United States Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
The mission of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives is to empower faith-based and community organizations as they help their neighbors prepare for, enter, and thrive in the workforce. It is a federal government agency, part of the Department of Labor.
The work of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (the Center) flows from a simple conviction: America can do better for our neighbors in need when we draw upon the unique strengths of every willing partner.
Advancing this goal first requires ensuring a "level playing field" for all organizations willing to join with the government in service, including ones that may have been excluded in the past. This principle applies both to non-financial partnerships and to funding opportunities, such as grants for projects to help accomplish the departments’mission.
Like its counterparts in other major federal agencies, the Center has worked to eliminate any unnecessary barriers to partnership with the Department of Labor, from overly complicated grant applications that discourage small non-profits to unwarranted regulations that undermine faith-based organizations’ right to maintain their religious identity.
Equally important, the Center works to cultivate public-nonprofit-private partnerships nationwide to make services more effective. These efforts include new grant opportunities and pilot projects, cost-free training for faith-based and community organizations on effect program practices and grant writing, research to better understand the role nonprofits can play in social services, and other innovative projects. Increasingly, we also work with state and local governments that receive federal funds to expand their partnerships with faith-based and community organizations as well.
In both social services and economic development efforts, America’s community and faith-based organizations have an indispensable role to play. Their networks of dedicated volunteers, local cultural knowledge, and deep roots in their communities can provide a tremendous complement to traditional government programs. This enables maximum impact for taxpayers’ dollars and expands the social safety net. Best of all, the service of faith-based and community organizations can make that critical difference between recurring struggles and new beginnings for people who are unemployed and underemployed, homeless, ex-offenders, immigrants, persons with disabilities and others from all walks of life.