This is a highly complex area and we make no claim to cover a definitive set of issues facing faith-based charities, let alone a definitive set of answers. But with so many charities working in this space, collectively spending hundreds of millions of pounds each year and harnessing the skills of thousands of volunteers and paid staff, it is the right time to start thinking in more detail about this area.
Where do faith-based charities bring unique strengths to the sector, and where do they achieve the greatest impact for their beneficiaries? Where does faith help charities, and where does it hinder? What, for example, might a faith-based charity achieve that a non-religious charity cannot—and why? Why have some faith-based charities kept—and publicly promote—their religious roots, while others have evolved in such a way that they are now faith-based in name only? How do changes in the mix of faiths in the UK alter the way faith-based charities work? In what ways do these groups differ from one other and how are they unique in the wider sector?
This paper sets out some of these issues under six key themes: purpose and focus; collaboration; impact; reach; delivery; and funding.
More from our research on faith-based charities
Initial data from NPC's programme of research on faith-based charities showing they represent 27% of charities in Great Britain.
Following an 18-month programme of research into the role of faith-based charities, here we draw together the key findings of this work. We outline what makes faith-based charities unique, the contribution they make to the wider charity sector, and the challenges and opportunities they face.
As part of our ongoing programme of work exploring the role of faith-based charities—which make up 27% of the charity sector—here we taker a closer look at some of the attributes of this group of organisations.