Year end review of spectacular beneficiaries


Foundation Beyond Belief’s Humanist Grants Program gifted over $175,000 to worthy non-profit organizations in 2016.  Here we share a cross-section of our beneficiaries from this year.

Cool Earth was a Natural World Beneficiary.  They work closely with indigenous communities to help preserve their forest land, and to create a plan to reclaim farmland depleted by overuse.  Communities must ask directly for Cool Earth’s partnership, ensuring a willing partner.  So far, Cool Earth has preserved a five million acre shield of pristine forest land. Their strategies to reclaim forestland include using the Inga Tree to create alley farmlands. Cool Earth will receive their grant in early 2017.

Buddhist Global Relief has been a reliable and inspiring Challenge the Gap beneficiary for many years.  Their commitment to creating and funding feeding programs throughout the world is laudable.  The beliefs of their Buddhist faith, such as of peace, social justice, and improving the lives of community members, are ingrained in their programs.  We have been honored to feature them three times in five years. Their most recent grant was $8000.

Thunder Valley LLC received our Compassionate Impact Grant in 2016 for one of their education programs – the Lakota Language Immersion daycare and elementary program.  The program, located based on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, is an evidence-based program to increase the number of native speakers of Lakota on the reservation.  The program begins as a complete immersion daycare.  Students begin at age two, while many are still pre-verbal, to take advantage of the active language acquisition period in children. Only Lakota is spoken within the daycare. The first cohort of daycare students have graduated into an immersion Kindergarten program at a local elementary school. The curriculum for the day care, and now Kindergarten and First Grade, has now been developed for these students to thrive. Thunder Valley LLC applied for this grant and received $41,000 to develop their program.

UTEC runs a social enterprise that reaches out to young men and women who are affected by extreme poverty, at-risk behavior, and those from the justice system outside of Boston, MA in Lawrence and Lowell.  In order to fully take part in the program, the clients must move through a number of steps including filling out paperwork, attending group leadership sessions, getting a driver’s license, and completing job training programs. Their job training programs include a cafe and catering business and a mattress recycling program. Clients often drop out, but constant outreach seeks to have them re-engage with the process to succeed on their own timelines. Jimmy, a client, describes his experience. Foundation Beyond Belief supplied a grant of $9200 to support UTEC’s mission and programs.

Transgender Law Center was chosen as our Human Rights beneficiary as the transgender community became the focus in entertainment, cultural recognition, and political backlash in the LGBTQ community.  After the marriage equality was achieved for gays and lesbians, it opened the door to concentrate on additional issues. Transgender Law Center is not a new player to this debate – their expertise runs from employment, family law and immigration law to public accommodations and housing issues.  Their expertise was needed as the backlash over bathrooms invaded civil rights and fear mongering erupted throughout the country.  Transgender Law Center received a $9400 grant this year.

This is only a snapshot of our 2016 beneficiaries.  To view all of our beneficiaries, please visit our grant archives.