2012 has been an exhilarating year, characterized by inspiration, heartbreak, and revolution. At Foundation Beyond Belief, we sought to navigate the year’s tragedies with our Crisis Response program, offering relief where it is most needed. We instigated a promising new partnership with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to educate the public and fund research in the fight against cancer through their Light the Night program. Our Volunteers Beyond Belief teams continued to support their local communities through important service endeavors. We continued our staple Humanist Giving program, facilitating the transfer of your donations to an outstanding charity slate working on many fronts to build a better world. Our dedicated community helped us secure a tremendous grant from the Chase Giving Foundation, which will enable us to expand our efforts.
This year, our members donated more than $203,000 to our beneficiaries, small grant recipients, and Foundation Beyond Belief through the Humanist Giving program. In its third year of existence, the program changed formats this year, now supporting five charities instead of 10 each quarter. By reducing the number of beneficiaries each quarter, we are able to make a larger impact to each of our grantees, streamline our own processes, and better tell the stories of our beneficiaries. Each quarter we offer support in the areas of Poverty and Health, Education, Human Rights, The Natural World, Challenge the Gap, and Small Grants.
Our Humanist Giving program is most of all about our 2012 grant recipients. They are inspiring and extraordinary. In Q1 2012, our Challenge the Gap program entered its second year, supporting the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which used our grant to support their gender equality work in the United States and Guatemala. Our Human Rights beneficiary in Q2 was the It Gets Better Project; find out how the project got started. Our Q2 Poverty and Health beneficiary Shoulder to Shoulder shared with us stories from their work in Honduras. In Q3, we launched our small grant program, supporting the Igwe Witch Project. Another highlight of Q3 is the work of our Education beneficiary Kasese Humanist Primary School, whose motto “With science, we can progress” made it an immediate favorite among our staff and supporters! During the quarter, they focused on creating sustainability on their campus through their food programs. In Q4, we supported an inner-city program in our Natural World category: DC Greenworks builds green roofs, installs rain barrels to divert storm water, and provides jobs in the Washington, DC, area.
Volunteers Beyond Belief
This year, our Volunteers Beyond Belief teams worked to be an integral part of their communities. They volunteered at food banks, worked with Habitat for Humanity, and contributed to relief efforts. We made great leaps in the program, adding new teams with a total of 2,200 volunteers in 23 states. The Harvard Humanists worked to pack a whopping forty thousand meals. After Superstorm Sandy, the Freethought Society reached out to help form the Hurricane Sandy Emergency Relief Fund Committee to raise and distribute funds, an action recognized by the Washington Post. To end the year, VBB and the FBB Partners Program merged to create the Beyond Belief Groups Network.
Our Crisis Response program sprang into action twice this year. Supporters raised $4,500 to support volunteer firefighter departments in Colorado whose resources were depleted by wildfires. In October, Hurricane Sandy slammed Haiti and then converged with a major weather system in the northeast creating Superstorm Sandy. Our Crisis Response program raised more than $18,000 to support the International Medical Corps’ effort to bring disaster relief to Haiti and Team Rubicon, which showed determination and compassion as it deployed a thousand veterans to aid in the cleanup in the northeast. The generous support of FBB members supported these organizations in their efforts to aid those in need.
Light the Night
FBB’s inaugural campaign as a national partner of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has been an emphatic success. Over the course of the year, more than 1,300 walkers from almost 150 local teams coordinated their fundraising efforts in support of medical research and compassionate patient care. Thanks to a generous matching grant from the Stiefel family, our national community of humanists has raised close to half a million dollars for this extraordinary cause. We appreciate the endeavors of all of our team members and look forward to building upon our achievements in 2013. All of these programs are made possible by your generous donations and support throughout the year, and we’re so proud to have such a dedicated base driving our efforts. If you’re interested in making a one-time donation to help us continue being able to offer these programs, and to expand our efforts in the future, visit our one-time donation page. And as always, thank you for your continued support—we look forward to another exciting year serving humanity when in need, and improving the world that we share.