Foundation Beyond Belief: A Charity Atheists (and everyone else) Can Support

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At any given moment, one can consider the breadth of ongoing issues in the world whether they be children dying in Kenyan famines, psychics deceiving and taking money from persons in difficult times, discrimination facing the LGBT and atheist communities, or the current ratio of wealth of CEOs to the median-wage worker in the United States and feel tremendously overwhelmed. As very limited humans, we can’t possibly address every issue because of financial limitations, educational limitations, lack of a platform for speech or audience, confidence, and many other issues. While one person — or one group of persons — can’t possibly solve or address every issue in the world, individuals can use their talents or donate money (if they are able to do so) to causes they view (and are evidentially-based) as effective.

In the area of charitable aid, not everyone has disposable income to offer to worthy causes and charities. While making large donations can obviously be more helpful than making smaller ones, smaller donations — even at the level of a mere five dollars a month that persons would probably never miss — can be helpful – and especially when five dollars accumulates when multiple persons donate. Similarly, those who don’t have a massive amount of wealth, yet have disposable income that they can afford to part with, can donate to charities.

Atheists often ask questions such as “Which charities should I donate to?” and are hesitant to donate because many charities have religious components that they do not wish to support.

A growing organization  humanists, atheists, agnostics, and other non-religious folk can support — and is specifically tailored to the non-religious — and donate to is the Foundation Beyond Belief. Their website notes,

Foundation Beyond Belief is a 501 (c)(3) charitable foundation created to focus, encourage and demonstrate humanist generosity and compassion. […] Carefully selected for impact and efficiency, our favored beneficiaries may be founded on any worldview so long as they act in accordance with humanist values including mutual care, responsibility, and free inquiry and do not proselytize.

One of Foundation Beyond Belief’s current initiatives, among others, is to address what is being called the world’s “worst humanitarian crisis” in the Horn of Africa. The most severe drought in sixty years in the Horn of Africa prompted the UN to make a formal declaration for famine in Southern Somalia – the first such declaration in twenty years. Tens of thousands have died and eleven million people are currently at risk for starvation.

Foundation Beyond Belief offers many options for those who wish to donate: persons can donate anywhere from five dollars a month to one thousand a month or send one-time donations. According to their website, Foundation Beyond Belief

select[s] and feature[s] ten charitable organizations per quarter, one in each of the following cause areas: health, education, poverty, environment, children, human rights, animals, peace, challenge the gap (charities based in other worldviews), and Foundation Beyond Belief itself. Members join the Foundation by signing up for a monthly automatic donation in the amount of their choice, then set up personal profiles to indicate how they would like their contribution distributed among the ten categories.

Being able to choose exactly where your money goes is a wonderful component of being a member of Foundation Beyond Belief. Many say that they don’t wish to donate to issues taking place outside of America, contribute greatly to administrative costs of charities, or contribute to causes they might not support. Fear not, Foundation Beyond Belief allows you to allocate your donations.

Foundation Beyond Belief is working with groups such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF USA), ActionAid USA, and War Child to raise awareness in the non-theist community of the ongoing drought and famine in the Horn of Africa. Foundation Beyond Belief is also currently working with Operation WildlifeIslamic Relief USA (as per their challenge the gap initiative), HeartStrongAdopt-A-Classroom, and Polaris Project.

While I don’t have a large amount of disposable income, I am a member of Foundation Beyond Belief and donate five dollars a month that I will never miss! Why don’t you become a member?

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