Faith Based Organizations

Faith Based Organizations (FBO) are often structured around development and/or relief delivery programs. FBOs understand local context, mobilize energy and resources, contribute to consensus building and connect local communities with higher authorities.


See below for more information on the four types of Faith Based Organizations from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Religious Congregations and Coordinating Bodies

These include small, store-front congregations, mega-churches, and Houses of Worship (e.g. church, mosque, synagogue, temple, etc.). Different from service providing nonprofits, congregations are primarily communities of worship. Congregations can draw their membership from inside or outside a neighborhood. Coordinating bodies coordinate, govern, and provide resources to their member congregations (e.g. the American Baptist Association, the American Jewish Congress).

Organizations or Projects Sponsored by Congregations

These are organizations, programs or projects sponsored or hosted by one or more religious organizations. They may be incorporated or not incorporated (e.g. After school programs, mentoring programs, etc.)

Incorporated Nonprofit Organizations

A nonprofit organization founded by a religious congregation or religiously-motivated incorporators and board members. Religious affiliation or motivation is often clearly cited in the organization’s name, incorporation, or mission statement (e.g. Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army USA).

Ecumenical, Interfaith Organizations

Groups of faith communities who collaborate to leverage collective resources to deliver social services or do advocacy work (e.g. Interfaith Alliance, Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, and Minneapolis’ Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing).