FUND SPECIFIC YOUNG SKEPTICS PROJECTS OF IMPORTANCE TO YOU
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FUND FOR THE FUTURE
An Unprecedented Drive for a More Scientific Future
Skepticism expresses the power of science as a "candle in the dark," to use Carl Sagan's memorable phrase. Since ancient times it has been the substance and sinew of human progress. History tells us how often this candle was all but extinguished . . . how knowledge has struggled through dark centuries. Some think the public appreciation of science stands upon a cliff's edge . . . that the forces of superstition and obscurantism pose greater threats today than at any time in recent memory. The Fund for the Future embodies skepticism's determination to fight back . . . to stand strong in defense of rational values . . . to resist society's slide toward the soft darkness. Big words? Yes, but no bigger than the challenge they describe. Magazines and conferences and scattered activism are no longer enough. To respond to tomorrow's challenges, CSICOP must take action on an unprecedented number of fronts simultaneously. Only a massive infusion of capital can make that possible . . . significantly expanding the Center for Inquiry endowment, establishing lines of operating funding wholly independent of Skeptical Inquirer magazine.
The Fund for the Future campaign is targeted towards programs that are designed to provide worthwhile activities, projects and educational material for young people. The focus of these programs is to promote science, skepticism and critical inquiry in all available outlets and provide younger generations with the tools and understanding to help them navigate through reality successfully.
Three years ago, CSICOP launched the Fund for the Future Campaign with high expectations. Its vision encompassed a decade. Its goal: an unprecedented $10 million. The rewards were unprecedented too: more - and more - diverse activism than any skeptical organization dared before attempt. I am proud to say we have achieved many of our financial goals. We are ahead of schedule in achieving our ambitious program goals. But we still have a long push ahead of us. The forces of unreason continue to grow; each day, the need for our response becomes more urgent.
The Fund for the Future is our development campaign, designed to dramatically expand CSICOP's efforts in areas including education, advocacy, and outreach focusing on programs and services. Our earlier campaign, "The Price of Reason," raised needed funds to build the Center for Inquiry-International - our headquarters in Amherst, New York - and initiated a new Endowment Fund to support our pursuit of future goals. Though CSICOP is a young organization, we pledge that with your financial support and that of other skeptics, we can ensure that the worldview centered on science and reason will be ably defended. Tens of millions of educated Americans share much of our outlook. Fund for the Future will support our long-range plan to enlist many more of them in the skeptical cause. We ask for your personal commitment to the Fund for the Future. We recognize that the challenges before us are great. The skeptical message, based as it is on science, reason, and critical inquiry, offers a better way.
Please consider making your most generous gift toward a more skeptical future.
Founder and Chair, The Center for Inquiry
In Greek myth, Sisyphus faced an impossible challenge. Fund for the Future's goal is altogether possible . . . though still a major challenge.
Fund for the Future enables CSICOP to launch new programs through which to identify new leaders and spokespersons. The skeptical leaders of the coming generation can not only be found in the pages of Skeptical Inquirer, but also at the helm of local skeptical groups . . . coordinating events on college campuses . . . speaking in public venues large and small . . . collaborating with like-minded organizations . . . monitoring the Internet . . . and developing audio, video, and multimedia programming. The purpose of the Fund for the Future is to generate the resources today's emerging leaders will need to guide skepticism into a more effective future.
Our financial goal is $10 million. But our larger purpose is to mount a comprehensive response to the challenges posed by un-critical thinking, next year and throughout the decade.
Science education programs for children, sorely needed, use the paranormal to teach critical thinking
FUND SPECIFIC YOUNG SKEPTICS PROJECTS OF IMPORTANCE TO YOU
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Critical Thinking Skills for the Young Education in Science . . . Education for Life - It's often said that young people have their first brush with "skeptical" thinking while buying their first used car. In reality, even young children are capable of critical thinking. In some contexts they constantly hone their critical skills. We welcome children's skepticism when it comes to dealing with strangers, choosing friends, weighing "dares" posed by peers, and in making many other life decisions. As a world authority on critical thinking, CSICOP has much to offer. The new initiatives represented by the Young Skeptics Program focus on helping children better understand science and the paranormal . . . and in applying critical thinking skills to life's everyday challenges as well. In 1996 CSICOP began working with elementary and secondary school teachers on novel ways of teaching critical thinking skills . . . using children's pervasive interest in paranormal beliefs and pseudo-science as a way to lead students toward appreciating the power and elegance of science. In short time we have struck a nerve, winning rave reviews from scientists, parents, teachers, indeed anyone concerned about science and science education. The potential audience is huge . . . literally nationwide and worldwide. It follows that the costs of "scaling up" this promising pilot project far outstrip anything a single magazine could hope to support. That's where Fund for the Future comes in, raising the capital required to develop and distribute instructional tools and media based on our already-proven templates.
CSICOP's pilot "Science Kit" has been tested successfully in schools across the country. Scaling it up for a national rollout will be enormously costly, but an indispensable facet of CSICOP's future outreach.
Student skeptic groups and faculty organize educational outreach programs and promote skepticism on campuses across the world.
Students for Science and Reason Recruits & Organizes Young Skeptics - College students are in a unique position to challenge and question . . . to counter the trends toward antiscience that now besmirch our academies. To seize the upcoming generation, CSICOP plans to enlist college and university skeptics on their own behalf . . . and on behalf of skeptics everywhere who already fight the good fight. CSICOP has launched a network of campus groups willing to challenge antiscience, eager to work with CSICOP and to benefit from its remarkable network of adult skeptics. This youth outreach imbues our efforts with important new energies. Funds are needed to recruit more students, to provide improved support for those already involved, and to coordinate the work of faculty and off-campus volunteers willing to communicate the skeptical message on particular campuses. These initiatives are indispensable if skepticism is to command respect in an increasingly credulous culture. Implementing them requires staff and infrastructure well beyond what Skeptical Inquirer magazine can support. That additional funding must come from you, through the Fund for the Future.
Skeptical think tanks host leading scholars of science, fringe science, and the paranormal.
Academic courses, available through the Center for Inquiry Institute, provide workshops and training for all ages.
World class research library collects and preserves skeptical and major pseudoscientific works.
Council for Media Integrity holds entertainment and news media accountable for their handling of paranormal claims.
Countering Irresponsible Presentations of Science and the Paranormal - CSICOP's recently-established Council for Media Integrity strives to encourage more balanced, skeptical media presentations of paranormal subjects, and indeed of all matters pertaining to the sciences. The Council is already celebrated for its "Candle in the Dark" and "Snuffed Candle" awards, which recognize the year's best and worst presentations of science. In view of the importance of its mission, the Council for Media Integrity needs to operate on a vastly larger scale. Funds are needed to implement a full suite of strategies to combat a media leviathan that disdains science and reason in the interest of commercial appeal. In today's digital age, CSICOP's renown as a world opinion leader demands the capability to challenge irresponsible presentations in any medium, in any nation, in real time. The cost of media monitoring, investigative fieldwork, getting to the scene to represent the skeptical view, and even of issuing timely bulletins and press releases increases daily. Publishing revenues cannot begin to support this ambitious project at a level that will fulfill its promise. The Council's future depends on your help.
More than forty local skeptics groups in the U.S. More than fifty skeptics groups in foreign countries.
The Fund for the Future sets a blueprint for skepticism's future. It will fund novel initiatives, programs, and services to link skeptics to each another and defend their viewpoint. At the same time it will swell the Center for Inquiry Endowment Fund, ensuring CSICOP's financial stability and future growth. As a blueprint, there will be adjustments and additions, particularly as new opportunities - possibilities not yet envisioned - become known.
Fund for the Future depends on interlocking strategies, much like a chair with four legs. One supporter may want to make an endowment gift for future stability, another might bestow operating funds to implement a new communications program to spread the skeptical message more widely. A third might wish to fund a pilot project to test some new form of outreach. Determine the program or project that is most important to you, and earmark it for your support.
As Fund for the Future matures, a greater portion of the campaign contributions will fuel the programs and services that our supporters have requested and depend upon.
Good plans evolve, and CSICOP has conscientiously defined priorities designed to accomplish the broad vision Fund for the Future embodies. The first three years involved concentrated investigation and analysis, a search for the strategies that would offer greatest impact, use resources most effectively, and create a foundation basic to future growth.
Each of the priorities identified on this spread expresses a concrete commitment to offer important new programs and services for skeptical inquirers. Each represents a key building block - the bedrock of a long-range plan - upon which our future efforts depend. These priorities are derived from a more elaborate Ten Year Plan which is available on request through Center for Inquiry's development office.
Gifts of All Types Are Needed, and Appreciated
Charitable giving is an honor, especially when giving expresses the donor's deeply-held convictions. Human beings express their highest hopes for themselves and society in making voluntary charitable contributions that unite them with a greater goal. Fund for the Future offers skeptics a full gamut of giving options and opportunities. Gifts of all types are welcome. CSICOP is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization, so all gifts are tax-deductible by law.
Any type of gift you might make to support your alma mater or your local hospital can also be made to support CSICOP and its work. Yet your support will have greater impact on the skeptical movement than it can upon more established causes such as one's alma mater. Skeptics need to invest now in becoming a more influential interest group. Gifts received during the coming year will have an extraordinary impact on our future.
Ways to Give
Gifts of cash or negotiable securities and multi-year pledges provide immediate revenue to expand programs and services.
Donors contemplating a cash gift are urged to consider making a larger contribution as a three-year pledge, which can often make a substantial gift surprisingly affordable.
Structured major gifts to seed or sponsor key initiatives.
Trusts, annuities, bequests, insurance policies, and similar instruments to continue building the endowment.
Designating CSICOP as beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan.
Gifts of appreciated assets still make sense, despite tax code changes.
Giving stocks, bonds, real estate, and other forms of property that have appreciated in value since purchase may allow donors to avoid capital gains taxes while claiming a charitable deduction equal to the appreciated value of the gift.
Through arrangements with a national bank and many brokerage firms, we can effect same-day stock transactions, enabling donors to maximize their tax credits.
Make a Difference . . . Plan Your Gift Today!
Consider making your most generous gift to Fund for the Future today . . . whether of cash, a three-year pledge, securities, insurance, or through planned giving.
More than anyone, skeptics know the impact of ideas . . . and appreciate new ways to make the best possible use of our world and to improve it for those who follow us. Your gift to Fund for the Future will express your personality and emphasize your interests . . . while it supports CSICOP's essential work on behalf of rationality and science.
Honoring the Givers . . . Embodying Skeptic Values . . . Creating a New Tradition
A variety of scientist and philosopher busts are available as our recognition of major gifts. Other commemorations are also possible.
Your Support Makes the Future Possible
The coming years will be critical for skepticism. Society continues its flirtation with pseudoscience, antiscience, and superstition. Old ways to disseminate ideas and organize a movement are no longer enough. Twenty-first century skepticism will require ambitious new modes of outreach. These must be funded independently from the publication- centered structures of the past. Can skepticism meet this challenge? Can the rock be moved? The answer lies with the skeptics of today. The answer lies with you. The hill is steep, but far from insurmountable . . . the rock heavy, but far from immovable. Join your fellow skeptics in making a generous Fund for the Future commitment today. Only thus can we look forward to a brighter, more reasonable tomorrow.
Make a Generous Fund for the Future Commitment Today!
Barry Karr, Executive Director
(716) 636-1425 ext. 217
Arthur Urrows, Development Director
(716) 636-1425 ext. 311
CSICOP at the Center for Inquiry-International
P.O. Box 703
Amherst NY 14226-0703
Surface shipping address:
1310 Sweet Home Road
Amherst NY 14228
Tel. (716) 636-1425
Fax (716) 636-1733
Toll Free 1-800-634-1610
DONATE ONLINE VIA PAYPAL
To become a Young Skeptics Program Sponsor, please visit the main Contributions Page for information on how to donate via phone, Internet or in person. All donors have the option of specifying where their contributions are directed. If you are interested in funding an entire project, you also have the opportunity to have this project named in your honor. We appreciate your support and are confident that, together, we will indeed make a difference.
To view our online brochure, please click here
To inform us of private and public foundations and other grant-giving bodies and/or to volunteer your fundraising expertise, please contact us via e-mail.