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BHA: Atheist bus campaign smashes fundraising target in just one day

The fundraising campaign to raise money for the first ever atheist advertising campaign has raised over five times its total target in its first day!

The Atheist Bus Campaign began thanks to readers of The Guardian's Comment Is Free (CiF) website. Comedy writer Ariane Sherine, 28, wrote a CiF article in June about the Christian adverts running on London buses. These ads featured the URL of a website which said non-Christians would burn in hell for all eternity. Sherine suggested that atheists reading her article could each donate £5 to fund a reassuring counter-advert.

The campaign received a boost when the British Humanist Association undertook to administer donations for the campaign and Richard Dawkins generously agreed to match all donations up to a maximum of £5,500.

At the time of writing, the campaign has met this fundraising target five times over, and atheists are being encouraged to keep on giving.

Ariane Sherine, Atheist Bus Campaign creator said, 'This is absolutely brilliant and I'd like to thank everyone who donated for their support. The sky's the limit for atheists even if we don't believe there's anyone up there.'

Hanne Stinson, BHA Chief Executive said, 'We have met our target five times over but don't stop giving! If the money keeps pouring in we can expand the campaign, not just to ads inside the buses as well as outside, but to ads on the tube or other transport, and in locations outside London.'

Many comments left by donors on the fundraising website at www.justgiving.com/atheistbus called for the campaign to be rolled out to Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and other towns and cities all over the UK.

Justgiving.com - the online fundraising website which the BHA is using to collect the donations - have called the campaign's success, 'Amazing' and in a blog post on their site said, 'this page is remarkable for the sheer speed that it's raising money - we've been noticing that there are new donations every time we refresh the page. Whatever you believe, it certainly shows the power of online fundraising. The campaign has not only smashed its target for the British Humanist Association but it's gone from trebling the target to quadrupling it in the time spent writing this blog post.'

NOTES

Atheists can donate to the campaign at http://www.justgiving.com/atheistbus

British Humanist Association: www.humanism.org.uk

Just Giving's blog at http://justgiving.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/atheist-bus-campaign/

For more press resources, links and downloadable images, please visit http://www.atheistcampaign.org/press

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