Author Topic: Non-religious charities and service organizations  (Read 13243 times)

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Offline xphobe

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Non-religious charities and service organizations
« on: January 18, 2009, 09:32:17 PM »
This thread is intended to notify the WWGHA community of charities and social organizations that are not affiliated with a religious organization and do not include religious themes in their charters.   Please feel free to recommend your favorite ones, and I will add them to the list in this post.

Three of the four greatest American philanthropists have been atheist/agnostic:
Bill Gates & Warren Buffett (also two of the world's wealtheist men)
Andrew Carnegie


In alphabetical order

Accion micro-lending
Action Aid
Afghan Children's Fund National Geographic fund to educate Afghan children
Alternative Gifts International
American Civil Liberties Union
American Humanists
American Lung Association
American Red Cross
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Americares Delivering medicines, medical supplies and aid to people in crisis around the world.
Amnesty International
Atheist Centre of India runs 3 charities: disaster relief, women's empowerment, criminal tribes
Atheist Volunteers
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation working to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.  It is ironically satisfying that this goal is very close to that of "healing amputees", yet Christopher Reeve was an atheist. :)
Coalition to stop the use of child soldiers
Direct Relief International
Doctors Without Borders <== Haiti Earthquake Relief
Feeding America formerly known as America's Second Harvest
FINCA International
Freedom From Religion Foundation
The Halo Trust Princess Diana apparently supported this land mine charity.
Fred Hollows Foundation preventing blindness
Heifer Project International
Humane Society US
Humanist Charities same as American Humanists
International Committee of the Red Cross <== Haiti Earthquake Relief
Kiva person-to-person micro-lending
Lions Club International
Meals On Wheels some local affiliates may be run by churches
Mercy Corps
Orbis saving eyesight worldwide
Oxfam America
Pathfinder International
Partners In Health
Peace Corps U.S. government org
Planned Parenthood
Rotary International
Ryan's Well Foundation Digs wells in Africa
Secular Coalition for America
Secular Student Alliance supports freethinking kids on college campuses
The Smile Train funds surgeries to correct children's cleft palate
SOS Children's Villages
TechnoServe
UNICEF

Note: Charity Navigator is a very useful resource to learn about the efficiency and overall rating of various charities.

FWIW, this site http://www.networkforgood.org/ may be useful.  I typed "non-religious" into their search engine and got three pages of hits.  Take the results with a grain of salt however - the American Islamic Congress calls itself "non-religious", and many other charities with obviously religious names turned up.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2010, 09:18:05 AM by xphobe »
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Offline Tails_155

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 07:20:59 PM »
As far as I can see, one of my most respected charities: The American Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has no affiliations... :)
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Offline JTFC

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 08:32:58 PM »
I'm not entirely sure, but I think that Orbis (http://www.orbis.org/) is also non-affiliated, and does some impressive work with eyesight in Third World areas.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 08:32:35 PM »
Actually Xphobe, heifer project international is the church of the brethren, my church
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Offline Hermes

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2009, 08:40:34 PM »
The American Lung Association;

http://www.lungusa.org

Don't let the logo fool you, they are entirely secular.  They are a lean charity that focuses funding on scientific research to solve problems and work hard at moving to the next problem instead of milking the current ones.  They do not focus on maintenance; they focus on cures.  Brutal compassion.


http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3274




Edit: Added Charity Navigator link to the American Lung Association.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 08:54:07 PM by Hermes »
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2009, 08:42:01 PM »
Actually Xphobe, heifer project international is the church of the brethren, my church

I haven't seen that on their website.  I did find that many on their Board of Directors are "Covenant Agency representatives", whatever that means, and that one of the Covenant Agencies appears to be Brethren, but there are other churches mentioned.

Can you point me to a link between Heifer and Brethren?  Thanks.
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Offline I KILLED JEBUS

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2009, 08:42:52 PM »
its good to know they just dont want to fund and endless orgy of scientific research(lung asssoc.) Remember if you find a cure your out of a job
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Offline kevyrat69

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2009, 12:58:04 AM »
Thank you for pointing those out and I would be more likely to give to those charity's that have nothing to do with the poision from the church Christ or God.
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Offline shnozzola

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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2009, 09:32:05 PM »
^^ thanks.  So the founder was a member of the Church of the Brethren.  Not sure what that means today.

I'll leave Heifer in the list for now.  Readers of this thread can decide for themselves whether they want to contribute.

I had a feeling this kind of question would be the hard part of maintaining a list.  Ah well, it's not a biggie.
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Offline shnozzola

Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2009, 06:29:11 PM »
Xphobe,
      Yeah, I would assume "heifer" reaches out to anyone - its a pretty good program that wouldn't have strings attached as far as religious teaching.  Church of the brethren is an anabaptist church that lets people decide if they want to join the church, usually 12,13,14 years old, it is not as dogmatic as some denominations.  The creed is "no creed but christ," however, it has all the hangups of many christian churches - the homosexuality issue is tearing it in half, of course even the name is sexist, and it is losing members like most north american denominations.  It is a pacifist church like the mennonites and quakers, but we have members that join the military and don't get excommunicated or anything.  It is a forgiving church to its members (and nonmembers).  Some congregations fly a flag up front and some wouldn't consider it.  An atheist would be welcome.  It has accredited colleges that teach  "normal" sciences -  I still like alot that the church offers, even though I consider myself an atheist.  I seldom go but I can sing the songs I learned as a child and appreciate the teaching of compassion and tolerance that are at the heart of much of it.  I think one of the beliefs anabaptist churches like the amish strongly teach is "never consider yourself above another person" - "self praise stinks," as my grandmother would say. 

A story about heifer - I was a US peace corps volunteer in Lesotho, southern africa.  Many families had a few cows, so I contacted heifer, thinking it was a perfect fit, and they said they don't do that.  I never understood it and didn't take time to pursue it -I think maybe heifer wants a project where 100 cows from the midwest go on a boat  to one place.  I still don't understand it.
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Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2009, 09:13:43 PM »
its good to know they just dont want to fund and endless orgy of scientific research(lung asssoc.) Remember if you find a cure your out of a job

Yeah, but you'll have that big, honkin' Nobel Prize to keep you company.  I'd trade my job to be a Nobel Laureate, any day.  :D

Actually, I'd bet they'd target a new disease right away.

Edit: Thanks, xphobe, et al  for the link list!
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2009, 09:10:39 PM »
I've received some questions about Habitat for Humanity.  While they are definitely a worthy cause, they call themselves an "ecumenical Christian housing organization", so they don't fall within the scope of this thread.
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Offline Agamemnon

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2009, 10:06:32 PM »
Wow, that sucks.  I've donated to them in the past and even volunteered my time and handyman skills.  But apparently they aren't interested in time and skills, so I'm assuming they are specifically interested in dollars.
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Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2009, 10:08:24 PM »
As have I.

My impression is most of the people I worked with were not christian, or very religious at all.

meh.

You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline LarianLeQuella

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2009, 05:15:52 PM »
Great resource thread!  I need to send this to my wife, she has been searching about for a charity to do some work with.  Although, in the area I live in, it may be hard to find organizations that are non-religious since 99.9% of the people are religious...

Offline Operator_A30

Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2009, 09:52:44 PM »
What about the ACLU?  They do not associate themselves with a religion or non-religion and simply try to protect everyone's civil rights. Don't they count as a charity?
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2009, 11:22:05 PM »
^ sure do.  Thanks for reminding me.  added.
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Offline William

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2009, 11:37:26 PM »
The Fred Hollows Foundation

http://www.hollows.org
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2009, 11:53:22 PM »
added.  Thanks William!
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2009, 11:14:26 AM »
Found one today: http://www.smiletrain.org/

Changing the world one smile at a time.
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Offline Crocoduck

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2009, 10:32:38 AM »
good list, though im boycotting the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation for the time being-
Bill and Linda Gates Foundation donate $9.3 million to the Discovery Intsitute
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2009, 10:42:16 AM »
good list, though im boycotting the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation for the time being-
Bill and Linda Gates Foundation donate $9.3 million to the Discovery Intsitute

Aaaaaaa!   WTF are they doing????

I only hope that Gates was not aware of the connection between the Cascadia Project and its parent org.

"The grant will enable Discovery Institute to increase the efforts of its “Cascadia Project,” a long-term initiative to develop balanced, seamless, and expanded transportation systems among Washington, Oregon and British Columbia through public-private partnerships and innovative financing."

If you hear more about this please let me know.  I am very disappointed.
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Offline Crocoduck

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2009, 10:45:37 AM »
its an older project and not supposed to be used for other activities, but DI writes paychecks from remainders. till B&LF denounces any further affiliation theyre off my list. just my personal opinion though.
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2009, 08:42:14 AM »
Added a couple more: Afghan Children's Fund and Halo Trust, which Screwtape mentioned in a thread about SomeGirl.
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Offline jedweber

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2009, 10:17:33 AM »
good list, though im boycotting the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation for the time being-
Bill and Linda Gates Foundation donate $9.3 million to the Discovery Intsitute

Aaaaaaa!   WTF are they doing????

I only hope that Gates was not aware of the connection between the Cascadia Project and its parent org.

"The grant will enable Discovery Institute to increase the efforts of its “Cascadia Project,” a long-term initiative to develop balanced, seamless, and expanded transportation systems among Washington, Oregon and British Columbia through public-private partnerships and innovative financing."

If you hear more about this please let me know.  I am very disappointed.

That seems bizarre to me. I can't see any connection at all between between promoting efficient transportation and opposing evolution. In fact, the transportation project seems to fit their mission statement better than the ID activities they're better known for:

http://www.discovery.org/about.php

I don't understand how they ever got on their anti-evolution tack. Is it just a idiosyncratic personal crusade on the part of some founder or large donor?

Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2009, 01:00:54 PM »
I think it's the other way around.  They started in 1990 as a Christian apologetic organization based on C S Lewis's work, and soon after began their Intelligent Design "Wedge" strategy.  Their president Bruce Chapman says of the Wedge "I would say it's our No. 1 project"

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_9_16/ai_60270494/

The social and ecological stuff came later.  No doubt it was influenced by the attitudes and politics in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, but it also makes a good cover, and to liberals it's more likely to make them look like the "good guys".
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Offline xphobe

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2009, 12:58:10 PM »
Bump.

Just saw a film about child soldiers.  Although children have always been used as soldiers throughout history, it has been a rarity - in the hundreds at most.  Only in the last century have we seen their numbers increase so dramatically.  Today it is estimated that there are a quarter million children as young as seven being used as weapons of war and terror.  They are forced to commit unimaginable atrocities, and then if they are lucky enough to survive they have to find some way to go back home with that history hanging over them.

http://www.child-soldiers.org/home


edit: I notice that one of their member organizations is the Jesuit Refugee Service.  In the OP I used the phrase "not affiliated with a religious organization" so technically this one would not meet the criteria.

So I wonder, is it wrong to include this organization in the list?  What if a religious person contributed to the Atheist Center?  Would that disqualify them?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 04:23:35 PM by xphobe »
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Offline Seank

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Re: Non-religious charities and service organizations
« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2009, 03:07:38 PM »
You could add Action Aid:

http://www.actionaid.org/

I'm sponsoring a kid through them, and so far they seem true to their goal of religious neutrality.
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