Donate to Minnesota Atheists… with good reason

Published by MNA on

Photo of Minnesota Atheists marching in a parade with a banner and several handheld signs.

The end of 2014 is right around the corner. For some, the end of the year is a time to reflect, and for some it is a time to plan. For some, it is both. The following information might help you evaluate the value of donating to Minnesota Atheists as the year comes to an end.

  • Tax Benefits. Minnesota Atheists is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization. If you are so inclined and otherwise qualify, your donations may be tax deductible.
  • All-volunteer. Minnesota Atheists has no paid staff. Everyone — from the radio program staff to the cable TV show staff to board members to members who organize and host events — are all volunteering their time and skills. All monetary donations benefit the activities and goals of the organization directly. Some of these are highlighted below.
  • Conference. In July, Minnesota Atheists co-hosted a summer regional conference, which was our third co-hosted conference in three summers. Our conferences have included nationally-known speakers, as well as local talent, and include workshops to attract attendees. Much effort goes into organizing a conference, and our volunteers have stepped up to the challenge repeatedly. This year’s conference expenses were over $13,000.
  • Radio Show. Our weekly one-hour radio show, Atheists Talk, is live every Sunday morning at 9:00 on AM 950 KTNF out of Eden Prairie. The show is hosted and organized by a group of dedicated volunteers. The show features interviews with well-known authors and other intellectually interesting folks and covers topics of interest to the atheist community. Guests in 2014 included Greta Christina, David Silverman, Dale McGowan, and Robert Price. The show costs $205 each week, which amounts to over $10,500 for 2014.
  • Newsletters. Our newsletter, The Minnesota Atheist, is one way that new members of the community learn about Minnesota Atheists, and it keeps all members informed about our organization via regular columns, information about monthly meetings, the cable and radio programs, etc. The newsletter is printed and mailed to dues-paying members who request it. The cost of printing and mailing newsletters in 2014 will be about $6,600.
  • Baseball Game. Minnesota co-hosted a “Mr Paul Aints” minor league baseball game in July. This was our third summer of renaming the Saint Paul Saints for a game and having a night of unbelievable fun in the process. This event continues to receive attention well outside Minnesota, and it shows that atheists sometimes just want to have fun. Our cost for the game sponsorship and related Aints merchandise in 2014 will be over $2,500.
  • Internet. It might surprise you when you think of all of the costs of our electronic presence, including our website hosting and the domain name we use, the cost of mailchimp for AWE and other communications, meetup fees, and fees for online purchases and donations. We post podcasts of our radio show online where it reaches a far broader audience than the live broadcast possibly could. For 2014, our internet costs will amount to about $1,200.
  • Shirts. Every year we create a new edition of the Minneosta Atheists t-shirt to promote our organization. Usually the design is a change of the colors used, but we have been using themes for the past few years as well. The 2014 t-shirt celebrates 30 years of organized atheism in Minnesota. Our costs for t-shirts in 2014 was over $800.
  • Solstice. Minnesota Atheists alternates hosting the annual winter solstice event with the Humanists of Minnesota. 2014 is our turn. We aren’t sure yet what the costs will be, so you’ll have to watch for that in the Treasury report in upcoming newsletters.
  • And more. There are other expenses that don’t quite add up to the ones already mentioned, but are worth noting. We routinely represent Minnesota Atheists at pride and other events throughout the year, and we participate in freethought community picnics every summer.

All in all, our organization is pretty impressive. The efforts of our volunteers go a very long way, but none of our goals would be possible without generous donations from folks like you. As 2014 winds down, please consider supporting Minnesota Atheists. If you are not a member, become a member. If you are a member, you can renew your membership now to extend it by 1 or 3 years. You can also donate to our radio fund or our general visibility fund. Details on how to donate or pay memberships can be found on the last page of this newsletter and on our website. Plan, reflect, support Minnesota Atheists, and then have a great 2015!

Chris Matthews

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