Building Local Communities
by Matt Cherry
Building local secular humanist groups will be a central activity for the Council for Secular Humanism in 1998. The Council is
therefore pleased to start the year with two new initiatives to help local secular
humanist groups: tax-exempt status for local groups under the umbrella of the Council for
Secular Humanism, and a manual on how to start and nurture a flourising local humanist
Tax exemption will be extended to groups that become "affiliated
groups" of the Council for Secular Humanism. Affiliated groups will not be required
to make a separate application to the Internal Revenue Service for recognition of their
tax exempt status, and the process of filing annual returns will be simplified for them.
For more information about this and other benefits available to affiliated groups, please
write to Tim Madigan at the Council for Secular Humanism, PO Box 664, Amherst, NY
"Running a Secular Humanist Group" is designed to meet the
needs of all types of local activists, whether they are thinking of starting a small
discussion group or running a major regional organization that sponsors several events a
week. It provides detailed guidance on setting up a group, preparing a program,
publicizing events, financial administration, and meeting the needs of nonreligious people
in the local area. The manual also includes many appendices that provide examples of
material that can be used by local groups. In total the manual includes nearly 100 pages
of suggestions, ideas, and materials for building local humanist communities.
The manual is available to all existing Alliance of Secular Humanist Society
groups and to Associate Members of the
Council interested in starting a group. To receive a copy of "Running a Secular
Humanist Group" please write to me at the address given below. Please include details
of your local group or of your plans to start a group. There is a charge of $12.95 to
As the author of the manual, I would like to thank the many local activists who helped
me in producing it. Support and feedback from local activists and members is essential in
shaping and developing our work.
Matt Cherry is Executive Director of the Council for
Secular Humanism. He may be reached at FICherry@aol.com.
Humanism Online Library