By Stephanie Jackson Ali, Humanist Giving spring intern, and AJ Chalom, Humanist Giving program coordinator
Our Humanist Giving program is bringing back ENCORE beneficiaries for 2013. Encore beneficiaries are organizations that we’ve featured at least once before, and that we’re bringing back for another round of support. Our current encore is Buddhist Global Relief, our Challenge the Gap beneficiary. Our encore beneficiary for next quarter will be in the Human Rights category, and we want your help. Please fill out this survey to give your opinion about which organization you think should be our next encore. The survey will be active ONLY from February 13 to February 19.
These were our basic criteria for choosing our encore beneficiary nominations:
- They were beneficiaries in 2010 or 2011
- They have been featured only once before
- They meet our current and more detailed vetting requirements
We have four options for you to choose from. Please choose your top two choices from these charities:
After the jump, read more about these four organizations and the important work they’re doing.
Compassion & Choices: Compassion & Choices (C&C) is the leading nonprofit organization committed to helping everyone have the best death possible. C&C offers free counseling, planning resources, referrals, and guidance, and works across the nation to protect and expand options at the end of life.
Compassion & Choices has been selected as a potential encore beneficiary for their dedication to personal choice and respect for human dignity. C&C also works to expand options for those nearing the end of life, often working against the religious influence in government decisions on the matter.
Compassion & Choices was the Q3 2010 Human Rights beneficiary and received a $2,250 grant from Foundation Beyond Belief members. They have a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. They have an annual budget of $5 million.
Innocence Project of Texas: The Innocence Project of Texas (IPT) is dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions and securing freedom for men and women wrongfully imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. They also seek to educate students, citizens, and public officials on why wrongful convictions occur and how they can be prevented.
Of the four potential encore beneficiaries selected, IPT is the only group that is not nationally focused, and it is also one of the smallest groups, financially speaking. It is being considered because the work it is doing is helping save the lives of the wrongfully convicted; Texas leads the way in the United States for executions, yet has seen 48 serious crime convictions overturned with DNA evidence.
The Innocence Project of Texas was the Q2 2011 Human Rights beneficiary and received a $3,630 grant from Foundation Beyond Belief. They are not large enough to be rated on Charity Navigator but have been vetted thoroughly by Foundation Beyond Belief staff. They have an annual budget of about $200,000.
Peace Direct: Peace Direct is an international peace-building organization that supports small NGOs in areas of conflict. They are disarming rebels, resettling refugees, protecting the vulnerable, uniting communities, and restarting economies. They work at great personal risk to prevent, resolve, and heal conflicts in some of the world’s most fragile countries. Peace Direct finds local peace-builders, funds their programs to increase their impact, and promotes their work to those in the wider world who can help with finance and influence.
Peace Direct was chosen as a potential encore because we at FBB believe that local people are the key to preventing, resolving, and healing conflicts. Working with the local community is the most effective way to break recurrent cycles of violence and make peace last. Furthermore, Peace Direct was rated as the top NGO in an independent study of groups doing peace and conflict work in the southern hemisphere, and they have significant programs to evaluate the effectiveness of who they fund.
Peace Direct, based in the UK, is not listed on Charity Navigator; however, the praise from the independent evaluation significant. Their budget is approximately $1.9 million. Peace Direct was the Q3 2011 Peace beneficiary, now qualifying under Human Rights. They received a grant of $2,775 from Foundation Beyond Belief.
Marriage Equality USA: Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) is a national organization dedicated to securing the legal recognition of same-sex marriage through education and outreach. MEUSA works to empower grassroots leaders, build media campaigns, and promote education to expand marriage equality across the United States.
Marriage Equality USA is being considered as an encore beneficiary because of the prominence of the national marriage equality movement at this time (with four states voting for equality during the past election cycle and President Obama making equality a cornerstone of his second inaugural speech). Support in the form of funds and publicity could help Marriage Equality USA go even further in carrying out their mission at a critical time.
Marriage Equality USA was the Q4 2010 Human Rights beneficiary. They received a $2,745 grant from Foundation Beyond Belief. They are too small to be listed on Charity Navigator and have an annual budget of about $40,000.
Thanks for your help in choosing our next encore beneficiary! We will use this survey to help us narrow the field from four candidates to our two finalists; however, the survey is not completely binding.