Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


The Separation of Church and Secular Charity

posted by swaldman

A recent survey from the Corporation for National Service found that 85% of non profits with secular missions have no partnerships with religious groups – even though houses of worship are the largest generators of volunteers.



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posted February 24, 2009 at 4:38 pm


I’m not terribly surprised by this finding. Although houses of worship may be the largest generators of volunteers, where are those volunteers used? Are they used mostly in internal programs of the houses of worship, or are they directed externally, i.e. toward other religious oganizations or programs, or toward secular organizations? I’d be interested to know the percentage of religious organizations that partner with secular groups. It’s certainly possible that the disconnect is on both sides. MANY years ago when I directed a Volunteer Center and worked within an organization of volunteer managers, we reached out to local churches for training and general networking and failed to get virtually any response. Despite our outreach, there seemed to be no interest in collaboration, possibly because we saw our roles in very different ways.



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