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Innovations in Compassion - The Faith-Based and Community Initiative: A Final Report to the Armies of Compassion

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[Excerpt] This Final Report to the Armies of Compassion prepared by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives offers an account of President Bush’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI or Initiative) to the dedicated faith-based and other community organizations (FBCOs) that have joined in the battles against poverty, disease, and other social ills. The report emphasizes what matters most about the FBCI: measurable results achieved for millions in need across America and around the world through vibrant partnerships with the “armies of compassion” – the thousands of FBCOs that have partnered with government to serve their neighbors in need. It also offers a look at key government reforms and innovations that made these results possible. The report finishes with a glimpse toward the future of the FBCI and the foundation upon which the next generation of government and community leaders can build to achieve even greater good in the decades to come. Changing Lives highlights twelve areas of critical human need that have been particularly affected through expanded Federal partnerships with faith-based and other frontline nonprofits. The chapter highlights key results across these wide-ranging areas of need and stories revealing the deeper impact of the FBCI for individual organizations and the people they serve. Transforming Government explains how reforms led by the FBCI have secured a level playing field for faith-based organizations and reduced barriers to help small FBCOs or those new to partnering with government compete for Federal funds. The chapter also highlights some of the innovative funding models advanced by the FBCI that enable more effective partnerships between government and grassroots nonprofits, such as vouchers, mini-grants, and intermediary model grants. Strengthening Partners describes the Initiative’s diverse methods for building the capabilities of nonprofit organizations and the social entrepreneurs who lead them. These efforts range from technology-based instruction and in-person training events to the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in capacity- building and technical assistance grants. Volunteerism and Private Giving highlights President Bush’s efforts to expand volunteer service and private financial support for America’s FBCOs. Taking Root in States and Cities reveals how the principles of the FBCI are being replicated outside of Washington. Governors and mayors across America are embracing the vision championed by the FBCI as a practical way to engage the toughest challenges faced by their communities. These “laboratories of innovation” will play a key role in the future of the FBCI.

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2008-12-01

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