Complications Of Religion In Philanthropy And Faith-Based Organizations

1393 Words 6 Pages
Religion in philanthropy and faith-based organizations have been frequently discussed in academic literature and research. Through this literature review, I will discuss the research on both.
All major religions emphasize generosity to those in need. In Christianity, believers are called to love their neighbors (Seelarbokus, 2016). In Islam, there are the concepts of the zakat and sadaqua to care for those in need (Lambarra & Riener, 2015). Judaism stresses the importance of tithing to provide for the poor (Seelarbokus, 2016). With religion playing a critical role for many individuals, it is no surprise that around half of all philanthropic giving goes to religious organizations (Seelarbokus, 2016). Research has shown that donors who
…show more content…
Religiously motivated philanthropy is generally looking to address the immediate needs of the poor while scientific giving looks to address the causes of poverty (Seelarbokus, 2016). While the motivation for scientific giving is admiral, it can shift the focus from the needs of the individual to their eligibility for assistance with those needs (Seelarbokus, 2016). The literature also reveals that religious ties make it easier for individuals to donate money (Seelarbokus, 2016). Schneider notes in his article, Comparing Stewardship Across Faith-Based Organizations, how faith-based nonprofits are created by faith communities or congregations to address community needs in the context of the theology of justice and charity of their particular faith.
Another concern for religious philanthropy in the literature is the potential loss of the worshipfulness of giving as fundraising becomes more professional and streamlined. For example, some argue that automated monthly giving removes the religious intent by making giving more like a bill than a conscious act (Seelarbokus,
…show more content…
In his article, Levin notes the fundamental questions of this debate, “What should be the parameters surrounding federal funding of faith-based initiatives/partnerships? Who defines what is and is not acceptable behavior—of a religiously partisan nature—on the part of funding recipients? How are assurances regulated and enforced regarding: Potential misuse of federal funds by faith-based organizations in ways that violate church-state separation? Potential federal violations of the religious freedom of faith-based organizations?”
Under Presidents Clinton and Bush, the concept of charitable choice was established (Daly, 2009). Charitable choice provides faith-based nonprofits a right of eligibility for government grants or contracts for social services, along with protections to maintain their religious independence within federally- funded programs (Daly, 2009). Despite this concept being continued by President Obama, the debate on separation of church and state

Related Documents