I have a problem.
Late last year, I did two rounds of editing on Greta Christina’s book Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why. (I couldn’t talk her out of the Oxford comma. I never can.) The book is in essence a series of self-help guides for the nonreligious on issues like visibility, family tension and arguments at work – if these are issues you face or are likely to face, it’s definitely worth a read.
Because of the work I did on the book, Greta has pledged to donate 10 percent of her income from its first-month sales to a non-profit of my choice. This is likely to be quite a substantial sum, and I’m keen to send it somewhere it’ll make a difference. Because of the details of Greta’s situation and the details of American tax law, about which I know
next to nothing, the recipient needs to be ‘a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit’ – and probably also, by dint of that, a U.S. organisation. It also needs to be a ‘specifically atheist, humanist, or some other godless-themed’ project or group, and one Greta doesn’t mind supporting.
I have a very general knowledge of orgs like this in the U.S., but it’s not detailed enough to know where a fairly large cheque should best be sent. So, U.S. readers: who should I give it to? (FYI, I understand there are Canadian 501(c)(3) groups – but please only recommend one if you’re certain it qualifies.) In case it helps you decide who to recommend, I have a few loose guidelines of my own.
For a start, it should be somewhere small and poor enough that this amount of money changes things – but not so small and poor that giving to them means throwing good money after bad. This rules out all the big lobby groups and membership orgs. Nor do I want to choose a generalised secular/atheist campaign group – rather, I’d like suggestions for secular groups with specific social-action mandates.
Some such mandates in particular are close to my heart. Since I’d like to donate to an org that reflects my own concerns, I’d be especially pleased to hear about atheist and secular nonprofits focusing on:
- Addiction (Can anyone tell me, specifically, what the situation post-financial-crisis is for Secular Organisations for Sobriety, or if there are other orgs devoted to secular recovery?)
- Poverty and religious exploitation in lower-class communities (e.g. secular soup kitchens, college scholarships etc.)
- Queer/LGBT atheists or victims of religious harm
- Sex education in a religion-free context
- Survivors of religious abuse (in any form)
- Women (e.g. combatting religious abuse or providing secular shelters)
- Young nonbelievers and secular education
If you have ideas, let me know – or, if you know people you think will, share this post with them. I’d like to move on this reasonably quickly.
Thanks, and I’ll let you know who I choose.