The next step for Atheism in the Inland Empire
GREG McKINLEY-POWELL, 1-20-2014
On January 8th, at our Monthly Planning Meeting the collected membership of the IEAA unanimously approved a plan to incorporate the Inland Empire Atheists and Agnostics as a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation.
The IEAA has always been a non-Prophet organization, but we are taking that to the next level by seeking full non-Profit status What does incorporating mean for our members?
Not much really. We’re still going to have all of our same events, we’re still going to be a completely member-run organization, and we’re still going to work to promote the Secular Community in the Inland Empire.
But what it will change is our ability to achieve these goals. By becoming a non-profit, the IEAA will be able to:
• Offer tax exemption for large donations,
• Get serious discounts (90%) when renting local civic venues,
• Discounts on other civic events, such as Market Night stalls,
• Get lower rates on financial services like PayPal and checking,
• Limit liability for our Organizers if the IEAA is ever sued,
• Discount mailing rates with the USPS,
• Publish PSAs with local radio and newspapers,
• Apply for grants from cities and other Atheist groups, and of course, becoming a non-profit will mean that our group will continue to use all money donated to support our mission.
We spent a summer in Downtown Redlands, Here’s what we learned.
GREG McKINLEY-POWELL 11/15/2013
For the last several months, the IEAA has been hosting an “Ask An Atheist” booth at the Redlands Market Night.
On more than ten evenings over the summer and fall, we’ve set up our booth in one of the most Christian areas in the Inland Empire.
We’ve been yelled at, mocked and debated… but we’ve also been thanked, hugged, and strengthened.
We began hosting Market Night in April, and have kept it up about twice a month. And it’s been a wild ride. Some nights we’d have over 100 people stop by our booth.
When we first started, we just had a picnic table, an easy up and a banner hung in the back. Since then we’ve managed to create one of the nicest looking booths in the whole place, complete with some great shirts, great people, and lots of information.
While hosting Market Night we learned a few things:
1. People are really glad to see us.
2. Proselytizers are like a bear attack: The only way to survive
is to play dead and hope they leave.
3. People are REALLY glad to see us.
4. We need to keep doing this.
For some, our booth is like a light in the dark. We can’t count how many times someone would come up to us, just happy to know that they weren’t alone. And that’s why we do this.
We’ll be hosting our last Market Night of this year on Thursday, Nov. 21. Stop by to see us in action one last time.
Thank you, everyone.