How do faith-based organizations compare to secular providers? Nonprofit directors and poor women's assessments of FBOs

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How do faith-based organizations compare to secular providers? Nonprofit directors and poor women's assessments of FBOs

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Title: How do faith-based organizations compare to secular providers? Nonprofit directors and poor women's assessments of FBOs
Author: Kissane, Rebecca J.
Abstract: Over the last decade, policy-makers have pushed faith-based organizations (FBOs) to increase their role in providing services to welfare-reliant and low-income families. Using data from qualitative research, I detail how poor women and nonprofit directors serving poor individuals in Philadelphia have conflicting understandings of FBOs. A substantial proportion of secular nonprofit directors question whether FBOs have the capacity to provide the range of services poor women need. Furthermore, nonprofit directors largely focused on how FBOs differ from other types of social service providers in four main areas: (1) individualized, caring treatment of clients, (2) religiosity in service delivery, (3) connections to the community, and (4) professionalization. Interviews with the poor women, however, counter many of the nonprofit directors' assumptions and reveal that these women experience FBOs and secular nonprofits in similar ways. These findings not only suggest discontinuity among nonprofit directors and their potential clientele but also raise important questions for the current policy thrust to increase FBOs' role in service provision to the poor.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10385/70
Date: 2007

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