What Is a Faith-Based Nonprofit Organization?


A Faith-based organization (FBO) refers to religious organizations and other charitable organizations affiliated with one or more religious organizations.  An FBO includes:

* A religious congregation (church, mosque, synagogue, or temple);

* An organization, program, or project sponsored/hosted by a religious congregation (may be incorporated or not incorporated); and

* A nonprofit organization founded by a religious congregation or religiously-motivated incorporators and board members that clearly states in its name, incorporation, or mission statement that it is a religiously motivated institution.

The decision of whether to be an FBO may depend son whether the primary purpose or activities of the organization are religious or religiously motivated. If the primary purpose and activities of the organization are not religious, but religiously motivated, the organization may want to consider the pro and cons of identifying itself as a FBO or a specific type of FBO (e.g., church, religious corporation). Perhaps the main considerations are how its chosen identity will affect its donors, funders, and supporters.

FBOs may not be eligible to receive grants from certain grantmaking entities that do not want to advance or be associated with a particular religion or religious purpose. However, FBOs that do not propagate a belief in a specific faith may be eligible.  FBOs without an IRS determination of 501(c)(3) status are ineligible to receive grants because they do not qualify as a 501(c)(3) entity.


Karmen A. Booker is an Attorney, Business Consultant and Owner of Compu-Perfect Professional Services, a business consulting firm specializing in Business Entity Formation (Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, and Nonprofit Corporations), Completing 501(c)(3) Federal Tax Exemption Applications, Grant Research and Writing services, and more.  Call her today at (301) 408-1082.

Attorney Karmen A. Booker has developed an e-book  entitled “Fundraising for Nonprofits”, which provides information regarding:

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  • Over 27 Specific Fundraising Tips such as selling advertisement space in your newsletter and on your website, and more.

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