to contribute. Thus, the purpose of FBB:
To answer that question, in early 2010, I worked with several other atheists and humanists who had seen the same challenge to create a systematic giving program for those who share our worldview. The result is Foundation Beyond Belief, a charitable organization with a humanist identity that features five carefully selected charities per quarter working in areas including poverty, education, and human rights. Members sign up for an automatic monthly donation in the amount of their choice and distribute their funds however they wish among the charities. We spend each quarter telling the stories of these organizations and connecting their work to the humanist imperatives of mutual care and responsibility. We keep none of the funds designated for our featured charities; our own operations are funded through separate donations and grants.
The results so far have been very encouraging. We have over a thousand contributing members and are approaching a million dollars in total giving since the launch. Many members report a deeper connection with humanism and with human needs, and many have reported that they are now giving 2-3 times more per year than before they joined.
There is no question that there is a tremendous capacity for charitable giving in the secular community. I have felt that generosity firsthand and so have many others. Over the last week, that community has donated an extraordinary amount of money to help the victims of the Oklahoma tornado. FBB has big plans for tapping into that capacity for giving and turning it into a major force for good in the United States and around the world.