A Big Idea: The Compassionate Impact Grant


Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to announce our latest experiment in humanist giving: the FBB Compassionate Impact Grant.


There’s a growing consensus among experts in effective philanthropy that fewer, larger, well-targeted grants have a greater long-term impact than small grants spread among many organizations. That finding was a major part of our decision in early 2012 to move from 10 quarterly beneficiaries to five. That decision, plus continued growth in our humanist membership, has increased our average grant tenfold from $1,200 at launch to nearly $12,000 today.

Now we’re ready to make an even bigger impact.

Instead of five beneficiaries in the 4th quarter of 2014, FBB will combine our member donations into one high-impact capacity-building grant—the Compassionate Impact Grant.

Approximately $60,000 will go to a single carefully chosen organization with a proven track record of effectiveness, an evidence-based model, and a system of assessment that uses tangible metrics to continually improve their work.

FBB created a rigorous application process that allowed applicants to demonstrate these essential elements. We accepted and evaluated proposals through the late summer. In the end, we selected an extraordinary organization, one that we are confident our members will also find inspiring and exciting. Watch for the announcement in a few days.

This isn’t a permanent change. If this experiment is successful in the 4th quarter, we plan to alternate quarters in 2015: Q1/Q3 will return to our five-category system, while Q2/Q4 will each feature one Compassionate Impact Grant recipient.

Including these larger capacity-building grants in our Humanist Giving program will raise the profile of FBB in the philanthropic community, not to mention the profile of humanist giving itself. Add to that a game-changing impact on the lives of people in need, and we hope you’ll agree that this is an experiment well worth pursuing. Thanks as always for the courage and imagination you’ve shown in getting us where we are and keeping us moving forward!

FBB Executive Director Dale McGowan is happy to answer any questions you have about the CIG program. Contact him here.