Religion & Philanthropy
Originally called the Religious Pluralism Funders Circle, the Religion & Philanthropy initiative envisions that faith-inspired grantees and issues related to religion are fully integrated into the work of philanthropic institutions where missions align. Launched in 2018, the Religion & Society Program cultivated a community of funders interested in religious pluralism. Since then, our mission has shifted to assist with the expansion of the staunchly secular culture of philanthropy.
Philanthropy serving organizations and most funding institutions often avoid the topic of religion even where it touches their strategic priorities and avoid working with faith-based grantees. Even funders with a faith-association tend publicly to disassociate themselves from their religious identity. This avoidance is detrimental to the work of religious pluralism and the work of faith-based grantees and the communities that they serve, and the work of funders who want to promote and support populations in need.
However, as of early 2023, there is a new openness to religion in philanthropy. Through this initiative, the Religion & Society Program offers a roadmap to address the current gaps and opportunities at the intersection of religion and philanthropy. From this work, we hope that the majority of philanthropic organizations understand the relevance of issues related to religion and of faith-inspired grantees to their own missions, and they are willing and able to engage on issues related to religion and with faith-inspired grantees and have the tools and competencies to do so successfully.
If you would like to learn more or get involved with the initiative, contact Audrey Price at Audrey.Price@aspeninstitute.org.