Candoris is known as a go-to Salesforce.org consulting partner for faith-based organizations. It’s a recognition we are grateful for and proud of, which speaks to our founding principles and our guiding mission. But what exactly is a faith-based organization? Are they considered the same as religious organizations? How do their challenges differ from those of other nonprofits? Chad Johnson, Candoris Sr. Account Executive, outlines how Candoris is uniquely positioned to work with these nonprofits and solve their particular needs.
What is a Faith-Based Organization?
The term “faith-based” is not a legal term by tax code. When people talk about faith-based organizations, the first thing that might come to mind are churches and religious organizations. When you look at the way the IRS handles these types of organizations, there is no special designation; they are listed with all charities and nonprofits. So, what is a faith-based organization?
A faith-based organization is defined as, “…an organization whose values are based on faith and/or beliefs, which has a mission based on social values of the particular faith, and which most often draws its activists from a particular faith group. The faith to which the organization is relating to does not have to be academically classified as religion. The term “faith-based organization” is more inclusive than the term “religious organization” as it refers also to the non-congregation faith beliefs.”
Faith-based organizations are most commonly thought of as religious organizations with a mission to reach people about a particular faith. However, many faith-based charities are not primarily focused on converting individuals to their faith, but rather to provide services based on their faith’s guiding principles. Faith-based charities differ from secular charities as their call to serve is guided by their faith, but similar in their focus to help people in need with specific services that they can provide.
Where Are Faith-Based Organizations Found and What Is their Economic Contribution?
Salvation Army. Habitat for Humanity. YMCA. Boys & Girls Club. Compassion International. World Vision.
Faith-based organizations are found throughout the nonprofit sector: Healthcare, Housing, Human Services, Community Development, Youth Development, Substance Abuse Treatment, Food Pantries, Disaster Response, and other areas where you might not think of a specific faith being the primary focus of the organization’s mission. A few years back, The Philanthropy Roundtable reported that 73% of all charitable giving in the U.S. goes to organizations that are explicitly religious. Of the top 50 charities in America, 40% are faith-based.
In a 2016 study, Georgetown University economist Brian Grim calculated the economic value of all U.S. religious activity. The midrange estimate was that religion annually contributes $1.2 trillion of socio-economic value to the U.S. economy. This estimate includes not only the fair market value of activity connected to churches (like $91 billion of religious schooling and daycare), and by non-church religious institutions (faith-based charities, hospitals, and colleges), but also activity by faith-related commercial organizations. That $1.2 trillion is more than the combined revenue of America’s ten biggest tech giants.
What are Challenges Specific to Faith-Based Nonprofits?
We see many common challenges across nonprofit organizations that we work with, among them being:
- Dependence on fundraising and grants for the majority of their revenue
- Systems that do not integrate, making management of donors, volunteers, members, and events across multiple platforms cumbersome and lacking a comprehensive view of an individual’s interactions with their organization
- An inability or ineffective way of tracking, responding and interacting with people who want to connect via social media
- Challenges in measuring and evaluating campaign effectiveness and ROI
- Finding creative ways to engage with constituents and to keep them engaged after their initial interaction with the organization, and
- Insufficient access to necessary resources for the significant amount of work needing to be done.
We also see challenges unique to specific types of faith-based organizations, namely:
- Combining physical, mental, and spiritual care for children
- Balancing open lines of communication with protecting information and sensitive location data for those serving in Creative Access nations
- Determining and implementing ways to best track acquisition to field rates for international partners
- Tracking and increasing missionary retention rates through consistent communication and engagement with those in the field, and
- Finding effective ways to market to millennials and Generation Z as the baby boomer generation begins retiring out of the mission field.
View the success story and witness the transformational value that Salesforce and Candoris offered the faith-based nonprofit Children’s HopeChest
How Is Candoris Uniquely Positioned to Help?
Candoris has partnered with Salesforce and gained Master Navigator status with Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud to help faith-based nonprofits overcome their particular challenges around internal systems and databases.
We implement and customize Salesforce Program Management Module to assist nonprofits with mobilizing for mission and developing meaningful relationships.
Our team of skilled analysts are experts at understanding the unique pain points faced by faith-based customers and uncovering organizational opportunities that address their specific needs. We have a proven track record of delivering solutions of lasting value and streamlining processes, increasing efficiencies, maximizing outreach, and achieving initiatives so that mission-driven organizations can focus on the most important thing: the heart of their mission. At Candoris, we are driven by core values, unified in service, and passionate about using our time, talent, and resources to serve others.