Last modified on October 20, 2019, at 17:59

Atheist organizations and financial mismanagement

Richard Dawkins
The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science had a scandal related to an embezzlement allegation. See: Atheist organizations and scandals

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.[1]

Atheist non-profit scandals

See also: Atheist organizations and scandals and Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science - Embezzlement allegation

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."[2]

Two atheist nonprofit scandals which recently received some publicity were the organizations Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and the We Are Atheism organization.[3]

For more information, please see: Atheist organizations and scandals

Nontheist Jex Blackmore on The Satanic Temple and financial transparency

The Satanic Temple was co-founded by Lucien Greaves.

The Satanic Temple (TST) is a nontheistic religious and political activist group which is based in Salem, Massachusetts.[4]

The nontheist Jex Blackmore, who had been a national spokesperson for TST wrote about The Satanic Temple and financial transparency:

Members of the public donate money to support TST’s campaigns in regards to women’s rights and religious liberty lawsuits and events. However, despite many requests from Temple chapters, the organization refuses to share how these donated funds are spent. Currently, there is no way of knowing if the money donated actually supports their legal actions. In fact, as far as I know, members do not know how they fund the products in their store, the gallery in Salem, or the many lawsuits they’ve taken on. Countless lawsuits have been announced or “planned,” many have not been followed through, and often times, the legal actions are strategically sloppy. Dozens of dedicated, supportive chapters across the country regularly commit their time and resources to raising money for the Temple. Yet members have no voice in how the money is spent, they do not decide how it’s allocated, and they do not know where it goes. Unlike other charitable groups, there is no public organizing board or regular financial disclosures and there’s zero oversight.[5]

Freedom From Religion Foundation's Failure to meet the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance standards

See also: Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance review of the Freedom From Religion Foundation

According to the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance's website, the Freedom From Religion Foundation fails to meet the Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance's standards as of May 4, 2018.[6]

For more information, please see: Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance review of the Freedom From Religion Foundation

Atheist organizations, donors, 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 financial mismanagement and 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.[7]

See also

External links


  1. Richard Dawkins sues Josh Timonen, Posted by David Gorski on October 24, 2010
  2. David Silverman Ousted as President of American Atheists, Utah Atheists, Go to the 3 minute mark in the video
  3. Richard Dawkins Drops His Lawsuit Against Former Employee
  4. The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, Volume 2; James R. Lewis, Inga B. Tollefsen; Oxford University Press, 2016; pgs. 441-453
  5. Will the Friendly Atheist Ever Learn?, September 2018
  6. [ CHARITY REVIEWIssued: June 2016 Expires: September 2018 Freedom from Religion Foundation
  7. Atheist Priorities in Fundraising by Heina Dadabhoy