My name's Rory, and I'm the President of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (we call ourselves ‘The AHS’).
I'm fundraising because the AHS urgently needs £30,000 this year to expand its capability and reach, which it can only do by having dedicated staff support.
Our vision is to have an atheist, humanist, or secular society on every university campus. This is especially important considering the considerable resources that Christian Unions and other religious groups benefit from.
When we reach our target we will be able to pay for dedicated staff support for the AHS, ensuring a lasting benefit to the future of university campuses in the UK and Ireland, and help develop us into a self-supporting organisation.
Will you support the AHS with a donation and help us to:
· Build a sustainable network for all atheist, humanist and secular student societies in every university in the UK and Ireland;
· Support thousands of non-religious students to stand up for free speech and against religious privilege, providing them with an alternative to the growing number of religious student societies;
· Ensure that the AHS is a sustainable organisation that will continue to build long-term on its successes
difference will this make?
A dedicated member of staff will allow us to pursue new strategies which are currently impossible with volunteers, and in particular, the promotion, creation and expansion of our societies.
The staff member would also be in charge of organising and managing the AHS’ national events, and facilitating member societies to run regional conventions. This will enable us to extend further than ever before: equipping students with the skills they need to make an impact, encouraging inter-society communication, and ultimately, producing the next generation of non-religious leaders and activists.
· We currently work on a shoe-string budget, with only the support of volunteer student officers like me and my other elected colleagues
· We do not have the resources that well-funded religious student societies which dominate university campuses right across the UK and Ireland have
· We are constantly challenged by hypersensitive student unions and university officials who censor and limit the activities of our student societies out of fear they could 'offend' religious groups.
We punch well above our weight, but we are still massively under-resourced. Due to a yearly changing leadership team and the time commitments faced by university student volunteers, we urgently need dedicated administrative support to assist our elected executives in realising the AHS's long-term vision in campuses across the UK and Ireland.
Why is this important?
We can't afford to have the rights of non-religious students trampled all over.
Many people underestimate the power and influence of student societies, but it's without doubt that it's in our universities that our nation's future is built; and it's where the drive for change and action in society is fostered and developed.
The need for a strong, sustainable AHS with the ability to be strategic in its campaigning and representation of students' needs and rights is greater than ever.
After all, don't you agree that university should be a place of open enquiry?
Shouldn't our campuses be open
spaces for exchanging ideas, and searching for truth?
That's what we believe. Will you support us?
A staff member would be a genuine game-changer for us in everything we do. Research is really clear on this point. Hands-on, back-end resource is what makes charities effective. It would mean we could claw back basic representation for students in universities around the UK and directly support more individuals than we ever have before.
P. S. Please help us create a more powerful student lobby for non-religious students. Constitutionally we're a section of the British Humanist Association (BHA), which means we are entitled to Gift Aid through them, so please add Gift Aid if you're entitled to. It will be of no cost to you and will ensure we get 25% extra from HMRC on top of your donation!