We're in this list of groups. There might be some ideas we could borrow from these other groups. An update:
On December 30, 2009, the thirtieth independent, autonomous local secular
humanist group joined the Council for Secular Humanism's new Affiliated
Local Groups program. This program was launched in September of 2009.
Membership is available to any secular humanist group regardless of its
structure, activities, or relationships with other national organizations.
Participating groups hail from Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, New Jersey,
New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,
Washington, and Ontario, Canada.
Each group joining the local groups program completed an informative
questionnaire. Here are some of the things we've discovered about the first
30 groups to join:
* Of the 30 groups, 19 have incorporated.
* 22 are nonprofit. (Nonprofit status is normally available only to
corporations, but 3 of the groups are chapters of the American Humanist
Association (AHA) and participate in AHA's tax exemption though they are not
* 28 or the 30 groups publish a contact telephone number.
* All 30 groups publish a contact email address.
* 29 of 30 groups have a group Web site.
* 23 of the 30 groups publish a hardcopy newsletter; 22 publish an
electronic newsletter. 19 of the hardcopy newsletters are published monthly,
one ten times a year, and three bimonthly.
* 26 of the 30 groups charge annual dues. The average annual dues
amount for a single individual was $29 per year.
* 28 of the 30 groups regularly offer lecture programs; 29 offer
* Aside from lectures and social events, groups vary widely in the
kinds of activities they undertake. 21 groups conduct protests; 15 engage in
letter writing campaigns; 14 utilize advertising; 11 program field trips; 10
table at community events; 6 engage in charitable outreach; 5 conduct book
clubs; 3 conduct arts-related events.
* Only 2 of the 30 groups conduct weddings and memorial services,
suggesting that however free-wheeling the Local Groups Program may be, most
of the groups it attracts are thorough-goingly secular.
I'd like to thank our first 30 groups (and the dozen or so groups now
completing questionnaires, whom I look forward to welcoming early in 2010).
All best wishes for the new year!
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