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Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

The Quiet Revolution: The President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative: A Seven-Year Progress Report Letter From President Bush

Letter From President Bush | Executive Summary | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | The President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative in 50 States: A Report to the Nation's Governors


The Faith-Based Community Initiative is a "…comprehensive effort to enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the work of faith-based and other community organizations…"
- President Bush's Executive Order 13199; January 29, 2001

President Bush believes that building the capacity of community- and faith-based organizations enlarges America's supply of compassion. As the capabilities of nonprofits grow, their community's ability to solve problems expands. Whether a volunteer association of rural citizens united against a community crisis or a major urban nonprofit capable of multi-million dollar development deals, neighborhoods and individuals benefit greatly as the nonprofits that serve them grow in effectiveness and reach.

This vision animates the President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI). "Rallying the armies of compassion" does not merely involve honoring and celebrating the work of nonprofits. It also requires engaging their service in the most effective manner possible to address social ills. The Executive Order that launched the FBCI left no room for doubt; it was to be a "comprehensive effort to enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the work of faith-based and other community organizations…."68

As anyone engaged in social services knows well, growing the capabilities of America's nonprofits to solve real-world problems requires a multi-dimensional strategy. Organizations vary as much as people—each with its own distinct strengths and weaknesses, organizational culture and unique needs. Some operate with the professionalism of a Fortune 500 company; others run more like an amiable but disorganized family.

The FBCI's efforts to strengthen nonprofits take on forms as diverse as the organizations it serves. Many nonprofits already have the capacity for effective partnership with government but simply need to better understand the Federal grants process. Others are eager for government funds to expand their work but require organizational growth before they would be capable of managing those funds. Some groups are open to collaboration with government agencies but have no interest in public dollars. Still others, while welcoming new knowledge and resources to expand their capabilities, prefer to work without ties to government. The FBCI provides training, and resources that are relevant to each of these organizations.

Trainings provided to FBCOs through programs within 11 Federal agencies achieve multiple FBCI goals, often simultaneously, including:

  • Training boosts FBCOs' ability to partner with government effectively, broadening the network of dedicated partners government can draw upon to address social ills.
  • Training sharpens and expands the broader capabilities of FBCOs to serve their communities— with or without government.
  • As government agencies engage FBCOs in training efforts, government itself comes to better understand the distinctive character, needs and abilities of its nonprofit allies.

Beyond training, the Federal Government is one of the primary investors in nonprofit organizations. In FY 2006, nonprofit organizations across all 50 States and the District of Columbia won more than $14 billion in direct, competitive Federal funding.

In addition to providing training and direct funding through grants and contracts, the FBCI supports nonprofit organizations through government policy changes and promotion of non-government sources of support, such as philanthropy and volunteerism. Changes in the policy environment range from the elimination of barriers outlined in the previous chapter to new government efforts to engage smaller, less experienced nonprofits, and changes in tax policy to promote increased charitable giving and volunteerism.

These comprehensive efforts demonstrate the Bush Administration's belief that government solves more of society's toughest problems by engaging every willing partner, including faith-based and secular nonprofits, large, sophisticated nonprofits, and informal networks of private volunteers.

2006 Federal Funding by State for Faith-Based and Secular Nonprofits*
STATE Faith-Based Nonprofits (FBOs) Secular Nonprofits (CBOs) TOTAL
District of Columbia$29,797,765$116,719,034$146,516,799
New Hampshire$308,481$35,153,923$35,462,404
New Jersey$29,637,041$176,927,422$206,564,463
New Mexico$19,690,374$93,479,044$113,169,418
New York$151,637,410$681,791,969$833,429,379
North Carolina$24,911,589$210,660,181$235,571,770
North Dakota$1,080,375$18,832,426$19,912,801
Rhode Island$1,810,801$54,181,999$55,992,800
South Carolina$7,346,866$166,083,683$173,430,549
South Dakota$8,475,635$37,085,546$45,561,181
West Virginia$1,998,292$96,399,216$98,397,508

*Note these totals do not include those funds distributed by the Federal agencies to States and localities, which often are sub-granted to local FBCOs. FY 2006 data are from a review of 134 competitive programs at HHS (65), HUD (11), DOJ (14), DOL (11), ED (5), USDA (20), DOC (6), VA (1), SBA (1), and 35 competitive program areas at USAID (26) and CNCS (9). CNCS used its own internal data collection method that differs in some ways from the standard process, notably that it included some programs from which grants to FBCOs came via State sub-grants rather than directly from the Federal Government.

Conferences and Trainings Emphasizing General Skills and Knowledge for FBCOs

White House Conferences on the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
The most visible of the FBCI's training efforts are its national and regional White House Conferences on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. To date, 34 conferences have trained approximately 30,000 nonprofit leaders from every State in the Union. These events are designed to help FBCOs understand the basics of the Federal grants process; opportunities available to their organization; parameters of partnering with government (including church-state issues); and necessary first steps for seeking funding. In addition, they include information on a range of other topics from securing foundation and corporate donors to skills for effectively tracking client outcomes. Increasingly, the events also highlight partnership opportunities at the State and local level. For this reason, recent conferences have been held in partnership with governors, including the past two Chairs of the National Governors Association: Governor Janet Napolitano (D-Ariz.) and Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.).

Helping America's Youth
Helping America's Youth (HAY) is a Presidential Initiative, led by Mrs. Laura Bush, to raise awareness of the challenges facing youth, particularly at-risk boys, and to motivate caring adults to connect with youth through family, school and community. In the fall of 2005, Mrs. Bush convened The White House Conference on Helping America's Youth, which was attended by more than 500 parents, civic leaders, faith-based and community service providers, foundations, educators, researchers and experts in child development to discuss the challenges facing America's youth and to share best practices shown to be successful in overcoming those challenges. The conference featured a new internet resource: The "Community Guide to Helping America's Youth," available at, developed by the White House and an interagency workgroup representative of nine Federal agencies. the "Community Guide" is an online resource to help communities form effective partnerships, assess community needs and map resources, identify areas of the community where specific problems or challenges exist and access a program tool that functions as a repository of research-based, youth-serving programs. Since the national conference, five regional HAY conferences have featured training for community coalitions, helping them strengthen cross-community and faith-based partnerships and learn about other successful strategies for effective collaboration, sustainability and leveraging of community resources. In addition to the regional training conferences, Mrs. Bush has traveled to many parts of the country visiting with youth and caring adults and highlighting community programs that are helping prepare young people for success.

The Art and Science of Grant Writing Training
In 2004, the Center at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (CFBCI) launched its first training entitled "The Art and Science of Grant Writing Training." Since then, nearly 30,000 nonprofit leaders have been trained at 288 HUD events. The free, two-day workshop, offered in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, empowers emerging nonprofits with the knowledge and skills to compete for public and private grants. During the training, potential grantees learn about organizational development, Federal and non-Federal funding sources and the key components of writing a successful grant application.

Expanding from an emphasis on acquiring funding to learning skills for maximizing limited resources, the HUD Center has added a new training for 2008. Targeted to groups that have already been awarded grant funds, "Basic Grants Administration" will cover how to successfully administer grants and manage grants-based programs. Topics include fiscal management, program monitoring, budget oversight, contracting and procurement, as well as grantor audits.

Department of Labor Results Technology Project
Effective measurement of client services and outcomes are among the most important and underdeveloped skills for nonprofits. A ready grasp of outputs and outcomes allows an organization to focus on the effectiveness of its programs to ensure results, not merely compassionate intentions. Equally important, measured outcomes demonstrate the viability of the organization to potential government, foundation, corporate, and individual donors.

Recognizing a need for small nonprofits to learn effective methods for measuring results, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) launched a year-long pilot program in the summer of 2007 for eight grassroots FBCOs. Early results show that a few hours of software training and follow-up technical assistance can greatly improve a grassroots FBCO's ability to measure and manage its program results. That pilot project grew into four, three-day "Results-Based Management" training events beginning in November 2007. DOL's CFBCI plans to provide both training and outcomes tracking software for up to 160 grassroots FBCOs that provide employment-related services. The progress of participant FBCOs will be tracked for one year to ensure that they are analyzing their programs using outcomes-based evaluations.

Corporation for National and Community Service Training and Assistance to FBCOs
With more Americans volunteering through religious organizations than any other type of institution, the Corporation for National and Community Service's (CNCS) CFBCI leverages this opportunity by providing multiple avenues for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to give back to their communities. CNCS's resource guide entitled "National Service: A Resource for Faith-Based and Community Groups" offers a framework for how CNCS encourages faith-based and other community organizations to accomplish their goals.

Additionally, CNCS offers workshops and conferences for the nonprofit sector that explore how FBCOs can partner with government through various national initiatives and that help FBCOs understand the legal guidelines surrounding public-private partnerships.

USAID Conferences for Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs)
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hosts annual conferences for Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) to provide an orientation on available resources and capacity training through USAID. The wide-ranging conference content includes such topics as challenges of local nongovernmental organization (NGO) sustainability, USAID Missions' perspectives on local NGOs, new Presidential initiatives, technical assistance training for results reporting, technical assistance training for Request for Proposal, grant programs, and orientation for interested and new PVOs. Since 2002, these conferences have reached approximately 800 PVO leaders annually.

Small Business Administration SCORE Advisors
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has extensive expertise in training entrepreneurs for business development, and the SBA CFBCI leverages many of those same resources for social entrepreneurs. In collaboration with SCORE, a 40-year-old nonprofit that utilizes a volunteer base of 10,500 working or retired business leaders as consultants, nonprofits are coached on business models to make their organization more effective, competitive, and sustainable. FBCOs must not only operate a caring and creative enterprise, they must also run their operations as businesses. To help nonprofits improve their operations, SCORE has published and distributed over 10,000 workbooks entitled "Business Planning Tools for Non-Profit Organizations" and has developed a workshop in conjunction with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Executive Coaches of Orange County, CA, to aid nonprofits in furthering their financial resources and sustainability.

Conferences Emphasizing Issue-Specific Knowledge and Skills

In addition to trainings and conferences that offer knowledge and skills applicable to most nonprofits, the FBCI has developed a myriad of additional trainings geared toward specific programs and areas of human need. For example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides training for FBCOs addressing drug and alcohol addiction and related issues. While initial trainings focused primarily on Federal grant opportunities, workshops now span a range of organizational development topics, from board development to coalition building. To date, 253 trainings have been held in 41 states, reaching approximately 8,500 community- and faith-based organization leaders.

Focus-group polling was conducted of 190 individuals participating in SAMHSA trainings from 2001- 2006 to examine the results of the training. The majority of participant organizations were small, novice-level FBCOs. Below are the key findings:

  • 25 percent of the discussion group reported that they had applied for HHS grants. Of that 25 percent, 36 percent received awards for a total of $8.5 million.
  • 41 percent applied for State government funding and received a total of $4.6 million in grant awards.
  • 30 percent applied for local government funding and received a total $6.7 million in grant awards.
  • 28 percent applied for private/foundation funding and received a total of $1.3 million in grant awards.
  • In total, approximately $31 million was received in grant awards by the 190 organizations participating in this discussion.
  • 15 percent became 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
  • 21 percent became members of community coalitions or collaborative partnerships.

As a result of the actions taken by CFBCIs at the eleven Federal agencies, this type of training is now being conducted at the program level of many operational divisions of Federal agencies and is producing similar results. This approach demonstrates the U.S. Government's commitment to the nonprofit sector generally, as well as to the specific strategy of engaging FBCOs that served their neighbors in need without any previous government support. Examples include:

U.S. Department of Education Technical Assistance Workshops
Since 2001, The U.S. Department of Education's CFBCI has trained approximately 9,000 individuals from education-related FBCOs through 89 intensive workshops in 34 states. These workshops primarily focus on ways FBCOs can provide tutoring services through the No Child Left Behind Act's Supplemental Educational Services (SES) provisions. In addition, they highlight education funding opportunities at the State and local levels. Other Federal agencies, State and local governments, parent and child advocacy groups, and education foundations participate in the workshops. Additionally, the Department has provided training to several thousand individuals at workshops sponsored by outside organizations. Of attendees responding to a survey following the seven workshops held in the first quarter of FY 2008: 88 percent agreed or strongly agreed that the workshop had strengthened their understanding of the grant application process; 97 percent agreed or strongly agreed that they now had a better understanding of how they could work in collaboration with parents, students, and schools; and 60 percent indicated that they planned to apply to become an SES provider.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Conferences and Workshops In addition to its "Art and Science of Grant Writing" training, the HUD CFBCI and its field liaisons hold conferences and workshops throughout the country to provide FBCOs addressing homelessness, affordable housing and other housing-related issues with information and resources pertaining to Federal Equal Treatment Regulations, opportunities for funding, capacity building and organizational development. The Center held more than 250 conferences/workshops in 2006 and 2007 alone, reaching an estimated 54,000 individuals.

Family-Strengthening Conferences
In 2007, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services collaborated with the Corporation for National and Community Service to host a national conference series on strengthening family. Attended by 1,471 community leaders, key themes of the conferences included family asset development, healthy marriages, gang resistance, prisoner reentry, grant opportunities, principles of the FBCI, and mentoring children of prisoners. At each conference local faith and community consortia co-sponsored or supported the events and featured local political, justice, faith, and community leaders.

Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Veterans Celebration and Training Conference
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hosts an annual conference to facilitate opportunities for collaboration with VA. The conference provides educational sessions on issues of importance to homeless veterans programs including homelessness prevention, collaboration and partnerships, outreach to veterans, program evaluation and best practices. The 2007 VA conference drew roughly 500 participants.

Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplain Service Veterans Community Outreach Initiative
Local VA chaplains conduct half-day training events throughout the country to provide education and resources for clergy members regarding physical, mental and spiritual health issues experienced by some returning war veterans and their families. This training is provided to pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, retired chaplains, Veterans Service Organizations' chaplains, veteran patients and their families, and anyone else who wants to assist veterans who have recently returned from deployment. In FY 2007, VA chaplains conducted 21 training events attended by 1,330 participants.

U.S. Small Business Administration Workshops for Nonprofits
Small Business Administration's (SBA) 68 district offices hold meetings and workshops with faith-based and secular nonprofits to provide information on a range of topics including small business loans and training sessions with SCORE volunteers to build sound business plans. In total, from FY 2005 to FY 2007, 8,927 conferences and meetings for nonprofit organizations reached a total of more than 600,000 individuals.

U.S. Agency for International Development Trainings
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provides a variety of conferences, technology-based training events and other informational tools for non-governmental organizations (NGO) on specific development, health and other vital issues. For example, USAID holds a series of skill-building workshops and technical updates for nonprofits in the U.S. and abroad delivering maternal child health care and child nutrition services through the USAID Child Survival and Health Grants Program (CSHGP). The topics of these workshops include: Infant and Young Child Feeding, Community Case Management for Childhood Preventable Diseases, Safe Motherhood, Family Planning, Social and Behavioral Change Strategies and Avian and Pandemic Influenza Preparedness. Representative participation included 644 in Washington, DC; 531 in Bolivia; and 33 in Uganda.


While a significant share of funds for Federally sponsored human services is distributed to local nonprofit organizations via grant competitions, an even higher share of dollars is distributed to State and local governments to administer. Thus, the FBCI launched a series of Federal agency training activities to establish and enhance nonprofit organization partnerships with State and local partners.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Unlocking Doors Initiative Forums
The HUD CFBCI's Unlocking Doors Initiative identifies promising models for government-FBCO partnerships to address affordable housing needs. To date, HUD's CFBCI has hosted 20 Unlocking Doors forums in partnership with mayors' offices across the country. Each event brings together a mayor's office with community leaders and other FBCO partners to stimulate further collaboration between local government housing efforts and the region's FBCOs. In addition, from each event HUD draws local examples of promising government-FBCO partnerships and uses these to inform mayors and FBCOs nationwide about effective ways to replicate best practices in their own cities. As part of Unlocking Doors, the CFBCI also provides technical support to cities as they seek to replicate successful models.

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplain Open Houses
VA Chaplain Open Houses are training and capacity-building events hosted throughout the nation to partner faith-based and community organizations with local VA efforts to serve veterans. The open house events provide the local community and grassroots organizations with information about the FBCI and existing programs and about how FBCOs can participate in these programs. The VA has hosted 23 Open Houses from FY 2005 to FY 2007, reaching nearly 700 participants.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Disaster Preparedness Training
By the end of 2008, the FBCI's newest Center at the Department of Homeland Security, established in 2006, will have hosted 11 regional workshops across the country entitled, "Partnerships in Emergency Preparedness: A Faith-Based & Community Initiatives Workshop." Workshops held to date have drawn between 70 and 175 attendees representing both local government agencies engaged in disaster preparedness and response and FBCOs willing to work in partnership with them. These events are designed to equip FBCOs with the resources, knowledge, and skills critical to effectively engage disaster response and recovery efforts in partnership with local government.

U.S. Department of Labor New Partners Events for Workforce Investment Boards: "Build Your Community Network!"
Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) are public agencies charged with guiding their state or region's workforce development efforts. The U.S. Department of Labor recently established mini-grants of $5,000 to $10,000 to host "Build Your Community Network" conferences. At these events, WIBs bring together FBCOs from the region that share a commitment to serving individuals with serious employment challenges. The objective is to enable willing FBCOs to work more actively in tandem with the state or local WIBs to help unemployed Americans enter and successfully retain employment. Material covered at the events ranges from how WIBs function to tips on working with clients' potential employers and details on ways eligible clients can tap into educational funding available through WIBs. Up to 50 "Build Your Community Network" conferences will be funded in 2008.

U.S. Department of Labor the SHARE Network
Through the SHARE Network Initiative, DOL has helped local and State governments replicate two promising practices for building networks of faith-based and community partners that help struggling Americans obtain employment. The first promising practice is a web-based referral network and resource directory, which enables referrals between government "One-Stop Career Centers" and nonprofits that provide extra support for high-need individuals seeking employment. This enables clients of either government or nonprofit services to access the resources of both. Nine states currently have active SHARE Networks. The most active of these, in Missouri, has engaged more than 5,000 nonprofit and government agencies through its network.

The second promising practice known as creating "Access Points," enables local government agencies to train FBCOs in targeted, high poverty communities or neighborhoods to help people look for jobs and prepare for employment using web-based tools, including job banks. "Access Points" essentially serve as satellite offices for government services in targeted communities. To date, 24 Workforce Investment Board regions nationwide have opened "Access Points" through 84 nonprofit organizations and trained them as extensions of local government offices—a number expected to more than double in the coming year.

U.S. Agency for International Development In-Country Training
In 2007, USAID joined with the U.S. Ambassador to Moldova to host the first regional FBCI conference outside the U.S., in Chisinau, Moldova. The conference provided faith- and community-based NGOs in Moldova with capacity-building training, information about funding from USAID, and an opportunity to build partnerships among NGOs and government entities.

In addition to workshops on relationship building and collaboration among organizations, the conference included programs on anti-trafficking, strategic fundraising, and grant proposals. USAID partnered with groups such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Moldova, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Moldova and ORT International to provide these trainings.

USAID in-country offices (known as Missions) often host regional training events designed to strengthen NGOs' abilities to provide community services and meet needs within a local context. Typically, the training events focus on building the skills of indigenous organizations working to engage issues in specific USAID policy focus areas, such as disaster response, educational training, and sector strengthening. For example:

  • In April 2006, USAID and Mercy Corps held five-day workshops in Pakistan to train engineers, project managers, and builders from local and international NGOs in earthquake-resistant design so they could, in turn, teach these reconstruction methods to quake-affected communities.
  • In July 2007, lecturers from the regional USAID Financial Management Center in Budapest organized a financial management tools seminar for local NGO partners with assistance from the USAID Participant Training Program. The seminar provided NGOs with a short accounting overview, and they were trained to use a basic financial management tool. The seminar will be further customized to meet the needs of specific target groups of organizations and will be offered to other USAID partnering organizations in the region, and potentially worldwide.

Technology-Based Tools and Training

While regional training is designed to strengthen relationships among multi-sector agencies serving their geographic neighbors, the FBCI also harnesses technology to offer a wide range of applications to a worldwide constituency. Many of these efforts are designed to inform FBCOs about specific funding opportunities and equip them to effectively compete for them. Other tools provide instruction on opportunities for non-financial partnership with government or private entities. Still others seek to help FBCOs develop competencies related to particular human needs and services. Some examples include:

White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Grants Catalogue
The White House Office works with the agencies' FBCI Centers to identify and catalogue grant opportunities from across the Federal government, most likely of interest to FBCOs. The White House OFBCI Grants Catalogue offers 243 different grant opportunities in an easily accessible format on the White House Website, which drew over 10,000 viewers per month during the fourth quarter of 2007 alone. While the Bush Administration's implementation of creates unprecedented access to the Federal grants process, the Grants Catalogue helps guide the FBCOs to programs particularly relevant to their work.

Pre-Application Conference Calls
Many FBCI Centers regularly work with grant program offices to host "pre-application" meetings or conference calls for FBCOs. These help organizations discern if a particular grant program they are considering fits with their organization's mission and capabilities and, if so, how to effectively compete for the funds. Pre-application conferences cover the specifics of the grant program and the application process, and answer the potential applicants' questions. For example, the 2007 Compassion Capital Fund Pre-Application Conference Calls were joined by 835 individuals and received 2,753 clicks for on-demand audio copies and transcripts of the calls and 2,920 clicks on "supporting guidance." In addition, the Department of Veterans Affairs Grant and Per Diem Office hosted 36 monthly Provider Training Conference Calls from FY 2005 to FY 2007, which were joined by 1,800 participants.

White House USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network
The USAFC Volunteer Network – the largest clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities ever created – currently offers more than four million volunteer opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad and is a free resource for FBCOs to recruit volunteers. Since 2002, when the USAFC Volunteer Network was created at, more than two million volunteer opportunity searches have been performed by over 20 million site visitors.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development SuperNOFA Web Broadcast
Since 2003, the HUD CFBCI has produced sections of HUD's SuperNOFA (Notice of Funds Availability) Webcast. This web training is managed by the HUD Office of Grants Management, which is responsible for coordinating the announcement of HUD grant programs each fiscal year. Each spring, the agency announces all of its competitive grants and explains the application guidelines and any submission or eligibility changes. The initial broadcast is offered live and archived for later viewing. HUD's CFBCI estimates there are between 30,000 and 50,000 annual viewings of the webcast in either its live or archived form.

U.S. Department of Labor "Touching Lives & Communities" Video Workshop Series
The U.S. Department of Labor's "Touching Lives and Communities Technical Assistance Video Workshops" (TLC Video Workshops) deliver a total of nine hours of training for nonprofit organizations seeking to expand the impact and reach of their program. The five TLC Video Workshops feature subject-matter experts on the following topics: Capacity Building and Strategic Planning; Corporation and Foundation Giving; Board Development and Individual Giving; Government Grant Applications and Grant Management; and Program Evaluation. The TLC Video Workshops are available both online and on DVD. To date, DOL has distributed more than 15,000 copies of the TLC Video Workshops on DVD, and the online version has reached more than 6,500 viewers.

U.S. Department of Education Webcasts
Since 2003, the U.S. Department of Education has produced 13 technical assistance webcasts for FBCOs engaged in tutoring, after-school programs and other education-related work. In addition to information on how to apply for Federal- and State-administered funding opportunities, the webcasts cover topics such as compliance with church-state legal parameters and grants administration. A particular webcast, entitled "How to Write a Quality Grant Proposal," received 2,483 viewers in a single year and collectively over 15,000 viewers have watched the webcast online.

Corporation for National Service Reentry Webinars
The Corporation for National and Community Service has produced 24 training and technical assistance webinars related to FBCOs and prisoner reentry. The webinar topics have ranged from "Ex-Offender Support Systems" to "Prisoner Reentry and the Challenge of Housing." Together, these webinars have reached more than 400 learners.

Corporation for National Service Online E-Courses
The Corporation for National and Community Service produced an online e-course on how FBCOs can secure the services of an Americorps VISTA volunteer to help fight poverty in the U.S. When acquired, a VISTA volunteer can serve with nonprofits free of charge to help build the organizations' capabilities— from the recruiting of volunteers or mentors to more effective service delivery. More than 600 nonprofit representatives have participated in this online e-course.

U.S. Department of Labor Teleconferences
The U.S. Department of Labor CFBCI has made extensive use of teleconferences to train FBCOs, particularly in skills to improve employment-related services. The teleconference topics have ranged from "Helping Ex-Offenders Find Work" to "Effective Partnership with the Workforce Investment System." Teleconferences include synced phone and PowerPoint presentations and often include a series of teleconference events over weeks or months. For example, the "Building Business Partnerships" series included five teleconferences training FBCOs on how to form alliances enabling business owners to meet their bottom line while providing employment opportunities for nonprofit program participants. The teleconference speakers included human resource consultants and employer representatives from four high-growth industries. In total, more than 1,000 representatives have participated in DOL's teleconferences.

Information Listservs
The White House OFBCI and each of the FBCI Centers maintain listservs of organizations that have expressed interest in receiving FBCI-related information. The content delivered through the listservs ranges from recently available grant opportunities to resources focused on specific areas of service and from substance abuse recovery to affordable housing and community development. Together, these listservs deliver information to more than 85,000 email addresses.

Center Websites
In addition to the White House OFBCI Website, each of the FBCI Centers maintains websites providing a wide range of information on the Initiative and on individual Federal programs. In addition, many websites also house highly specific information for FBCOs engaged in particular areas of service. For example, USAID's Website links to the Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC), the largest online resource for USAID-funded technical and program documentation, containing over 50,000 international aid and service documents available for electronic download. In addition, DOL's Website presents a range of materials related to building strategic alliances with employers to help individuals find and retain long-term employment.


The Faith-Based and Community Initiative resources and other tools receive extensive use from organizations seeking to expand their knowledge and skills. Like other training mediums, content ranges from general information on grant opportunities to government-FBCO partnership models and issues of concern for FBCOs. For example, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Agency (SAMHSA) has developed a number of training manuals for FBCOs. In total, 70,000 hardcopies of the following publications have been distributed; and are also available for download on SAMHSA's website:

  • "Maximizing Program Services Through Private Sector Partnerships and Relationships: A Guide for Faith and Community-Based Service Providers"
  • "Successful Strategies for Recruiting, Training, and Utilizing Volunteers: A Guide for Faith- and Community-Based Service Providers"
  • "Core Competencies in Substance Abuse Knowledge"
  • "A National Review of State Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs and Certification Standards for Substance Abuse Counselors and Prevention Professionals"

There are many similar training programs in other FBCI Centers, who work alongside their agency program staff to provide training and technical assistance to FBCO grantees. Examples of these training programs include:

Mentoring Children of Prisoners
An annual conference and at least four to six regional training sessions are held to build the strengths of Mentoring Children of Prisoners grantees. In addition, experienced trainers deliver one-on-one technical assistance to all 320 grantees, building their capabilities in such areas as best practices of effective mentoring programs and outcomes measurement.

Through its technical assistance provider Public/Private Ventures (P/PV), DOL offered extensive training to more than 100 FBCO staff members in all 18 organizations receiving funding for prisoner reentry projects through the Ready4Work pilot program between FY 2003 and FY 2006. Training included regular conference calls, webinars, conferences, and in-person meetings, as well as more than 60 site visits for in-person technical assistance and training. The training topics ranged from data reporting and other compliance issues to programmatic elements like case management and mentoring.

The President's Prisoner Reentry Initiative
This same approach has carried forward into the President's Prisoner Reentry Initiative. From 2005 to 2007, DOL trained more than 150 staff of FBCOs funded under this initiative at four conferences, in addition to regular conference calls and technical assistance activities. To date, more than 80 in-person site visits have been made to these FBCOs for high-intensity training and technical assistance.

Government-funded Programs That Build New Partner Capacity

Through a series of innovative new policies for grassroots organizations, in combination with training and funding, the FBCI has established a collaborative relationship with literally thousands of new community partners. Through programs that combine funding with training and utilize intermediaries through mini-grants and vouchers, these policies serve the dual purpose of addressing human need while building the capacity of the participating organizations to bolster their effectiveness.

The programs described below feature government monies provided primarily to fund specific services; additionally, organizations receive intensive technical assistance and training as they "learn by doing" in delivering government-funded services.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Compassion Capital Fund
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Compassion Capital Fund (CCF) represents the most extensive of the FBCI's capacity-building programs. CCF provides grants alongside intensive training to build the capacity of FBCOs by increasing their effective ness, enhancing their ability to provide social services, expanding their organizations, and creating collaborations to better serve those most in need. Since the program began in 2002, approximately $264 million has been awarded to over 5,000 organizations in all States and two territories (the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) through three different funding mechanisms. CCF grants take three forms:

1. CCF Targeted Capacity Building Program

Under the Targeted Capacity Building Program, competitive grants of up to $50,000 are provided directly to grassroots FBCOs engaged in service to distressed communities. Organizations with a range of programmatic emphases are eligible to apply, including at-risk youth, homelessness, healthy marriage, and social services for rural communities. The grants may not be used to fund client services directly, but rather must be applied to grow the service capabilities of the organization via focused development in at least one of five areas: leadership development, organizational development, program development, revenue development strategies, or community engagement. From FY 2003 to 2007, nearly 1000 competitive grants were awarded under this program for a total of over $48 million. A retrospective study of the CCF Targeted Capacity Building Program is underway and scheduled for release in 2008.

2. CCF Demonstration Program

The objectives of the CCF Demonstration Program are similar to the Targeted Capacity Building Program. However, the Demonstration Program provides grants to "intermediary" organizations that, in turn, make competitive sub-awards to grassroots FBCOs. Grantees choose at least one social service priority area of need to address, such as at-risk youth, prisoner reentry, homelessness, or families in transition from welfare to work.

A large portion of the FBCOs that receive sub-awards from intermediary organizations would not yet be capable of winning or managing even the modest-sized Targeted Capacity Building grants. For many, the sub-award represents their first receipt of Federal funds. The intermediary organization carries primary responsibility for handling compliance issues, accounting, data reporting, and other burdens that could be overwhelming to first-time grantees. As a result, this "intermediary model" allows the program to reach out to the smallest front-line organizations.

Additionally, along with providing sub-awards, the intermediary organizations also provide extensive technical assistance and training both to their sub-awardees and to other FBCOs from the community that want to improve their programs. At least 50 percent of training provided by an intermediary must be direct and individualized technical assistance to address the identified, priority needs of FBCOs (i.e., one-on-one assistance to the organization's leadership, key staff and/or board).

From FY 2002 to FY 2007, 112 awards, totaling $154.8 million, have been made to intermediary organization grantees. These organizations have, in turn, competitively awarded funds to more than 4,100 grassroots sub-awardees in 47 states and the District of Columbia.

An outcomes evaluation of the CCF Demonstration Program is in progress and scheduled for release in mid-2008. An impact evaluation is also underway and expected in the spring of 2009. A retrospective study of the CCF Demonstration Program was completed by Abt Associates in 2007 (see text box).

Sub-Grantees in CCF Retrospective Study (2007) reported that CCF assistance made a positive difference in:
Improved level or quality of services they deliver to the needy90%
Improved outcomes for the people they serve88%
Improved financial stability79%
Increased ability to serve more clients74%

3. Communities Empowering Youth

Inspired by President Bush's Helping America's Youth Initiative—led by First Lady Laura Bush—the third Compassion Capital Fund program is Communities Empowering Youth (CEY). CEY was created in FY 2006 to strengthen existing coalitions that are working to combat gang activity, youth violence, child abuse and neglect in their communities. CEY grants are made to "lead organizations" who provide capacity building training and technical assistance to their coalition of FBCO partners. The lead organizations also provide financial assistance to their partners. Through these efforts, the coalition is better able to implement and sustain their services to the community.

In FY 2006, $30 million in grants were awarded to 100 projects. Another 31 grants were awarded in FY 2007 for a total $7.5 million. Currently, 39 states and Puerto Rico have at least one CEY grantee in operation. A three-year outcomes study of the CEY program will begin in FY 2008.

The U.S. Department of Justice Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Pilot Program
While CCF builds the capacity of FBCOs for a wide range of social services, other programs combine funding with technical assistance to combat a single area of need. The U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Rural Domestic Violence and Child Victimization Pilot, for example, focuses exclusively on violence against women and their children.

DOJ's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) funds these efforts to increase the depth and breadth of services available to victims of domestic violence. Mature domestic violence service providers in rural States serve as intermediaries to make sub-grants and train new grassroots FBCOs in rural America. These intermediary organizations solicit, review, award, train, and manage competitive sub-awards to FBCOs that provide services to rural domestic violence victims. The intermediaries also provide technical assistance to sub-awardees to develop their capacities to serve more victims in more ways and to sustain their activities independent of Federal dollars through other public and private funds. The intermediaries are required to pass 80 percent of their awards to sub-grantees.

The services these rural providers undertake are vital and varied: transporting community members to emergency medical services; accompanying victims to court; advocating for them to the sheriff; assisting with moving to shelter and applying for crime victims compensation; locating safe, permanent housing; organizing support groups; advancing rent and utility deposits to get the homeless out of shelters; arranging child-care and after-school programs; collecting and distributing food and clothing; and offering emotional support.

OVW funded a $1 million independent evaluation through the DOJ's National Institute of Justice, which is expected in the second quarter of FY 2008. Interim results appear strong. For example, OVW's largest award (almost $3 million) was awarded in April 2006 to the Montana Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime, which partnered with Baylor University's pre-existing Faith and Community Technical Support (FACTS) program. FACTS solicited sub-award proposals nationwide and received 145 applications; of these applications, OVW approved 39 applications, including 11 faith-based organizations, from 21 states, totaling $2.4 million. FACTS has reported that their 39 sub-grantee agencies were serving 2,100 to 2,200 victims per month. FACTS sub-grantees also reported, on average:

  • 20 percent increase in the number of victims served per month;
  • 105 percent increase in the number of services offered to victims per month;
  • 300 percent increase in domestic violence community education programs offered per month;
  • 80 percent increase in the number of volunteer workers serving domestic violence victims (from approximately 350 to well over 600); and an
  • 87 percent increase in the number of FBCOs that won private grants (from 8 to 15).

Charitable Giving, Public-Private Partnerships, and Volunteerism

Americans give their time, talent, and treasure at levels unlike any other nation in human history. Indeed, approximately 75 percent of Americans donate money to charity each year and up to 50 percent donate their time as volunteers. This is the trait that makes our country not only a great one but a good one. However, it is not simply a sentimental gesture of goodwill; philanthropy and volunteerism are engines necessary to solve many of our communities' problems. Therefore, a key plank in the FBCI has been to support the nation's nonprofit sector by amplifying the President's call to service and his efforts to boost charitable giving.

Charitable Giving
According to Giving USA, Americans set an all time record in philanthropy with $295 billion in charitable gifts offered during 2006. While individual donations comprise a large majority of these contributions, there are also 68,000 foundations in America holding a half trillion in their endowments, indicating that the nation's philanthropic sector is vast and active.

Throughout his Administration, President Bush has sought to increase private giving through Federal legislation incentivizing charitable contributions. Although Congress failed to adopt the President's proposal to allow Americans that do not itemize to receive tax deductions for their charitable contributions, it did adopt provisions championed by the Administration in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. These included the IRA Rollover exception allowing tax-free donations from IRAs to charities, as well as deductions for food and book donations to pantries and schools.

Additionally, a growing number of Americans have accumulated large assets in their IRA and other retirement accounts and would like to draw on their IRA assets to make substantial contributions to charitable organizations.69 However, many donors have been reluctant to make charitable contributions from their retirement assets because this transaction would count as a withdrawal fully taxable as income. The new IRA Rollover provision permitted American taxpayers, starting at age 70 ½, to make tax-free charitable gifts totaling $100,000 per year from their IRA directly to public charities without counting the distributions as taxable income. The National Committee on Planned Giving reports that within the first (and only) year of this option, 6,330 individual gifts were donated through IRA rollover, totaling over $111 million to the nonprofit sector.

The provisions for charitable giving incentives legislated in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 expired in December 2007. However, legislation has been introduced before Congress to make these incentives permanent and available for the benefit of the nonprofit sector.

In North Dakota, $15,000 was donated to Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota through the IRA rollover provision, enabling the organization to further their mission to bring healing, help, and hope to those in need by serving the needs of orphans, at-risk youth, refugees, farmers, and ranchers. Lutheran Social Services credits the IRA rollover with encouraging increased and sustained giving.

Source: Independent Sector

Another tax strategy employed to support American families in addressing an area of great need is the expansion of the adoption tax credit. President Bush championed a major expansion of the adoption tax credit in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, which increased the credit from $5,000 per adoption to $10,000 per child for qualified adoption expenses. For special needs adoptions, it increased the credit from $6,000 to $10,000. Both the expense limit and the phase-out income limit are indexed for inflation. For 2008, the tax credit is valued at up to $11,650 per adoption

The latest data available from the IRS shows significant growth of adoptive families using the tax credit: from less than 48,000 in 2001 to almost 85,000 families in 2005,(a 75% increase.) Even more significant, the actual aid provided grew by more than 250%—from less than $90 million in 2001 to nearly $320 million in 2005. This policy reflects a premise at the heart of the FBCI: government alone cannot provide the kind of love needed by children without families, but it can support its provision through caring individuals across the country.

In addition to tax policy incentives, President Bush stimulated and leveraged private giving through the launch of new strategies and initiatives. One such program was created in response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. President Bush called on his two immediate predecessors—President George H.W. Bush and President Bill Clinton—to raise support for groups working to rebuild communities and restore lives affected by the storm and flooding.

As of July 2007, with support of generous donors from around the world and many corporate contributions, the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund raised $130 million. The Bush Administration worked with the former presidents to create an organizational structure administered by high-capacity volunteers, enabling 100 percent of the funds to be used for grants. According to the Fund leadership, "the grantees are rebuilding schools and libraries, rehabilitating housing, building new houses, helping people get back to work, providing mental and medical health services, educating youth and helping ensure that the region's rich culture and heritage remain distinguishing characteristics of the Gulf region."

Specifically, contributions are being used for four primary purposes:

  • To provide assistance to institutions of higher education ($30 million);
  • To help the States of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana rebuild and recover ($40 million);
  • To support interfaith houses of worship ($25 million); and
  • To support other health, housing, education, and community needs ($35 million).

Public-Private Partnerships
American generosity does not stop at our nation's borders. Public and private contributions to the developing world have steadily increased over the past several decades. While the overall dollars trend moving upward, the proportion of taxpayer versus private source contributions has changed dramatically. Forty years ago, approximately 70 percent of U.S. capital flows to the developing world came in the form of U.S. official development assistance, compared to 30 percent private funds. Today, the ratio is reversed: 80 percent of America's support to developing nations is from private sources and only 20 percent is official support from the government.

USAID builds new public-private partnerships through the Global Development Alliance (GDA). The GDA draws resources from the private sector to form alliances as quickly as needs emerge. In response to the devastating tsunami of December 2004, for example, the agency formed 18 alliances with the private sector in affected countries, U.S. Total Flows to the developing world in 2005: $164 Billion - Pie chart shows private flows of 83.2% and public flows of 16.8% leveraging more than $17 million in private sector funds from partners including Mars, Inc., Chevron Corporation, Microsoft, The Coca- Cola Company, Prudential, Deutsche Bank, IBM, 3M, and ConocoPhillips.

More than 600 active alliances exist today as a result of nearly $7.9 billion in combined public-private funds. These partnerships harness the fundamental forces now shaping the development landscape—the spread of globalization, the rise of private giving and the need for cooperative solutions to the most significant development problems.

Back home, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) is using the same strategy to restore and revitalize distressed American neighborhoods through public-private investment in nonprofit solutions. DOC enjoys a long history of providing grants to faith-based and community organizations that offer assistance to distressed communities through its Economic Development Administration (EDA). EDA targets its investment assistance to attract private capital investment and to create higher-skill, higher-wage jobs in communities and regions suffering from economic distress. Based on locally and regionally developed priorities, EDA works in partnership with State and local governments, regional economic development districts, public and private nonprofit and tribal organizations, and Indian tribes to address problems associated with long-term economic distress, as well as sudden and severe economic dislocations, such as natural disasters, the closure of military installations and other Federal facilities, changing trade patterns, and the depletion of natural resources.

In 2007 alone, EDA invested more than $28 million in 41 such projects, with an anticipated benefit of more than 6,000 created jobs and more than $229 million in private sector investment. There are numerous examples of these investments. In 2003, an EDA investment of $2.5 million in Goodwill Industries of South Florida, Inc., in Miami helped purchase equipment to expand manufacturing facilities. With the help of this investment, Goodwill created over 1,200 jobs, generated revenues of more than $47 million, and provided over $158 million in new wages and $37 million in new Federal, Social Security, and Medicare tax revenues.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also leverages private resources to assist with disaster response. Rather than matching funds, as described at USAID and DOC, DHS has designed a system that facilitates goods and services necessary to recover from natural disasters. At the start of the hurricane season in 2007, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expanded their online donation management system through a collaborative venture with Aidmatrix. This new venture connects donors to America's 50 largest disaster charities, many of which serve as umbrella organizations for smaller faith-based and community nonprofits. Some States are expanding this network to include grassroots nonprofits directly, and local governments are increasingly making connections to their State's network.

In the wake of a disaster, getting the right relief supplies to the right people at the right time can oftentimes be problematic. An outpouring of inappropriate or unusable items – however well-intentioned – have prompted responders to describe the situation as the "second disaster." The new FEMA-Aidmatrix system avoids this problem by allowing ‘one-stop shopping' for those who have something to donate and for those who need donations. The supply side (corporations) post products that they wish to donate and then the demand side (local government and nonprofits) post their needs during a disaster situation. Matching supplies with needs is handled efficiently via electronic platforms.

This system was implemented in California just prior to the catastrophic wildfires in 2007, enabling emergency relief workers a common platform to access available resources on a 24/7 basis. It has also proven successful in recent disasters, ranging from Oklahoma's ice storms to Alabama's tornado catastrophes.

Following the tragedies of September 11, 2001, President Bush highlighted how ordinary citizens contribute to the country in significant ways. In his 2002 State of the Union Address, the President called on all Americans to serve a cause greater than self and to build upon the countless acts of service, sacrifice, and generosity the American people have shown in times of devastation and in times of peace. Two of the President's signature initiatives–OFBCI and the USA Freedom Corps (USAFC)–joined with the Corporation for National and Community Service to help Americans answer that call and foster a culture of service, citizenship and responsibility.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector. For example, four out of five charities registered with the IRS—an estimated 174,000 organizations—rely on the helping hands of volunteers. And that number does not include the nearly 400,000 small charities in the U.S., virtually all of which are run entirely by volunteers. In addition, an estimated 83 percent of the nation's 380,000 religious congregations manage social service community development and neighborhood organizing projects.

Organizations value their volunteers for these important reasons:

  • They are instrumental in reducing costs;
  • They improve the quality of services provided;
  • They raise awareness of the organization in the community. 70

Volunteers provide many hours of service and financial support that allow faith-based and community organizations to meet their constituents' needs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60.8 million Americans volunteered in 2007, with each typically serving an average of 52 hours of volunteer activity. Nearly 36 percent of volunteers served through faith-based organizations, followed by 26 percent with educational or youth-service organizations, and 13 percent with social and community service organizations.

Examples of Corporation for National and Community Service collaborations with faith-based and other community organizations:

The Potter's House (Dallas, TX)
Service program/grant connection: The Potter's House works with the Corporation through its Challenge Grant.
Number of volunteers: The Potter's House prisoner support network utilizes 130 volunteers. An additional 100 volunteers served on The Potter's House Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative.
Type of service provided: The Potter's House oversees 50-plus outreach programs, including a comprehensive outreach and ex-offender reentry initiative. As part of The Potter's House reentry initiative, selected life skills television programming is broadcast to prisons nationwide. Prisoner support groups operated by the church provide former male and female offenders and their families with an accepting atmosphere where they can share time with counselors who offer understanding, concern and mentoring.
Impact: Although the Texas Offenders Reentry Initiative is a new program, The Potter's House ex-offender reentry initiative has already served 33,000 prisoners and broadcasts selected television programs to more than 425 prisons located throughout the country. The goal of both programs is to decrease the average recidivism rate of program participants.

Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute (Rockville, MD)
Program/grant connection: The Jewish Youth Philanthropy Institute (JYPI) works with the Corporation through its Next Generation Grant.
Number of volunteers: In 2005, more than 100 teens distributed the equivalent of $70,000 in grants to local, national and international nonprofit organizations. An additional 400 teens participated in service-learning and alumni programming.
Type of service provided: JYPI's mission is to advance the development of youth philanthropy and civic engagement in the Jewish community by engaging in tzedakah (charitable acts) and tikkun olam (repairing the world).
Impact: Four years after its inception, JYPI teens had donated more than $120,000 and hundreds of hours of community service to 36 different organizations, while gaining a holistic view of the philanthropic process and developing a lifelong ethic of service. By the end of this program year, approximately 230 teens will have gone through the JYPI philanthropy program, providing brief but intense assistance to 20 nonprofit agencies serving a wide range of needs.

Notre Dame Mission Volunteers (Baltimore, MD)
Program/grant connection: Notre Dame Mission Volunteers works with the Corporation's AmeriCorps*State/National Program.
Number of AmeriCorps members: There are more than 270 Notre Dame AmeriCorps members at 118 partnering sites in 15 cities.
Type of service provided: Notre Dame AmeriCorps members work to empower the poor through education and personal hands-on support. Members tutor children and adults in literacy, GED, and ESL, organize after-school enrichment activities, model and teach conflictresolution/parental effectiveness, and involve community professionals in the learning process.
Impact: Over the last nine years, Notre Dame AmeriCorps members have helped almost 90,000 individuals learn to read, finish high school and develop necessary life skills through literacy, after-school and mentoring programs. In the last three years alone, Notre Dame AmeriCorps members provided tutoring and small group instruction to more than 22,000 low-income children and adults, helping more than two-thirds of these individuals advance to the next reading level. Notre Dame AmeriCorps' out-of-school enrichment programs have provided access to homework clubs, art, music, creative writing and sports for more than 9,000 at-risk children.

Together, USAFC and the FBCI are embedding civil society principles within Administration policies and initiatives, including immigration, disaster relief, global diplomacy, education, homeland security, defense, environment, and history and civics. For example, the President's Task Force on New Americans recognized the vital role of faith-based and community organizations in assimilation. Responding to the President's call to strengthen resources for these grassroots organizations, USAFC and DHS launched the New Americans Project. Through the USAFC website,, individuals can now find volunteer opportunities to help immigrants settle into American society.

Another example of the Administration's efforts to embed volunteerism into government policy and programs is through disaster preparedness and response. As demonstrated by the response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, FBCOs provide vital resources in times of disaster. USAFC worked with leaders from the field to strengthen the role of FBCOs and the partnership capabilities between the public, private, and nonprofit sector. This partnership significantly strengthened the National Response Framework (NRF), the nation's key document for guiding response in times of domestic disaster. The guide has been updated to help ensure a more coordinated response among all partners at all levels, including FBCOs.

To engage more Americans in service abroad, President Bush strengthened Peace Corps to a 37-year high in the number of volunteers serving around the world. He also established a short-term international volunteer initiative called Volunteers for Prosperity, which promotes skilled volunteer service opportunities abroad with organizations, including FBCOs. Moreover, the recently launched VfPServ, a public-private grant program providing matching grants, helps eligible Americans volunteer with overseas organizations.


"Getting citizens more involved in the civic life and health of their communities must begin with citizens themselves." -Dr. Cynthia Gibson, Author, Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement

The Case Foundation has published new research entitled "Citizens at the Center: A New Approach to Civic Engagement." This report presents insights into societal change occurring from bottom-up community solutions rather than top-down government prescriptions. The FBCI vision attempts to harness this spirit and act on the premise this is something for policymakers to discover and leverage rather than to program and control. By government at the local level seeking partnerships with faith-based or secular nonprofits, whether professional or informal problem solvers, the FBCI is advancing the American tradition of self-government and citizenship.

The collective action of nonprofit and citizen-centered endeavors is enormous, as measured by persons and dollars. More than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S. employ one in 12 Americans. The nonprofit sector generates combined annual revenue of more than $670 billion, and its asset base of $1.76 trillion renders it the sixth largest economy in the world.71 These organizations provide unique services locally, nationally, and internationally, ranging from small, community tutoring centers to massive disaster relief efforts.

The FBCI operates on a simple but powerful partnership equation: government plus nonprofits equals problem-solving. In order to continue to prosper, nonprofits require reliable support from the government, an increasing supply of funding from private sources and an influx of new volunteers willing to invest their highest skill sets to serve their neighbors in need.