Interfaith Funders

Interfaith Funders


* Assets: $41,663 (2013)
* Grants Received: $98,500 (2013)
* Grants Awarded: $0 (2013)

Interfaith Funders (IF) is a national network of 14 faith-based and secular funders committed to using Congregation-based Community Organizing (CBCO) to advance “social change and economic justice” in the United States, and to “effectively counter” the country’s “rising social inequality.” These objectives spring from IF’s belief that social and economic inequities are among the most prominent hallmarks of life in the U.S.

In an effort to help make American society more equitable and just, IF members award grants to faith-based organizations that work to promote such things as higher minimum wages, “living wages,” “school and welfare reform,” “affordable housing” (whose costs are borne by taxpayers), “economic development for impoverished neighborhoods,” expanded rights for immigrants (including illegals), and the recruitment of organizers and activists to help “the voiceless” masses influence public policy. The IF network promotes these ideals not only by means of philanthropy, but also through:

  • collaborative research on CBCO;
  • strategic convening that brings together organizers, leaders in faith traditions, funders, and scholars to discuss the current state and future of the field; and
  • education and outreach sessions that provide opportunities where IF members can network and strategize.

Interfaith Funders strongly endorses the organizing and protest tactics of the late Saul Alinsky, whom IF reveres as the creator and godfather of CBCO. Indeed, the IF coalition proudly declares that its grantees “typically engage in a proven and effective organizing strategy with roots in Alinsky’s work.” Community organizing, IF explains, “can be an instrument of transformation” that enables “sacred texts [to] live in a new way” for clergy and congregation alike.

IF’s current member organizations include:

  • Bend the Arc—A Jewish Partnership for Justice
  • Catholic Campaign for Human Development (which supported the community organizing efforts of a young Barack Obama in the 1980s)
  • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • Dominican Sisters of Springfield
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s Division for Church in Society
  • Maine Initiatives
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
  • Nathan Cummings Foundation
  • Needmor Fund
  • New York Foundation
  • One Great Hour of Sharing Fund of the Presbyterian Church USA
  • Sister Fund
  • Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock

According to IF, each of these members “supports a broad range of community organizing groups in low- and moderate-income communities around the country, including faith-based groups and those using other organizing models.”

A noteworthy former member of IF was the Jewish Funds for Justice.

Over the years, IF has been a strong supporter of ACORN (now defunct), the National Network of Grantmakers, and the Neighborhood Funders Group.

(Information on grantees and monetary amounts courtesy of The Foundation Center, GuideStar, ActivistCash, the Capital Research Center and Undue Influence)

© Copyright 2024,