Philanthropic groups accepting of atheists?

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techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
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28 Aug 2011, 9:56 am

Hi guys. I just got myself on the search for this and have been kicking the idea around for a while. I'm trying to find a major philanthropic network - in the US - that's perhaps not necessarily exclusively *for* atheists but accepts them as working partners. The challenge is this - I'd like to find something something perhaps similar in Kiwanis in terms of what it is and how it works but, is perhaps more general in its actions than specifically working with children at all times. Anything from cleaning up parks, helping with urban housing, working on better connecting charities to the people who need their services, etc.. I'm pretty open-minded on the types of service although I'd rather be in an organization that can see a need and react to it rather than being too straight-jacketed in terms of its mission statement.

Any suggestions on this? I'm a bit new at researching this and I'd like to get some input as well from people who do volunteer time for major organizations as such what they feel the pros and cons of their own organizations are.


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sluice
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28 Aug 2011, 3:29 pm

There are many organizations that have no religious affiliations. I imagine if you wanted to remove all aspects of religion, you could start your own group or branch and have that as a defining tenet as long as they don't go against the national charter. I have done things like Habitat, community clean-ups, hospital work and the like, but never joined a national organization. Maybe, a good idea would be helping autistic people or children socialize better within larger society since you seem to have had some success.



techstepgenr8tion
SomeRandomGuy
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28 Aug 2011, 3:34 pm

I'm not saying something stripped of all religious influence, I'm not worried about that - in fact I think I'd be more put off by something with an anti-religious tone, I think that caricatures atheism.
I'm just looking for something where people come up with philanthropic projects, or have a network of projects running, which are fundamentally apolitical in intended accomplishments but are aimed to fill needs that they do not see the private sector as being able to do. Reading up I liked the general idea of Kiwanis but, I'm looking for something perhaps less limited to working with kids and more toward a broader level of societal improvement. Hope that helps a little.


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30 Aug 2011, 5:17 pm

I think you first need to clarify and identify what it is you are really passionate about changing or improving, then find an organization that has a common goal. There are tons of nonprofit service organizations out there and sifting through them without a clear direction could become frustrating quickly. 'Broader societal improvement' is a really broad goal.

Failing that, there's always the nonprofit service organization I work for. We'd be happy to take your time and money, lol, regardless of religious persuasion or whatever you believe in.



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SomeRandomGuy
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30 Aug 2011, 9:54 pm

I guess I'm kind of surprised that there's nothing 'liquid' out there, ie. they see a need and they right it. Kiwanis kind of does that but the strict orientation to children is the one thing that I'm not sure I want. Pretty much I'd like to find a group who works a bit like think-tank and resource-tank, thinks "What general needs aren't being met or are falling through the cracks between private sector and government" as well as "What can we do sustainably?" and then come up with ideas and then action plans to see it through.

I think optimally I want to both join in a charitable group as well as be able to network - both socially and otherwise. One of the bigger reasons, like it may be for a lot of people, is to feel like I'm worth something and that I'm giving something back. Unfortunately though I just don't have a specific issue that I'm hot about - I like em all in degrees and, I kind of debate the need for hyperfocus, it seems like that's when things get carried away and then even end up with a bad rap due to the obsession of its participants.


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30 Aug 2011, 9:56 pm

The rotary club.

Non religious but do lots of good work.