January 1, 2010

Have you heard about the Foundation Beyond Belief?

"It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can."
-- Sydney Smith

Perhaps it is because there are so many people struggling right now, that I have been thinking more about charity. And as usually happens when something is on my mind, I'm more aware of the requests for it. My favorite podcasts run on support from their listeners, like me. In September, To the Best of Our Knowledge had a show called Ethics of Western Aid. Peter Singer, says Americans should donate at least 1% of their salary. The online communities I am a part of need every member to chip in a few dollars to keep things running and make upgrades. I get daily emails from politicians and civil rights groups asking for donations to help get their messages out. And a friend sent me links to claims that nonbelievers are the least likely group in American to donate money.

It's not that I don't believe them, or that I don't want to help, but my finances are limited and everyone seems to need it so badly. Who should I help? Where can my donation make the most impact? What is the best way to teach my children to care about other living things and the planet? Well I finally found the solution: The Foundation Beyond Belief.

Their mission:

To demonstrate humanism at its best by supporting efforts to improve this world and this life; to challenge humanists to embody the highest principles of humanism, including mutual care and responsibility; and to help and encourage humanist parents to raise confident children with open minds and compassionate hearts.

Foundation Beyond Belief has a pretty cool setup. Each quarter, ten charitable organizations are chosen. Donors can make monthly contributions to any or all, as they see fit; and it's all tax-deductible. Members can do more than just give money. You can also volunteer, nominate a charity, and participate in the online forums too.

After discussing it with B, we decided to become members. The best part will be sharing the experience with our children. We want them to help us figure out what our monthly contribution should be, and where it should go. Each of us can help support something dear to our hearts, and that's a good feeling.

Want to know more? You can also join the Facebook and Atheist Nexus groups, follow them on Twitter and their blog, and see more videos on YouTube.


  1. "The best part will be sharing the experience with our children. We want them to help us figure out what our monthly contribution should be, and where it should go."

    Brilliant! We're also hoping down the road to create a giving program for kids, including polls to let them choose beneficiaries.

  2. This topic came up in our home today too, before we even got out of bed! The kids hoped in, and somehow we ended up discussing how fortunate we are and how we could do so much more than we are at the moment, but I am not always sure where our help is most needed. I am off to check the link, thank you for posting.

  3. Dale, that sounds great! The whole thing is so exciting.

    Christin, cool!

  4. Thanks for the links and information! I have had similar thoughts about having little to spare and having my heart go out to so many causes. A few years ago we were paired up with a family in need for a holiday helping charity. We decided to stick with this family rather than only do the holidays, and we try to help them throughout the year, year after year. It's neat as the kids exchange little notes & kind of get to knwo each other. Z gets all excited about finding things to send them.
    Thanks for bringing this up!

  5. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

  6. Thanks boatbaby and anon. I want to keep up with stuff like this in the future.