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Welcome to the Beyond Belief Network, a network of over 75 local freethought organizations putting compassionate humanism into action through community volunteering and fundraising. BBN is a program of Foundation Beyond Belief, a non-profit organization created to focus, encourage, and demonstrate the generosity and compassion of secular humanists. To date, our BBN teams in over 60 cities and 30 states have donated over 27,000 hours of community service.
The Beyond Belief Network includes Volunteers Beyond Belief, Foundation Partners Program, and FBB’s Light The Night team. BBN members can participate in all three programs. VBB events are classified as activities that serve communities with volunteering and fundraising for local non-profits. Partners events raise money for FBB beneficiaries and FBB to help fund and expand our initiatives. BBN also helps coordinate the efforts of atheists and secular humanists for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light The Night walk and fundraisers. LTN teams join through the LTN system and do not have to join BBN, but they’re encouraged to, so LTN events can be counted as VBB or Partners events. We are hoping that including VBB, FPP, and LTN will help you and your local secular humanist groups achieve their service goals.
Teams who just want to be on our email lists or join the Beyond Belief Network Facebook group may join Beyond Belief Network. For teams who want to start serving the community but haven’t yet, we offer advice, assistance, and detailed event guides. More experienced teams can join and recieve prizes and recognition for the work they already do. All teams who wish to join the Volunteers Beyond Belief or Foundation Partners programs will start as BBN teams and move up to receive more benefits (listed below) as they complete event reports of their service events. BBN staff will notify teams when they have moved up (or down) a level. Teams can participate in Volunteers Beyond Belief, Foundation Partners Program, and Light The Night (LTN events will count as either VBB or FPP events).
BBN staff is available to assist teams in finding volunteer opportunities and in committing to a regular schedule of volunteer events, making hands-on volunteering a major part of their groups' activity and identity. Additional perks to teams who complete service events include free logo t-shirts, invitation to apply for grants for service programs, national award recognition, and more.
Organizations with a compatible humanist mission and a public secular humanist or atheist identity are encouraged to consider joining the network by filling out the team application online.
Humanist First Responders
There is a growing opportunity for nonbelievers to provide compassionate humanist aid in times of crisis. Sometimes these crises will be large national disasters, but other times the disasters will be more personal in nature, like a lost job or home. The Humanist First Responders is our newest program: a network of individuals who can deployed in national disasters or can provide transportation or meals to local humanists in need.
If you are a person who puts your humanism to work, consider joining the Humanist First Responders today. There is a need for people to help on site following a disaster as advocates/personal assistants, skilled laborers to help with demolition and rebuilding, and laborers to clear debris and distribute supplies. It is also important to have people at a local level willing to provide transportation, meals, and other aid to needy humanists in their own communities. If you can provide any level of services, please fill out our application. In the event of national disasters, Humanist First Responders will deploy in concert with Crisis Response.
For more localized disasters, Foundation Beyond Belief has two additional programs through which needy humanists can apply or be nominated for aid:
Helping Hands launched earlier this year and is a program for humanist individuals to request non-monetary aid from Foundation Beyond Belief members and Beyond Belief Network teams. Once individuals' identities and need are verified, they are provided with a list of resources and put in contact with local groups who can help them further. Their situation and requests are also featured in FBB social media.
Rainbow Lion Project tracks down and replaces favorite toys or belongings in the event of a crisis. This project was started by Rebecca Vitsmun in collaboration with Foundation Beyond Belief. Her family lost their home and most of their belongings in the OK tornado disaster this year. Thanks to an amazing online response from nonbelievers, her son Anders was reunited with his favorite toy, Rainbow Lion. This project will do the same thing: provide comfort to a child (or an adult) in the midst of the chaos, like Rainbow Lion did for Anders.
Helpful Links and information for teams
Beyond Belief Network Facebook Group: Closed Facebook group for leaders of secular humanist groups to share ideas, resource guides, and ask questions.
Event Report and Promotion Request Form: Use this form to request promotion before an event and submit a report detailing the results after the event. BBN perks like grants, awards, t-shirts, etc. are contingent on event reporting.
Contact Form: Use this form to notify BBN of any changes in contact information.
Promote your service activities with FBB!
Volunteers Beyond Belief events and Foundation Partners Program events. VBB events include service activities, fundraisers for non-FBB beneficiaries, and Light The Night Walks. FPP events include fundraisers for FBB beneficiaries (at least 50% of the proceeds must go to FBB or beneficiaries), Light The Night fundraisers, and recruiting 5 team members to the Humanist Giving Program.
Perks are divided into three levels. A team reaches level one after having 4 VBB events OR 2 FPP events. Level two requires 8 VBB events OR 4 FPP events. For level three, a team must have 12 events of either type. Events not submitted to the event report form will not be considered for leveling up.
Level one (BBN, plus)
● 8 free shirts with logo option
● Vetting of potential volunteer beneficiaries if requested
● FBB staff support in major charity initiatives as requested and available
● Discount on merchandise
● Invitation to monthly calls
Level two (Level one, plus)
● Eligibility for awards (including monetary prizes)
● Eligibility for small grants ($250)
● Priority in promotion and vetting requests
Level three (Level two, plus)
● Eligibility for larger grants up to $500, with larger grants considered for specific, appropriate, well-defined project development
● 12 additional t-shirts
Questions about BBN may be directed to Beyond Belief Network Coordinator Brittany Shoots-Reinhard (firstname.lastname@example.org).