American Humanist Association

Good Without A God

aka AHA   |   Washington, DC   |  www.americanhumanist.org

Mission

The mission of the American Humanist Association is to advance humanism, an ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces. Advocating for equality for nontheists and a society guided by reason, empathy, and our growing knowledge of the world, the American Humanist Association promotes a worldview that encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good.

Ruling year info

1980

Principal Officer

Roy Speckhardt

Main address

1821 Jefferson Place NW

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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EIN

94-6168317

NTEE code info

Civil Liberties Advocacy (R60)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Public Awareness of Humanism

In addition to being vocal on issues of major concern and reaching out to media and opinion leaders, the American Humanist Association is the leader in developing the ever-evolving life stance of Humanism. AHA gets the word out about humanism through a variety of publications including the Humanist Magazine, Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism, and new iterations of the Humanist Manifesto. AHA is also involved in political action coalitions and promotes grassroots activism. The AHA also actively participates in litigation through the Appignani Humanist Legal Center and trains Humanist Celebrants through the Humanist Society.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our legal center defends the rights of atheist, humanist, and secular minorities in the courts, while adding the humanist perspective to the most consequential church-state separation cases in the United States today. Our work expands religious freedom in the United States for all, which, as part of the First Amendment, is recognized as one of the most fundamental rights enjoyed by citizens of the United States. Through direct litigation, amicus briefs, warning letters, legal advocacy, and engagement with policymakers across the country, our legal center continues to make a lasting impact.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The AHA educates the public on important humanist issues. Through our education center, we offer a wide range of resources designed for humanist individuals and groups across the spectrum. Our programs take an innovative approach to teaching humanism, fostering ethical leadership and growing community for the humanist movement, through online and in-person classes, lecture series and publications.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Humanist Society provides resources for and trains Humanist Celebrants to lead secular ceremonial observances such as weddings, funerals, baby-naming ceremonies, and more.

Population(s) Served
Adults

As an increasing number of disenfranchised groups in America continue to be denied equal rights under the law, the AHA employs full-time social justice staff working to directly tie humanism in alliance with racial and ethnic minorities, women, and LGBTQ people. Our Black Humanist Alliance, Feminist Humanist Alliance, Latinx Humanist Alliance, and LGBTQ Humanist Alliance position us to make a difference. We are an active member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and we help organize protests for racial justice, immigration fairness, reproductive health access, environmentalism, women’s rights and other key humanist causes.

Population(s) Served

Committed to providing readers with intellectual and ethical adventure, the bimonthly Humanist magazine provides humanist perspectives on religious freedom and human rights, scientific exploration and technology, politics, psychology, ethics, and art.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The AHA is involved in lobbying Congress in support of humanist issues or in opposition of anti-progressive legislation. With a full-time lobbyist on staff, we meet regularly with Representatives and Senators to advance humanism and raise awareness of new bills or laws that may affect humanists and the non-religious community. We also regularly mobilize activists on our email action alert network to write and call their representatives regarding issues of concern to humanists.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of conference attendees

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The American Humanist Association strives to bring about a progressive society informed by humanist values of reason, compassion, and egalitarianism. We are accomplishing this through our defense of civil liberties and secular governance, by our outreach to the growing number of people without religious belief or preference, and through a continued refinement and advancement of the humanist worldview. The American Humanist Association's strategic priorities for the next three years are: elevated profile for humanism in society, equality for humanists alongside theists, expanded humanist involvement in social justice, community opportunities for humanists, and accelerated participation by young humanists.

The American Humanist Association (AHA) advocates for humanism and humanists in the United States in a variety of ways.

Our legal center defends the rights of atheist, humanist, and secular minorities in the courts, while adding the humanist perspective to the most consequential church-state separation cases in the United States today. Our work expands religious freedom in the United States for all, which, as part of the First Amendment, is recognized as one of the most fundamental rights enjoyed by citizens of the United States. Through direct litigation, amicus briefs, warning letters, legal advocacy, and engagement with policymakers across the country, our legal center continues to make a lasting impact.

The AHA is also increasingly involved in lobbying Congress in support of humanist issues or in opposition of anti-progressive legislation. With a full-time lobbyist on staff, we meet regularly with Representatives and Senators to advance humanism and raise awareness of new bills or laws that may affect humanists and the non-religious community. We also regularly mobilize activists on our email action alert network to write and call their representatives regarding issues of concern to humanists.

The AHA proudly works with over 220 local groups throughout the United States to advance humanism at the community level. AHA local chapters and affiliates receive a number of benefits, including free promotion and materials, public relations and grassroots organizing support, and grants to be used for outreach. The AHA also provides activist training annually for local leaders in conjunction with its annual conference.

Humanist philosophers and advocates have long advocated for progressive policies, such as reproductive rights, LGBT marriage equality, racial equity and environmental stewardship. As an increasing number of disenfranchised groups in America continue to be denied equal rights under the law, the AHA employs full-time social justice staff working to directly tie humanism in alliance with racial and ethnic minorities, women, and LGBTQ people. Our Black Humanist Alliance, Feminist Humanist Alliance, Latinx Humanist Alliance, and LGBTQ Humanist Alliance position us to make a difference. We are an active member of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and we help organize protests for racial justice, immigration fairness, reproductive health access, environmentalism, women’s rights and other key humanist causes.

The AHA educates the public on important humanist issues. Through our education center, we offer a wide range of resources designed for humanist individuals and groups across the spectrum. Our programs take an innovative approach to teaching humanism, fostering ethical leadership and growing community for the humanist movement, through online and in-person classes, lecture series and publications.

The American Humanist Association was founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington DC since 1999. As a result of our organization's long history, AHA leaders have developed strong networks in order to gain influence in the government, media, and general public.

The AHA employs 20 staff members, most of which are located at the organization's national headquarters in Washington DC, and interns throughout the year. Our staff includes experts in management, fundraising, public relations, legislative outreach, and community building. The AHA is governed by 12 members of the Board of Directors and oversees an annual budget of more than $2 million. Many of the AHA's board members are longtime humanist leaders and professionals in law, business, nonprofit, or science.

As a result of our activism and work to build professional relationships in Washington DC, the AHA is a member of a number of legislative coalitions, including the Coalition Against Religious Discrimination, the Democracy Initiative Coalition, the National Coalition for Public Education, the Respect for Marriage Coalition, LGBT Lobbyists Group, Stop Torture Now Group, and the International Family Planning Coalition. In addition, thanks to our unique mission of representing the growing non-religious community, AHA leaders have participated in meetings with the White House's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the U.S. State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and the Foreign Service Institute.

The American Humanist Association's increasing membership, access to elected leaders, wins in the courtroom, and number of media hits for humanism are a result of our long-term strategy to bring humanism to all aspects of activism and life. It is clear through national polls that our work, particularly in highlighting many of the intolerant beliefs of traditional religion, has resulted in an increase in the number of atheists and agnostics in the United States, and the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans is growing at an even faster pace.

As we look forward to the coming three years, uncertainty about our nation’s wellbeing could not be much higher. The health and financial security of Americans are at one of the lowest points they have been in modern times, while unrest regarding the nation’s failure to adequately address White supremacy and other civil right issues is at a high point. At the same time, the courts are more biased against church-state separation and progressive humanist values than they have been in a century.

The American Humanist Association, while affected by the same financial pressures others are facing, remains in a strong position to advocate for humanism and humanist positions in the public square. We retain a highly professional team of staff and volunteers capable of lobbying, litigating, educating, promoting and engaging in public debate on foundational humanist principles. Our broad base of supporters and activists remain as committed to the AHA as ever. And the AHA has the means and the will to build on its past visionary approaches to social change to seek justice for all in our society while playing an important role in improving our world.

Within that context, the AHA will promote the philosophy of humanism, embrace the full population of American humanists, and advocate for humanist positions with individuals, communities, governments and the entire public.

Financials

American Humanist Association
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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American Humanist Association

Board of directors
as of 1/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sunil Pannikath

Rob Boston

Jennifer Kalmanson

Howard Katz

Sunil Pannikath

John Hooper

Monica Miller

Juhem Navarro-Rivera

Christine Shellska

Ellen Sutliff

Abby Hafer

Mandisa Thomas

Jason Wiles

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 01/29/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability