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For Immediate Release
June 5, 2002

HHS Announces Availability of Funds to Assist Faith-Based and Community Organizations

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced the availability of $30 million in funds to help level the playing field for faith- and community-based organizations competing for federal grants and other funding. The Compassion Capital Fund represents the first appropriated federal funds that are specifically targeted to assist grassroots organizations since President Bush announced the faith-based and community initiative last year.

"Today, we are making good on President Bush's commitment to give faith- and community-based organizations the same opportunities to receive federal assistance that larger private organizations have," Secretary Thompson said. "For years, grassroots organizations have helped thousands of Americans in need, often on shoestring budgets and with little assistance from the federal government. Under the President's leadership, that assistance is finally beginning."

Under the Compassion Capital Fund demonstration program, nearly $25 million will be made available to 15-25 intermediary organizations that will provide technical assistance to help faith-based and community organizations to effectively access funding sources, operate and manage their programs, develop and train staff, expand the reach of programs into the community and replicate promising programs. Technical assistance must be offered at no cost to interested organizations.

Intermediary organizations that receive funding will also issue sub-awards to faith- and community-based organizations to support start-up costs, operations or expansion of programs. Priority for sub-awards will be given to programs that address homelessness, hunger, the needs of at-risk children, transition from welfare to work, and those in need of intensive rehabilitation such as addicts or prisoners.

"Community- and faith-based organizations understand the communities they serve, and the contributions they make to society are irreplaceable," said Jim Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. "But while they may understand their communities, understanding the numerous rules they must follow to qualify for federal grants is much more difficult. These funds will make that process easier."

The remaining $5 million of the Compassion Capital Fund will be used to establish a National Resource Center and to support research into promising practices for intermediary organizations providing assistance to grassroots organizations and into the role that faith-based and community organizations play in their communities.

The National Resource Center will serve as a national repository and clearinghouse for information related to technical assistance and training resources for faith- and community-based organizations. The center will ensure that intermediary organizations funded under the Compassion Capital Fund are adequately equipped with the information and training they need to assist grassroots organizations.

HHS will also support research regarding innovative and promising practices that intermediary organizations are implementing and appropriate methods for evaluating the effectiveness of the assistance that these organizations provide. Additional funds will support research into the services that faith- and community-based organizations provide and about the role they play in communities and in the lives of the people they serve.

President Bush first announced the faith- and community-based initiative in January 2001. Through this initiative, the administration is working to remove unnecessary barriers that may prevent these organizations from competing fully for federal funding and to create a "level playing field" between faith-based and community organizations and other groups that receive federal funds to provide social services.

Information on the availability of Compassion Capital Fund grants will be published June 7, 2002, in the Federal Register. Grant awards will be made this fall. More information about the President's initiative and the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is available at


Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at

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