Why Should You Donate?

For everyone who comments on sites like this and others, it is often said it’s all talk and not enough action.

One way to take action is to support the myriad groups who work to spread rational thought and church/state separation.

Consider making it a New Year’s Resolution this year to donate to one or more of these organizations. I do it. I give to a number of freethought groups. It’s not because I have the money to throw around — I don’t — but I’d rather my money go to these non-profits than so many other places where my donation would go virtually unnoticed.

It makes you feel pretty good, too :) Not a bad gift to yourself.

I asked the leaders of several atheist/Humanist groups why they need your support.

This is what they told me:

August Brunsman, Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance:

You should donate to the Secular Student Alliance to create a generation of leaders who recognize scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human based ethics as the cornerstones of civilization that they are. Your support will specifically be used to pay our talented staff to develop and deliver services to our network of over 125 groups on high school and college campuses. These services include project grants, travel grants to freethought conferences, leadership training, speakers, literature, and web hosting.

Dr. Mynga Futrell, Director of The Brights’ Net:

Brights’ networking brings completely new people into acquaintance with each other and with other secularist activities. Brights gather without reference to religion or deity-belief to illuminate the “naturalistic worldview.” This generic identity offers a pathway to enlarge participation by supernatural-free citizens in civic affairs. So far, the conduit has attracted into the Brights’ constituency thousands of fresh faces – people not otherwise “into” freethought. Constituents number over 43,000 in 181 nations. New “community clusters” are forming and communicating on-line and/or meeting in-person. Initiatives to advance sound science, reality about morality, and secular youth education have been started. Donations will be directed to fortify these programs and draw even more participants to the movement.

Margaret Downey, founder of the Anti-Discrimination Support Network (ADSN):

People should donate to ADSN because we are the only group in the United States tracking incidents of discrimination and compiling them into a database.

The narrative collection is organized into categories for easy reference. The narrative collection is used by the United Nations Freedom of Religion or Belief Committee to gage the level of intolerance against atheists in America. The narrative collection is also used by the media to find people for interviews and special features. The narrative collection is proof that claims of prejudice and bigotry are real. The narrative collection is also an on-going study in sociology.

The narrative collection began in 1993 and is the oldest effort of its kind.

The amount of work needed to collect and maintain the narrative collection is worthy of support for all the reason listed above. A trained assistant is needed and it is anticipated that the assistant must be paid $10-$15 per hour.

The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia would like to hire one person to concentrate on the ADSN work. This can only be done with earmarked donations. Please donate today to support this important database.

Keith Augustine, Executive Director of Internet Infidels/The Secular Web:

Internet Infidels is unique in its design as a nonmembership organization that focuses on providing a free educational resource available to anyone with access to the Internet. In fact, we are the only organization that aims to reach beyond the memberships of freethought organizations by providing arguments for naturalism and atheism in an effort to educate the wider public about the grounds for holding that all religions are false.

As an educational resource we provide a number of valuable services. These include, but are not limited to:

  • letting fellow freethinkers know that they are not alone, but are in fact voices in a chorus that spans across the globe and throughout human history;
  • making information that would otherwise be difficult to find conveniently available at your fingertips, providing veteran freethinkers with the resources to combat irrational and unwarranted beliefs;
  • reaching out to “would-be freethinkers,” believers in the grips of religious indoctrination who probably would not have become believers if religious belief had not been inculcated in them in the first place;
  • publishing critiques of the most popular works of apologetics in the hope that current believers will stumble upon and be persuaded that apologetic arguments fail after uncovering their serious flaws for the first time;
  • encouraging readers to make up their own minds by exploring ideas at their own pace, with no pressure to conform with the conclusions of any of our authors;
  • providing a “secret library” for inquisitive believers with the impulse to find out for themselves whether what they have been taught is true, away from the judgmental eyes of intolerant religious brethren.

Amanda Metskas, Executive Director of Camp Quest, Inc.:

Building communities for freethinking families is crucial to the future of atheism and humanism. Camp Quest is a place where kids from freethinking families can make friends, have fun, and learn about critical thinking, famous freethinkers, scientific inquiry, and secular ethics at the same time. Money donated to Camp Quest helps keep registration fees low so that cost is not a barrier to families who want to send their children to camp. Camp Quest has a pretty small budget, so every donation we get makes a big difference!

(The donation link goes to CQ — Ohio, but if you indicate you’re donating through Friendly Atheist, the money will go to support all of the camps. You can also earmark your gift to a particular Camp Quest location.)

Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association:

Support the American Humanist Association and you will boost work to defend the rights of humanists. Realize progressive change through our policy and legal advocacy. Develop humanist education alternatives through our work toward lifelong humanist curriculums that teach critical thinking, science, and ethics. Bring humanism into the spotlight through our media campaigns, including our recent bus ads in the capital region and our billboards from coast to coast, which have garnered national media coverage. Join before December 31st and your donation will be doubled through Lou Appignani’s matching grant!

If you’re giving to these groups or any others, please let us all know in the comments. Feel free to provide links for their donation pages, too.

  • Tao Jones

    What are “human-based ethics?” Are they distinct from chimpanzee-based ethics? I’m sure they just mean the source is not divine. Surely there is a better way of putting it? Secular- or reason-based ethics?

    And I really can’t stand the Brights. The only way I’d donate anything to them would be so they could hire a PR person who could revamp the entire organization. Dr Futrell is clearly a sophisticated rhetorician inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity. “Brights”… no wonder. Well, at least that painful paragraph was short.

    I don’t mean to be the Grinch who stole secular giving because all these organizations are certainly worthy of our attention.

  • J. J. Ramsey

    I’m giving a pittance to the SSA, and I also donated to the AHA for their bus sign campaign. Greta Christina isn’t exactly an atheist organization, but I’ve donated to her for the same reasons I’ve donated to the SSA and AHA.

    With the Secular Web, I’m skittish about donating because their “‘secret library’ for inquisitive believers” has a lot of historically suspect Jesus-myth stuff, and I don’t want to support pseudohistory if I can help it.

  • Eliza

    In addition to money – or, instead of it, if money is tight – please consider giving time (to causes you support) and/or blood (more lifesaving than prayer).

  • Epistaxis

    Dr Futrell is clearly a sophisticated rhetorician inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity

    I hope she doesn’t read these comments.

  • Tao Jones

    I hope she (shrug) does.

    When someone writes like that they are writing for themselves — not for an audience.

  • Emily

    I just donated $5 to Camp Quest Ontario. It’s not much, but i’m a poor university student, so i do what i can. n_n

  • Pingback: Skeptical Gifts | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

  • Keith

    Don’t forget your local food bank. I don’t know of a single community food bank (other than those run by churches) that promotes any message other than making sure there’s food on the table for those in need.

    Almost always a worthy choice.

  • prakruthi

    I like to donate my eyes because my father can’t see with his two eyes , only one eye is showing him the world . I don’t want other daughter to suffer due to blindness in their parents . I would like to be the light from which they can be happy with their childrens .
    I love my dad very much…………….


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