Atheist fundraising vs. religious fundraising

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A child in Thailand where the nontheistic form of Buddhism called the Theravada school of Buddhism is prevalent. In 2010, the Pew Research Forum indicated that 93.2% of the people of Thailand were Buddhists.[1]

Per capita atheists and agnostics in America give significantly less to charity than theists even when church giving is not counted for theists (See: Atheism and uncharitableness).

Nonprofits require funds from donors so they can fulfill their missions.

Both ideological wars and nations engaged in war require adequate resources to effectively engage in battle.

There are ideological wars/culture wars occurring between atheism and Christianity/Islam (see: Atheism vs. Christianity and Atheism vs. Islam).

As can be seen below, religious organizations are far outpacing atheist organizations when it comes to fundraising (see also: Atheism and charity),

The 21st century is expected to be a century of global desecularization and religious organizations significantly outperforming atheist organizations in fundraising will contribute to this matter (see: Causes of desecularization).

General Douglas MacArthur declared: "The history of war proves that nine out of ten times an army has been destroyed because its supply lines have been cut off...”.[2]


Religious fundraising

Religious individuals are more charitable

Studies show that religious people are more charitable than atheists (see: Atheism and uncharitableness).

Religious organizations fundraising in the United States

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics: "Religious organizations received the largest share, with 32% of total estimated contributions."[3]

Women are less likely to be atheists. Women donate more

Surveys throughout the world and other data indicate that women are less inclined to be atheists (See: Atheism and women).[4] [5]

According to Fortune magazine women donate more to charitable causes than men (see: Women donate more to charitable causes than men).

Christian fundraising

Christian philanthropy

See also: Atheism and charity

Jesus Christ and his apostles taught a gospel of love.[6]

Jesus Christ and his apostles taught a gospel of love and Christian philanthropy has a long tradition.[7] For example, St. Basil of Caesarea founded the first hospital. Christian hospitals subsequently spread quickly throughout both the East and the West.[8]

The First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. ordered the construction of a hospital for every cathedral town in the Roman Empire to care for the poor, sick, widows, and strangers. They were staffed and funded by religious orders and volunteers.[9]

Christian fundraising

Christian fundraising is well-developed within Christendom.[10] For example, there are associations, non-profits and private companies that work with Christian organizations to make their fundraising more effective.[11] In addition, there are Christian foundations that award grants.[12]

Atheist organizations and fundraising

See also: Atheist organizations and fundraising

Atheist Hemant Mehta on fundraising from fellow nonbelievers

The atheist Hemant Mehta said about raising money from fellow nonbelievers: "Meanwhile, I’ve had one hell of a time convincing people to give to the Foundation Beyond Belief — and I help lead that organization." [13]

Secular humanism is a type of atheism/agnosticism.

Foundation Beyond Belief is a charitable foundation created to focus on "humanist generosity and compassion."[14]

The atheist Hemant Mehta said about raising money from fellow nonbelievers: "Meanwhile, I’ve had one hell of a time convincing people to give to the Foundation Beyond Belief — and I help lead that organization." [15]

Atheist activist Lee Moore: Donations to American atheist organizations are down due to infighting within the atheist movement

See also: Atheist factions and Atheism and social skills

In 2017, the atheist activist Lee Moore declared about American atheist organizations:

If you look at the major atheist groups right now, like the national groups, the ones that are doing the real activist work... They are not bringing in the kind of donations they used to. Most of them are starved for cash. They're downsizing left and right. Because people aren't just giving like they used to. And I talked to a lot of the major donors out there and they said, "Well, we're kind of tired of seeing the atheist community just fight amongst itself and not really get anything done. We'd rather not give money if we don't think it's going to go somewhere."[16]

The 2017 IRS tax exempt form of the American Atheists organization shows that in 2016 the contributions and grants to the American Atheists organization was $1,160,208 and in 2017 contributions and grants to the American Atheists organization dropped to $408,922 (see: 2017 contributions and grants to American Atheists).[17][18]

Canadian atheist activist Pat O'Brien on the difficulty of atheist fundraising

See also: Canada and irreligion

The Canadian atheist activist Pat O'Brien is a Canadian atheist, an activist, and ex-president of Humanist Canada and British Columbia Humanist Association (Secular humanism is a form of atheism).

O'Brien said about the willingness atheists/humanists to support national and provincial atheist organizations: "The biggest problem is fundraising. It is difficult to get Humanists to part with their money."[19]

David Gorski's complaint about atheist nonprofits

Richard Dawkins

David Gorski at Scienceblogs wrote about atheist/skeptic organizations and financial mismanagement:

In any case, this makes me wonder: What is it about rationalist/skeptic groups that make them seemingly have such a hard time running their organizations well from a financial standpoint? After all, just a couple of months ago the Center for Inquiry (CFI) sent out letters desperately begging for more contributions. The reason was that CFI had one large benefactor whose yearly contribution funded approximately 20-25% of the yearly CFI budget. As clueless as I may be about finances, even I know that you don’t use such donations to run the operating expenses of an organization, because you can’t count on them from year to year and it’s too big a chunk. You use this money for special short-term projects and a rainy day fund. Not surprisingly, when this mysterious donor stopped donating earlier this year, suddently CFI was in deep doo-doo from a financial standpoint, prompting the desperate plea for donations and deep budget cuts. I realize that the down economy has played havoc with many nonprofit and charitable organizations, but these issues with skeptical organizations seem to go beyond just that.[23]

RationalWiki website and fundraising

See also: RationalWiki and web traffic

On May 29, 2022, one of the founders of the RationalWiki website indicated "Currently the donations we get are sparse... We have not done a donation drive in a long time and have not been self-supporting for over a year....".[24]

Secular Student Alliance report of fundraising problems

In October 2015, the Secular Student Alliance tweeted that it "desperately" needed $100,000 by the end of the month. The SSA Executive director August Brunsman reported that fundraising had lagged.[25]

Atheist organizations: Church-state/creationism issues - poor largely ignored

See also: Western atheism and race

Atheist Sikivu Hutchinson says that atheist organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not on the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.[26] See also: Atheism and uncharitablenss

In June 2014, Sikivu Hutchinson wrote in the Washington Post that atheist organizations generally focus on church/state separation and creationism issues and not the concerns the less affluent African-American population faces.[27] Hutchinson also mentioned that church organizations do offer significant help to poor African-Americans.[28]

Also, according to a video posted at Freethought Blogs storefront churches provide assistance to local residents including women, and this partly explains the death of Hispanic and African-American women atheists in America (Atheists give less to charity than Christians).[29]

In 2014, the atheist Chris Hall wrote in an article which was published by Salon magazine and Alternet:

Direct challenges to racism and sexism haven’t traditionally been the domain of the large organizations like American Atheists or the Secular Coalition for America. It’s been far more typical to fight incursions against separation of church and state or educate against pseudoscience like homeopathy.[30]

Inside Philanthropy website commentary atheist philanthropy related to universities

According to the website Inside Philanthropy:

Universities lack the kind of entrenched atheist architecture—endowments, departments, conferences and the like—that religious studies departments have enjoyed for centuries.

What's more, there are several major funders who've put muscle behind religious scholarship on campus, such as the Lilly Endowment and the Templeton Foundation. But we've never seen a gift for related to aethism [sic] — either on a campus or elsewhere. Nor have our data gathering friends the Foundation Center, which reports exactly zero grants related to atheism in a database covers tens of foundations. (That said, some grants have gone to groups that put forth a "secular" agenda.)[31]

Atheist movement, women and a smaller base of major donors

See: Atheist movement, women and a smaller base of major donors

Atheist fundraising among YouTube atheists

See also: YouTube atheism

The atheist Thomas Westbrook, a full-time YouTube atheist, declared about himself and other YouTube atheists: "Finances are still kind of tight for most of us."[32]

Atheist nonprofit scandals

See also: Atheist organizations and scandals

Atheist YouTube's channel Utah Outcasts on embezzlement within atheist organizations

See also: Atheism and stealing

In a 2018 YouTube video entitled David Silverman Ousted as President of American Atheists, the atheist YouTube channel Utah Outcasts said in a video about David Silverman and atheist organizations: "Many other people were also like maybe he was embezzling funds because we know people in atheist activist communities where that kind of sh*t happens. Yes, it was kind of common."[33]

Atheist nonprofit scandals which had significant publicity

Two atheist nonprofit scandals which received some publicity were the organizations Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the We Are Atheism organization.[34]

Atheist non-profit scandals, lack of critical thinking and lack of due diligence

See also: Atheism and critical thinking

People who think about donating priorities and perform due diligence are less likely to donate to organizations who engage in scandalous behavior.

The Skepchick writer Heina Dadabhoy wrote about atheists and charitable giving:

So many of us don’t critically examine to what we pay attention and why, to whom we give our money and why, of what sort of news we keep abreast and why, about what we find out and why. We fail to recognize the disturbing patterns indicating structural injustices that emerge when we consider all the factors at hand and how these sorts of situations play out.[35]

Islamic fundraising

Saudi Arabia is funding Islamic extremism in the Western World

Oil rich Saudi Arabia is funding Wahhabi Islam (a fundamentalist form of Islam) in the Western World.

The Independent reported:

Germany's vice-chancellor has publicly accused Saudi Arabia of financing terrorists in the West.

Sigmar Gabriel claimed the country was funding mosques linked to extremism, which he said were becoming a threat to public security.

In an interview with German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, Mr Gabriel said: “We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over.

“Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia.[36]

Islamic creationism, Atlas of Creation and funding

See also: Global creationism

The Atlas of Creation is a series of Islamic creationist books, written by Adnan Oktar under the pen name Harun Yahya.

The first volume of Atlas of Creation contains over 800 glossy pages and weighs 12 pounds (5.4 kg). The Turkish version of the book has been translated into English, German, French, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Urdu, Hindi and Russian.

Tens of thousands of copies of the book have been sent, on an unsolicited basis to schools and to prominent researchers and research institutes throughout Europe and the United States.

The books caused a furor in Europe and the Committee on Science and Education of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe issued a report.

According to Time magazine, "The source of the funds that support Yahya's Science Research Foundation remains a well-kept secret."[37]

Governments, budget pressures and atheist indoctrination

Causes, including groups with an ideology bent, often raise money for their cause via tapping into government money and/or using government to set public policy.

See also: Atheist indoctrination and Atheism and politics

Jewish columnist Dennis Prager has stated that a causal factor of atheism is the "secular indoctrination of a generation."[38] Prager stated that "From elementary school through graduate school, only one way of looking at the world – the secular – is presented. The typical individual in the Western world receives as secular an indoctrination as the typical European received a religious one in the Middle Ages."[39] See also: Atheism and critical thinking

In 2013, an study found that academia was less likely to hire evangelical Christians due to discriminatory attitudes.[40] See also: Atheism and intolerance

Atheists have focused considerable efforts on the public schools in order to indoctrinate young people into atheistic beliefs.[41][42]

American government run public schools are increasingly facing budget cuts and there is growing criticism of public schools. Vouchers for private schools (including religious schools) and charter schools are increasingly being discussed and legislators are introducing and passing school choice bills.[43] America also has an aging population and Bill Gates indicates that state budgets are breaking schools in the United States.[44] Of course, constrained public school budgets includes constrained school legal budgets so many schools will be less able to engage in frivolous/unwarranted legal suits constraining religious free speech in their schools.

Europe faces an aging population and will also have challenges financing public schools.

Private schooling per student cost less than public schooling.[45]

According to a news program by John Stossel, Belgium has a school system which funds students to attend primary and secondary schools and they can use those funds to attend any school or their choice whether it be a religious private school, a non-religious private school or a public school.

There may be a higher education bubble that will burst.[46] The Wall Street Journal reported in 2013 that the percentage of Americans going to college has been decreasing for 3 years in the USA.[47]

21st century desecularization and faith based initiatives

See also: Faith-based initiative

The Birkbeck College, University of London professor Eric Kaufmann wrote in his 2010 book Shall the Righteous Inherit the Earth? that: religious conservatism is growing in the world; the growth of secularism will be reversed both the developed world in the 21st century; and religious will have increased political power (See also: Growth of global desecularization and Culture war, demography and politics).

The 21st century may see increased government funding of faith-based initiatives by religious organizations which address social maladies (poverty reduction, education, etc.).

See also


  1. Pew Research Center - Global Religious Landscape 2010 - religious composition by country.
  2. On Supply Lines, Weekly Standard
  3. Quick Facts About Nonprofits
  4. Khan, Razib (November 18, 2010). "Gene expression; Sex differences in global atheism, part N". Discover magazine website.
  5. Myers, P.Z. (June 29, 2010). "The woman problem". Pharyngula [blog].
  6. The Triumph of the Gospel of Love by Monk Themistocles (Adamopoulo)
  7. The Triumph of the Gospel of Love by Monk Themistocles (Adamopoulo)
  8. The Christian origin of hospitals
  9. Hospitals - A historical perspective
  10. Compassion Link
  11. Compassion Link
  13. A Few Thoughts About Fundraising
  14. Foundation Beyond Belief
  15. A Few Thoughts About Fundraising
  16. Lee Moore and Steve Shives Talk About the Future of the Atheist Movement, - video quote comes 21 minutes and 13 seconds into the video
  17. 2017 IRS tax exempt form, American Atheists website
  18. Fundraising is way down for atheist organizations, Examining Atheism
  19. Interview – ​Pat O’Brien on Humanism in Canada and British Columbia by Scott Jacobsen, Conatus News, 2016
  20. Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee
  21. Richard Dawkins sues Josh Timonen, Posted by David Gorski on October 24, 2010
  22. Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee
  23. Richard Dawkins sues Josh Timonen, Posted by David Gorski on October 24, 2010
  24. Difference between revisions of "RationalWiki talk:Site support", Revision as of 17:15, 29 May 2022 (edit) (undo)
  25. Eberhard, JT (30 May 2016). "Secular Student Alliance running a 'desperate' fundraiser". WWJTD.
  26. Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  27. Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  28. Atheism has a big race problem that no one’s talking about by Dr. Sikivu Hutchinson, Washington Post June 16, 2014
  29. Sikivu, Ophelia, and Rebecca — who says atheism lacks women stars?
  30. Forget Christopher Hitchens: Atheism in America is undergoing a radical change by Chris Hall, Salon magazine, Thursday, Jun 5, 2014 12:25 PM UTC (originally published in Alternet)
  31. [Beyond Belief: As Americans Warm to Atheism, Will Donors Follow?] by Mike Scutari, Inside Philanthropy
  32. The Atheist State of the Union 2018, Thomas Westbrook
  33. David Silverman Ousted as President of American Atheists, Utah Atheists, Go to the 3 minute mark in the video
  34. Atheist Priorities in Fundraising by Heina Dadabhoy
  35. Saudi Arabia 'funding Islamic extremism in the West', German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel claims
  36. In France, a Muslim Offensive Against Evolution
  37. How atheism is being sold in America
  38. How atheism is being sold in America
  39. Suspicions Confirmed: Academia Shutting Out Conservative Professors
  40. The atheist indoctrination project
  41. [Atheists to do religious education in schools] by Dr. Don Batten
  42. Bill Gates: How state budgets are breaking US schools
  43. Anti-evolution religious private schooling and homeschooling will see big growth worldwide
  44. College enrollment shows signs of slowing which means less post high school evolutionary indoctrination. Also, the ever shrinking role of tenured evolutionist professors and evolutionary biologists