Humanity at Work · Compassionate Humanists supporting charities worldwide

About BBN

Welcome to Beyond Belief Network, a collective of over 110 freethought organizations putting compassionate humanism into action through community volunteering and charitable fundraising. To date, our BBN teams across the United States and internationally have donated over 89,000 hours of community service, and counting.

BBN is a Foundation Beyond Belief program designed to encourage and assist local and online groups of secular humanists, atheists, and other nonbelievers to serve their communities. BBN staff assist teams with ideas and tips for service, planning events, and finding existing opportunities for service in their areas. Teams can submit reports about their events to earn perks like t-shirts, grants for service activities, and national recognition.

Teams with a non-theistic or secular humanist identity are encouraged to apply. Individuals looking for volunteer opportunities can connect to local groups, seek advice on starting a group, or get ideas for volunteering as an individual.

Quick links:

Please contact us with any questions.

Join BBN

The Beyond Belief Network exists to offer support, encouragement, visibility and community to freethought groups across the country working to serve their communities.

BBN staff assist groups in researching, planning and promoting events, and we provide a range of event guides to help groups plan events. Our online community is available to help brainstorm, troubleshoot, and offer advice and encouragement.

Teams that let us know what they’ve been up to by submitting event reports are eligible for all kinds of perks, including free t-shirts, grants for service projects, and a range of awards.

Being a part of BBN means that your team will join a national movement of humanists visibly working towards a better world.

If you are an individual interested in humanist volunteering, we will do our best to connect you to a nearby team, offer ideas for how you can find projects on your own, or give you guidance on starting your own team.

BBN Events

A BBN event is any gathering of your group to work for good, whether by volunteering, raising funds for a good cause, or a combination of the two.

There are two kinds of BBN event:

  • Foundation Partners Program (FPP) events include fundraisers for FBB beneficiaries (at least 50% of the proceeds must go to FBB or its beneficiaries) or Light The Night fundraisers. Tabling for FBB at a freethought conference or recruiting 5 team members to the Humanist Giving Program also count as an FPP event. Two FPP events will allow your team to level up for increased perks and recognition.
  • Volunteers Beyond Belief (VBB) events include service activities, fundraisers for non-FBB beneficiaries, and Light The Night Walks. Four VBB events will allow your team to level up for increased perks and recognition.

Social events and fundraisers for your own group do not count as BBN events, unless there is a significant amount of community outreach, education, or fundraising for another group besides your own.

For ideas for service events, take a look at our event guides published on the blog and in the BBN Facebook group.

BBN Levels

BBN teams can earn perks by reporting on their FPP or VBB events to achieve a new BBN level.

  • Level 1 is reached after having 4 VBB events or 2 FPP events.
  • Level 2 requires 8 VBB events or 4 FPP events.
  • For Level 3, a team must have 12 events of either type.

Student teams must fulfil 75% of these requirements due to the shorter timeframe allowed by the academic year. That is:

  • 3 VBB or 2 FPP events for Level 1
  • 6 VBB or 3 FPP events for Level 2
  • 9 VBB or FPP events for Level 3.

Events not submitted to the event report form will not be considered for leveling up.

All BBN teams receive the following benefits:

  • Access to closed Facebook group (for networking and ideas)
  • Profile on FBB website (name, location, website)
  • FBB and BBN newsletters
  • Updates and tips from BBN
  • Event promotion on FBB social media before your event
  • Vetting of potential volunteer beneficiaries if requested
  • Personal FBB staff support in major charity initiatives as requested and available

Additional Level 1 benefits:

  • 8 free shirts with the option for inclusion of your team’s logo
  • Eligibility for Team of the Month recognition

Additional Level 2 benefits:

  • Eligibility for awards (including monetary prizes)
  • Eligibility for grants for your service projects up to $250
  • Priority in promotion and vetting requests

Additional Level 3 benefits:

  • Eligibility for larger grants up to $500, with larger grants considered for specific, appropriate, well-defined project development
  • 12 additional t-shirts
  • Highest priority in promotion and vetting requests

Levels renew on an annual basis. Teams return to Level 0 each January and have the opportunity to level up, with all the associated perks (such as t-shirts and grants) renewing each year.

Awards for Humanist Service

Monthly BBN Awards

Two awards are available to BBN teams on a monthly basis:

  • Team of the Month recognizes the service and commitment of a particular BBN team. Teams in Levels 1, 2, and 3 are eligible to win Team of the Month once per calendar year, with recognition of their excellent service work posted on the FBB blog and in the BBN Facebook group.
  • Picture of the Month recognizes excellent photographs of our teams in action, with the winning picture being shared on our blog and displayed as the banner picture in the BBN Facebook group for that month. Photos submitted in with event reports are all considered for this award. Pictures should be high-quality, show a number of team members, and capture those members in action rather than posed.

Heart of Humanism Awards

The annual Heart of Humanism awards recognize sterling service from BBN teams, LTN teams, and other humanists who have made extraordinary contributions to compassionate humanism.

Beyond Belief Network Team Awards:

  • Humanism at Work: awarded to the team with the most volunteer hours
  • Eat. Sleep. Volunteer. Repeat: awarded to the team with the most volunteer events in that calendar year
  • Rookie of the Year: awarded to the best new team of the year
  • Campus All-Star: awarded to the most oustanding student team
  • Humanist Communication: awarded to the team with the best storytelling and communication of its activities
  • Gimme Food and Shelter: awarded to the team with outstanding contributions to causes related to homelessness and food
  • Best Article: awarded to the team with the best news coverage
  • Best Photo: awarded to the team with the best picture of the year
  • Most Valuable Volunteer: awarded to the most dedicated team member across all BBN teams, as nominated by team leaders

Light the Night International Team Awards:

Since Foundation Beyond Belief became a Special Friend of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night program, Beyond Belief Network teams have come together to raise donations and awareness for this cause. Interested BBN teams can register to become part of Foundation Beyond Belief’s International Light the Night Team through our team page. Registered teams are considered for the following awards:

  • Overall Team Fundraising: awarded to the three teams with the highest funds raised overall
  • Team Average Fundraising: awarded to the three teams with the highest funds raised per team member
  • Overall Student Team Fundraising: awarded to the student team with the highest funds raised
  • Student Team Average Fundraising: awarded to the student team with the highest funds raised per team member
  • Overall Home Office Fundraising

Individual awards recognizing those who have made extraordinary contributions to compassionate humanism:

  • Heart of Humanism
  • Humanist Visionary
  • Humanist Innovator

Tabling at freethought conferences

Foundation Beyond Belief aims to be present at as many freethought conferences as possible. For BBN teams, staffing FBB’s table at a local event counts as an FPP event.

If your team is interested in tabling at an event:

  • Please contact BBN at least two months before the event to apply for a tabling grant.
  • FBB will assess the costs and may, at its discretion, pay to register the table and up to two individual volunteers to staff the table.
  • Teams will be required to have someone at the table during lunch and all other breaks in the conference schedule, and for a reasonable time at the beginning and end of each day. A form to organize and record tabling shifts will be provided.
  • Your team will receive a guide to tabling, as well as the necessary marketing material for the table.

Take a look at the calendar below to find an event in your area. The “Agenda” view best displays the full name and location of each event.

Many events in 2015 have not yet had date and/or location confirmed, and are marked with “Date/location TBC”. Please contact us to let us know if our information is not up to date, or if you know of an event not in our calendar.

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