Atheist Nexus member Dannyisme started a discussion on secular charities on his Atheist Nexus journal. I'm wondering if we can add to his list, either here or on his blog.

Just in case Dannyisme's journal disappears now that he's deleted his profile, I'm going to copy-and-paste as much as I can here, as well as listing links.

Originally posted in Dannyisme's (former member) Atheist Nexus journal 23 May 2009 at 10:16pm:

"Felch made a comment on my previous blog post: "Is there a database of certified-non-lunatic secular charities anywhere ? If not, why not ? And if not, shouldn't we make one?"

He listed one, Medecins sans Frontieres, to which I added Teachers without borders. That's two. So let's make a list. Please add to the list and give a very brief description of what the group does. (Emphasis mine)

1. Médecins Sans Frontières: a secular humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing endemic disease.

2. Teachers without Borders: supports teacher leaders, worldwide, with professional development opportunities and tools that connect them with information and each other so that they may play a more vital role in their communities.

3. Engineers without Borders: supports community-driven development programs worldwide through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while fostering responsible leadership.

4. City Harvest: the world’s first food rescue organization, collects 23 million pounds of excess food from restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers and farms and delivers it free of charge to more than 600 community food programs throughout New York City.

Please add ..."

Views: 221

Replies to This Discussion

I'll fix the links, etc... later. I've just copy-and-pasted, so please forgive.

Comment by felch grogan on 23 May 2009 at 10:51pm

"Lawyers without Borders - Cambridge University group

Innumerable donate-a-cow groups, problem is weeding out the theists using charity as a backdoor..."

Comment by Méabh on 24 May 2009 at 1:05am

"Independent Charities of America might be a good reference for this task.

From their site: Faith-Based human care charities are eligible to apply. Proselytizing organizations are not. Applicants' fund raising materials and other information to the public must be truthful and nondeceptive.

Also, Charity Navigator.

From the Charity Navigator site: 6 Questions To Ask Charities Before Donating.

Plus, American Institute of Philanthropy has a list of top-rated charities.

Comment by Judith on 24 May 2009 at 2:36am
Comment by Sydni Moser on 24 May 2009 at 6:14am
I found this list of charitable organizations on a Peter Singer site. I think they will make a good addtion.

The organizations below are all mentioned positively in The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer, which you should see for further details. We're open to listing other organizations. Please send us suggestions, with an indication of why you think that a donation to them would be an effective way of reducing world poverty.

Fistula Foundation
Supports the extraordinary work done by Catherine Hamlin in Ethiopia to treat this obstetric injury that ruins the lives of young women but can easily be repaired by modern surgical techniques.

Fred Hollows Foundation
A $50 donation to this foundation can restore the sight of a person who could not otherwise afford the surgery.

Leads the campaign for evaluating the effectiveness of aid organizations - and your donation can go, via GiveWell, to the organization they judge to be most effective.

International Planned Parenthood Federation
For those who believe that there is no solution to poverty without direct efforts to reduce population growth.

Highly recommended by GiveWell for its life-changing surgery for those with deformities and disabilities.

Millennium Promise
Supports the Millennium Villages Project, led by Jeffrey Sachs, and designed to show that the Millennium Development Goals can be met in rural areas at a modest cost.

Namlo International
Led by former mountain climber Magda King, this organization helps people in remote rural areas to build and run schools for children who would otherwise have no opportunity to get an education, and then assists those communities to become self- sufficient through sustainable development.

Opportunity International
A microcredit organization rated highly by GiveWell.

Oxfam International
Oxfam (originally the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief) is one of the leading organizations combating poverty in developing countries. (Peter Singer donates much of what he gives to Oxfam.) Oxfam International is the umbrella organization for all the national Oxfams, which are listed separately below. To donate to Oxfam, if you live in one of the countries listed, contact your national Oxfam organization.
- Oxfam America
- Oxfam Australia
- Oxfam-in-Belgium
- Oxfam Canada
- Oxfam France - Agir ici
- Oxfam Germany
- Oxfam GB
- Oxfam Hong Kong
- Oxfam Ireland
- Oxfam New Zealand
- Oxfam Novib Netherlands
- Oxfam Québec
- Intermón Oxfam Spain

Partners in Health
Founded by Paul Farmer to assist his clinic treating the rural poor in Haiti, Partners in Health now also does similar work in other poor countries, and was rated by GiveWell as highly effective.

Population Services International (PSI)
Distributes bednets and condoms in developing countries where malaria and HIV/AIDS are major risks to life. GiveWell gave PSI its top rating in the category “Saving Lives in Africa”.

Poverty Action Lab
A research unit at MIT that seeks to test, where possible by means of randomised trials, the efficacy of specific interventions to aid the poor.

Transparency International
For those who see the campaign against corruption as crucial to the fight against poverty, this is an organization to support.

The United Nations Childrens Emergency Fund does anti-poverty worked aimed at children in many developing countries.

Worldwide Fistula Fund
Providing for the treatment of fistula in poor African countries, the Fund estimates that it costs about $450 for surgery that will restore the hopes of a young woman who without the surgery would have a miserable existence in front of her.

Other recommended organizations.

Global Giving
Connects donors with community-based projects in all regions of the world. Not all are directed at reducing poverty, but there are many to choose from in this category.

Provides funds for self-supporting sustainable food projects and safe drinking water, in ways that do not exploit animals or the environment.

Go to this website to access all links these organizations:

For many more organizations suggested by visitors to this website check these out as well.
Comment by George on 26 May 2009 at 5:07am
I will second the microfinance charity Kiva.

Note that Kiva's Atheist team is the top ranking donor group.
Comment by Luke on 26 May 2009 at 6:22am
I started a Kiva group on A|N when I first joined.
Comment by Kristy Vensson on 26 May 2009 at 6:53am
While Catherine Hamlin does wonderful work for women with fistulas in Ethiopia she is very much a theist and the impetus behind her work is religious. Here is a quote from an interview on Australia's ABC radio: "... I committed my life to God. I made a decision to do something for him in my life. Well, I asked God, really, to forgive my past neglect of him and to become a true follower of Jesus in my life."

Should this deter people from contributing to help these women? No. But I don't know if it can strictly be called a 'secular' charity.
Comment by Méabh on 9 June 2009 at 2:42pm
Danny, I'd love to see an edited, growing list of secular charities go in the "Atheist Do-Gooders" group, as well as a more permanent link somewhere prominent on AN.
As you can see, I ran out of time to edit this post and the first comment. One of these days...




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