We need your help in 2018 to keep the BC Humanist Association afloat.
This last year we've seen tremendous growth in our movement. We started 2017 with 1000 email supporters, now we have 2000. In the same period, we increased our membership by almost 50%. We’ve worked with people and groups from Kimberley to Prince George to Courtenay.
This growth has empowered our campaigns.
- We published The Case for Humanist Marriage in BC and presented a petition with over 500 signatures to the Minister of Health calling for the right to perform marriages in BC.
- We’ve kept pressure on the federal government to repeal Canada’s blasphemy law and we were the first group to argue in support of the government’s initial decision to repeal a criminal prohibition on protests in churches.
- We’ve put together our first successful application to appear before Canada’s highest court and will be presenting arguments there next week.
- We pressed the government to unmuzzle charities and challenged religious privilege in charity law.
- We submitted your signature and 1000 more in support of making nonreligion a protected class and argued vociferously against religious privilege at all levels of government.
As a result, politicians have told us that our briefs are thought provoking and thorough. We’ve seen legislators use our arguments to make their case.
This is possible because of two changes we made this year.
First, we’ve started to fully leverage the technology at our disposal. Our website runs on a database called NationBuilder, which has been used by major political parties and NGOs around the world to create movements that affect change. With our two recent petitions, we acquired over 500 new supporters. In fact, these tools and strategies meant we had more people join us in one month than the total number of people we had on our email list when we launched our NationBuilder website two years ago.
Second, in September I started working four days a week. This means that I’m able to put more time, thought and research into every statement that we send out. I can follow up with more people in need of support, like the person I spoke with earlier today who has to choose between attending religious-based addictions recovery programs and losing their job. And I have been starting to work to build a stronger network with local Humanist groups across the province.
This all costs money. Our website is $59USD per month and that cost increases as our database grows. To be able to spend the time I do, I’m paid a living wage. Those are the ongoing costs; beyond that we need to cover legal expenses when we take on pro-bono counsel, pay for our appearances at festivals and parades, print materials and other expenses as they arise.
We have big plans in the next year. We need to turn up the pressure on BC’s new government to recognize Humanist marriages and end religion in addictions recovery. We want to finalize and launch our Grassroots Humanists network toolkit and hold monthly webinars with local organizers across the province. We’ll launch our campaign to end the funding of religious independent schools in BC and use the fall municipal election to press politicians to roll back church property tax exemptions.
But the reality is that right now we can’t afford to continue at this rate. We received a generous bequest last year that we’re using that to bring our organization to the next level. That stimulus injection has afforded us the ability to have me work two extra days per week. It enables us to take on more campaigns, raising the profile of the organization toward the goal of becoming sustainable over the long run.
If you believe in the work we’re doing, if you have been impressed by the work we’ve done and if you want us to continue apace, then we need your support.
We’re the most active and effective organization fighting for secular and progressive values in Canada. But we’re still a small group and we’re up against centuries of religious privilege and a coordinated opposition. I hope I can count on your support.
All donations are tax-deductible. For any questions, email me at [email protected].