Faith-based funding initiative flawed

As you also probably know, the whole faith-based funding initiative was and is supposed to include community-based organizations as well [“Bush should broaden charity focus”, 03.15.06].

But the big federal push, plus many state-office efforts, centers on religious charities.

Many think this is mainly to buttress Republican votes among the religious right.

However, overall funding requests and proposals, and funding, have been much lower than projected or wished.

One reason is that they cannot come up with decent proposals or grant writers.

Another is that they do not want to or cannot handle the administrative responsibilities and restrictions.

A third reason is the politics and turf wars between houses of worship that may not want to work together or with outside agencies.

The Bush/Cheney/Rove administration is now mounting one last push to get more faith-based organizations to apply.

There has never been any new, earmarked money dedicated to this effort, so it is coming from the even tighter federal dollars that all nonprofit service organizations must already compete for.

So this new pressure on foundations and other private sources that you speak of to also support faith-based initiatives is really disturbing.

— Tim Moore, associate corporate director, Center for Employment Training, Durham, N.C.

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