To date, our BBN teams across the United States and internationally have donated over 100,000 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.
Please contact us with any questions.
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.
Are you 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.
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.
The more events a team has during the year, the higher level they reach. Every higher level comes with eligibility for different or larger perks. Teams can level up by executing and reporting events through the BBN event reporting form. Some events count as a single credit toward leveling up and other events count as two credits toward leveling up. Event guidelines for single and double credit are:
Events that do not count toward leveling up: Social activities and fundraisers for the BBN team itself, unless there is a significant amount of community outreach, education, or fundraising for a 501c3 charity.
For ideas for service events, see the BBN resources page.
BBN teams can earn perks by reporting on their events to achieve a new BBN level.
Bronze Level is reached after earning 4 points
Silver Level after earning 8 points
Gold Level after earning 12 points
Student teams must fulfil 75% of these requirements due to the shorter timeframe allowed by the academic year:
Bronze Level: after earning 3 points
Silver Level: after earning 6 points
Gold Level: after earning 9 points
Events not submitted to the event report form will not be considered for leveling up.
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 service event with two weeks notice (as space allows)
Vetting of potential volunteer beneficiaries if requested and available
Personal FBB staff support in major charity initiatives as requested and available
Additional Bronze Level benefits:
8 free shirts with the option for inclusion of your team's logo
Additional Silver Level benefits:
Eligibility for grants for your service projects up to $250
Priority in promotion and vetting requests
Additional Gold Level 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.
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 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 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.
The annual Heart of Humanism awards recognize sterling service from BBN teams and individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to compassionate humanism.
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 outstanding student team
Gimme Food and Shelter: awarded to the team with outstanding contributions to causes related to homelessness and food
Best Photo: awarded to the team with the best picture of the year
Backbone Volunteers: awarded to the team that played a consistent and reliable role in a local organization
Most Valuable Volunteer: awarded to the most dedicated team member across all BBN teams, as nominated by team leaders
Individual awards recognize those who have made extraordinary contributions to compassionate humanism.
Heart of Humanism: recognizes someone who demonstrates humanist values
Outstanding Leader: recognizes an outstanding BBN team leader