Foundation Beyond Belief Surpasses $500,000 in Donations

For an organization that’s not quite three years old and run on a shoestring budget, I can’t even begin to tell you how impressed I am with the members of Foundation Beyond Belief.

As of this week, we have surpassed $500,000 in donations from atheists to various charities:

Executive Director Dale McGowan explained in an email to members that the number doesn’t tell you the full story of what we’ve accomplished:

As of Wednesday, September 26, the humanist members and supporters of Foundation Beyond Belief have donated over a half million dollars to make our one and only world a better place. That’s a big number, but it doesn’t even begin to tell the real story of the impact you’ve had.

For that, we have to get personal.

We’d start by meeting an indigenous young woman in Guatemala who’s attending college on a full four-year scholarship from FBB. We’d visit the 22 orphans in Nepal who were on the brink of eviction in 2010 when FBB members stepped in, covering their food, clothing, and school tuition for a full year.

We’d drop in on the Ecuadorian village that has clean water for the first time thanks to your donations, as well as the library in Ghana, the health clinic in Tanzania, and the girls’ school in Pakistan that you helped build. We’d certainly want to spend some time in Uganda, where Foundation members bought textbooks for humanist schools and funded the work of peacebuilding teams in areas of ongoing conflict, as well as Afghanistan, where we helped protect civilians in war zones and heal those who’ve been injured.

Many who endured the devastating famine in East Africa received food and critical care because compassionate humanists half a world away empathized with their suffering. That same compassion helped emergency responders in Japan and Colorado in their efforts to restore a sense of normalcy after the tsunami and wildfires.

I’m moved as well by stories from our humanist givers:

  • The recent college grad giving to charity for the first time ever through FBB;
  • The parents using the Foundation to engage their kids in compassion for others;
  • The member who had to reduce her monthly giving when she lost her job, then raised it to an even higher level on the day she got a new one;
  • The countless people who tell me how glad they are to have a positive way to express their humanist values.

Finally there are the stories of our Volunteers Beyond Belief teams — giving blood, feeding the hungry, serving in hospices, and improving their communities in 18 cities across the United States — and our International Light the Night Team, which unites the freethought movement in the fight against blood cancers.

That’s just a sampling of what your half million dollars has done to put humanist compassion and energy to work in the world. Thanks for making it happen.

I am so proud to be a part of this organization and excited about the programs we have in the works. If you’re not a member already, please consider becoming one.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Joe Zamecki

    Excellent! Congrats to the FBB! 

  • A3Kr0n

    Unfortunately, the church I went to as a kid recently spend more than that on their new kitchen.

    • JohnnieCanuck

      But just think how much money they saved by paying the contractors with cash so they could avoid taxes.

      Sounds like it could be sized for catering to large banquets in their hall. Good profits to be had doing that. Companies donate the food and volunteers cook, serve and clean.

      • A3Kr0n

         Yes, it can cater to large banquets.
        “The Main Kitchen – Remarkable is the word most used to describe our new kitchen and it is being well used on a seven day a week daily basis! Any church or school in the region contemplating kitchen remodeling is sent to Cargill UMC to view ours! We were able to include the storage room addi-tion in this project”
        http://www.cargillumc.org/clientimages/34714/may%202011%20newsletter.pdf

  • GodlessPoutine

    This is fantastic news!

  • nakedanthropologist

    This is awesome :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503455155 Noelle Dildine George

    I am so proud to work with Dale and our fantastic mostly-volunteer staff and all-volunteer interns at Foundation Beyond Belief.  I am inspired every day by the stories of people trying to improve the world around them, and the generosity of our members, volunteer teams, partners, and other groups and individuals that we interact with.  

    All this makes me very hopeful for the future my daughter will grow up into.  Thanks Hemant for posting this, and for everyone who has helped us to reach this amazing milestone.  

    PS – If we meet our fundraising goal of $1 million for LLS this year, we will more than double this amount in one year.  How amazing would that be!  I’m confident our 120+ Light the Night Teams and over 1000 walkers are up for that challenge!


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