Our History

Meet GO Humanity: Giving and Organizing for Humanity

Growing into GO Humanity - Our History

GO Humanity was founded in 2009 as a foundation dedicated to encouraging humanistic philanthropy. Originally branded as Foundation Beyond Belief, GO Humanity offered members an opportunity to support a variety of vetted nonprofits that met humanistic standards of secularism, sustainability, evidence-based solutions, cultural responsiveness, and nondiscrimination. In January of 2010 we kicked off with our first ten beneficiaries and raised just over $12,000 in the first quarter. Over the next thirteen years, we’ve given more than $3.86M in grants to worthy organizations all over the world!

As we grew, we found that communities sharing our values needed support to provide direct service locally and in August of 2011, we launched our service network with five volunteer teams. We immediately saw how direct local service met community needs most efficiently, sustainably, and in culturally responsible ways. Today, our international service network includes nearly 100 GO Humanity Service Teams that have together donated more than 256,133 volunteer hours! 

We also found that direct service was the best way to respond to local disasters, and in January of 2016, we launched our disaster recovery program with our first deployment to South Carolina following a 1 in 1,000 year flooding event. Since then, we’ve responded to dozens of disasters worldwide and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in recovery funds. With the growth of our local service network, we are now able to begin investing in permanent disaster resiliency teams and equipping them with resources to both prevent and respond to disasters in their own communities. We’ll be launching a pilot program later this year beginning in key FEMA regions.

In 2021, as the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic lingered, we launched an ambitious new program to tackle food insecurity through our service network. With the monthly grants we provide, our pilot Food Security Project teams are organizing food distribution programs in their communities, planting community gardens, and creating programs tailored to the unique needs of food insecure people in their regions. We are now ready to move the project out of the pilot phase and begin adding additional teams in underserved areas.

The success and impact of our direct service work has grown incredibly since we launched those first 5 teams back in 2011. As we headed into 2022, it was evident that the old “foundation” moniker no longer said enough about how active, engaged, diverse, and inclusive our work has become. So with great anticipation, for our 13th birthday, we announced a more fitting name:

GO Humanity: Giving and Organizing for Humanity!

I’m so thrilled to see this new direction," founder Dale McGowan wrote when we shared our new brand with him. "Our goal from the beginning was to move as far as possible toward direct action. Seeing this talented team taking such an important step thoughtfully and well gives me great confidence in the future of humanist philanthropy.”

About Our Name and Values

Through many meetings with our board, staff, leaders in our service network, and allies in the humanist community, we first worked to articulate what the “humanist values” we refer to in our mission actually look like in the context of direct service. We knew from the work our teams have been doing that local and shared power would be a key element; we also knew we needed to emphasize inclusivity; and we wanted to affirm that our values celebrate one human family. Because the themes of action and a thriving humanity kept surfacing in our discussions on values, the name GO Humanity was born. Along with the new name, we adopted the .world domain to celebrate our global vision and scope. The GO Humanity brand communicates the story of who we are and what we do: we support people working together locally to build a thriving humanity globally. 

Our new values are simple, but deeply meaningful. They are:

Humans Helping Humans. Small groups of people who roll up their sleeves to make a difference locally can create a thriving humanity globally. We support the simple idea that humans pitching in to support one another is how we make change.

Shared Power. Local Power. We work together rather than working for or over others. We recognize that people are experts in the needs of their own local communities. We center and support communities seeking their own liberation and empowerment.

Radical Inclusion. We need many diverse hands working together to build one beautiful world. We invite everyone who shares our values to join us — no exceptions. We aim for the uplift of the whole human family regardless of age, race, color, national origin or immigration status, body size, disability, relationship style or status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, conviction history, or other culturally outlawed way of being.

About Our Visual Brand

To help develop the visual brand, we brought on visual designer Simon Sotelo at Weird Wonderful design studio. In addition to her decade of experience as a designer and illustrator, Simon is also a passionate community organizer and was the founding Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the American Institute of Graphic Arts - Portland. Simon works hard to create better representation and intersectionality of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and QTPOC (Queer Trans People of Color) in the design space. After looking over her body of work and talking to her about our goals, we knew Simon was the right designer to illustrate our vision for radical inclusion and the celebration of one human family.

Simon developed a bright, youthful, global color pallet that communicates the energy of what humanity at work looks like. These lush, tropical colors capture a diverse and mosaical aesthetic representing the communities we work with and in. 

GO Humanity Colors

For our logo, Simon created a visual representation of many hands building one beautiful world. Our logo shows thriving, strong, energized humans rolling up their sleeves to change the world together. The vibrant colors within the figures highlight the diversity of the human family and how the work they do together uplifts the whole human family.


The Future of GO Humanity

“I'm so excited for this evolution of Foundation Beyond Belief,” writes Hemant Mehta, former board chair, in a birthday message to GO Humanity. “What started as a way to encourage Secular Americans to donate has become a vehicle for them to give to charity, help their communities on the ground, and celebrate our broader human family. GO Humanity reminds us that we all have a role to play in fixing, maintaining, and improving this world — the only one we have. I'm proud to be a part of its history and I cannot wait to see it move forward in the future."

With an energized, inclusive new brand, GO Humanity will be working to connect with a broader audience of problem solvers who share our values, increasing the GO Teams in our service network, and expanding our food security and disaster resilience projects. And while some things have changed here at GO Humanity, our commitment to putting compassion into action and celebrating humanity at work will always remain the same.

Humanity at Work roadsign