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ASU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Governor’s office produce faith and community initiatives publication

November 16, 2007

The ASU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management and the Governor’s Office for Faith and Community Initiatives have released, “Restoring Lives, Transforming Communities: Building a strong foundation through faith and community initiatives.”

 In May 2007, Arizona hosted the first in a new series of White House Conferences on Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI). This report highlights the outcomes from that sentinel event. 

“This new approach presented a great opportunity to highlight the ways in which Arizona has embraced its sacred and secular nonprofits as an integral part of the fabric of local communities,” said Gov. Napolitano. “It also gave Arizonans a chance to learn about new and continuing federal initiatives to further engage communities on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens.” 

Faith-based organizations are uniquely positioned to help those in need due to their deep-rooted establishment in neighborhoods and communities, but there is a common myth that faith-based organizations cannot receive government funds to deliver human services. By law, government is required to be neutral with respect to religion. As outlined in the “Restoring Lives, Transforming Communities” publication, Arizona has already established promising practices in the Governor’s Office for Faith and Community Initiatives by advancing public and private partnerships and encouraging better public policy. There are four pillars of this initiative:

  • Policy Reform – Pursuing efforts to expand charitable choice provisions, eliminate barriers that impede full participation, and thus establish a level playing field for small organizations and faith-based groups.
  • Program Innovation – Highlighting and promoting new, creative models for addressing stubborn social challenges on behalf of poor and vulnerable populations for maximum mutual benefit.
  • Capacity Building – strengthening and extending the good work of faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) through channels such as the ASU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management, which has an entire unit dedicated to capacity building.
  • Private Strategies – Launching innovative partnerships between government, nonprofits and businesses and foundations in the private sector.

The initiative removes barriers and ensures a “level playing field” for all groups, whether religious or secular. Continuing this trend will leverage valuable resources, increase access to care and provide more effective services to vulnerable populations.

“It is not enough to have a relevant mission and good intentions given the complexities of today’s challenges,” said Dr. Robert F. Ashcraft, director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management. “All nonprofits today, including faith-based organizations, need leaders and managers who have the latest knowledge and tools to assure effective practice.” 

St. Luke’s Health Initiatives and Wells Fargo Bank sponsored publication of the report. An electronic version of the report is available for download at: 

The mission of the Arizona State University Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management (CNLM) is to help build the capacity of the social sector by enhancing the effectiveness of those who lead, manage, and support nonprofit organizations. As part of the College of Public Programs and in partnership with the School of Community Resources and Development, CNLM provides knowledge and tools to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations, professionals, board members, and volunteers by offering research, technical assistance, workshops, conferences, classes, and capacity building programs. For more information, visit:


The Arizona Office of Faith and Community Initiatives was established in 2005. The Office and Council focus on efforts to: reach and engage diverse faith and community groups (FBOs/CBOs); help state agencies engage FBO/CBOs in their work, eliminate barriers to participation in funding and policy opportunities; and forge mentoring and funding partnerships between long-standing service providers and FBO/CBOs. In addition, the Office continues to develop and track community-specific outcome measurements to ensure Arizona increases capacity to serve its poor and vulnerable populations.



Jannah Scott,


Office of the Governor


Jill Watts,


ASU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management


Jeanine L'Ecuyer,


Office of the Governor


Amy Cox O’Hara,


ASU Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management