Who's Using Charitable Choice Funding, and How?

This spring, the Survey Research Center at the University of Akron surveyed 587 leaders of faith-based organizations with government contracts under federal programs regulated by the charitable choice legislation. Here's what the study revealed:

*78 percent of the contractors were faith-based nonprofits and 22 percent were congregations.

*More than one-third of the congregations were predominantly African American; 18 percent of the congregations were predominantly Latino, Asian, Native American, or ethnically mixed.

*Less than one-half of the congregations were predominantly white.

*56 percent of the contractors started their government contracts since 1996 (after charitable choice).

*Two-thirds of those surveyed created new programs with their government-funded contracts. Contractors used three primary strategies for complying with the charitable choice guidelines: 70 percent segregated public funds from funds used for inherently religious purposes, 60 percent provided special staff training, and 57 percent held inherently religious activities at special times.

*77 percent of the faith-based contractors regarded as "very important" the act of notifying clients that they need not participate in religious activities to receive services from a faith-based organization.

Source: "Fruitful Collaborations: A Survey of Government-Funded Faith-Based Organizations in 15 States," Hudson Institute, 2002

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