Grants, Loans, and Other Assistance for Faith-Based Nonprofits

While individual donors make up the largest contributors to nonprofit organizations, federal, state, and local governments offer grants, loans, and programs to support funding. Former President Bush started the faith-based funding initiative to make government funding easily available to religious organizations.

The Faith-Based and Community Initiative helps Faith-based and community organizations get funding with less stress! Faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) have a long tradition of helping Americans in need and together represent an integral part of our nation’s social service network.

President Bush believed that besides being inherently unfair, that too often, the Federal government has put in place complicated rules and regulations preventing FBCOs from competing for funds on an equal footing with other organizations. He believed such an approach can waste tax-payer dollars and cut off the poor from successful programs and that Federal funds should be awarded to the most effective organizations—whether public or private, large or small, faith-based or secular—and all must be allowed to compete on a level playing field. Thus the Faith-Based and Community Initiative was birthed.

The Faith-Based and Community Initiative

President Bush created the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives and Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in various Federal agencies to strengthen and expand the role of Faith-based and community organizations in providing social services. The Federal government has worked to accomplish this mission through an array of regulatory and policy reforms, legislative efforts, and public outreach to Faith-based and community organizations.

Additionally, by making information about Federal grants more accessible and the application process less burdensome, the Initiative has empowered Faith-based and community organizations to compete more effectively for funds.

The Initiative Focus

  • Identifying and eliminating barriers that impede the full participation of Faith-based and community organizations in the Federal grants process.
  • Ensuring that Federally-funded social services administered by State and local governments are consistent with equal treatment provisions.
  • Encouraging greater corporate and philanthropic support for FBCOs’ social service programs through public education and outreach activities.
  • Pursuing legislative efforts to extend charitable choice provisions that prevent discrimination against faith-based organizations, protect the religious freedom of beneficiaries, and preserve the religious hiring rights of faith-based charities.

Increasing Accessibility

The underlying premise of the Former President’s Initiative is that a more open and competitive Federal grant-making process will increase the delivery of effective social services to those whose needs are greatest. Thus, Federal agencies have successfully undertaken a variety of measures to do this, including:

  • Making information more accessible
  • Providing training and technical assistance
  • Broadening program eligibility
  • Changing regulations
  • Streamlining grant applications
  • Focusing on the unique needs of grassroots organizations; and
  • Eliminating preferential treatment for existing and former grantees

Funding Opportunities for Faith Based Organizations

The Centers for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, each center forms partnerships between its agency and faith-based and neighborhood organizations to advance specific goals, and all of the Centers are coordinated by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships forms partnerships between government at all levels and non-profit organizations, both secular and faith-based, to more effectively serve Americans in need.

Federal agencies offering Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce
  • The U.S. Department of Education
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • The U.S. Agency for International Development
  • The Small Business Administration
  • The U.S. Department of Labor
  • The U.S. Department of Justice
  • The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)