[COMM-ORG] New Study Being Launched Congregation-Based Community Organizing: State of the Field 2010-11

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Dec 4 08:57:55 CST 2010

  From: Kathryn Partridge <interfaithfunders at gmail.com>

December 1, 2010

For Immediate Release

New Study Being Launched: Congregation-Based Community Organizing: State 
of the Field 2010-11

(Longmont, Colorado) In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of their 
groundbreaking study Faith-Based Community Organizing: The State of the 
Field, Interfaith Funders and the Southwest Institute on Religion and 
Civil Society (SIRCS) at The University of New Mexico announce the 
launch of the State of the Field 2010-11 research study.

“We are keenly aware that community organizing has evolved a great deal 
since 2000. Our goal for the State of the Field 2010-11 project is to 
discern how the field has evolved, and what new challenges and 
opportunities it now faces, in order to fund the field more 
strategically” said Ned Wight, Interfaith Funders board president, and 
Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at 
Shelter Rock.

Beginning in January, 2011, the first stage of research will focus on 
data collection by Brad Fulton of Duke University. The data will be 
compiled as a census of congregation-based community organizations, 
including information about CBCOs' organizing efforts, their member 
institutions, constituents, staffing patterns, issue work, resources, 
and religious-secular collaborations. Subsequent phases will address 
thematic questions, such as youth outreach and engagement, cross-racial 
and anti-racism work, immigration, theological underpinnings of the 
work, social media & organizing, strategic dynamics of national-level 
organizing, and other areas of interest to particular funders.

“We have lots of anecdotal evidence of growth, gains in scope and scale, 
and increased diversity in the congregation-based organizing movement, 
but need to do the hard work of research to see how widespread the new 
patterns are,” said Dr. Richard L. Wood, director of SIRCS and academic 
director of the project.

In 1999-2000, Interfaith Funders conducted a census and study of trends 
and challenges in the field of congregation-based community organizing 
(CBCO), then more known as faith-based community organizing (FBCO). That 
research, undertaken by Richard Wood and Dr. Mark Warren now at Harvard 
Graduate School of Education, provided a baseline for understanding the 
scope and scale of the emerging organizing model, guided IF’s funding 
initiative, and credentialed the work to a broad circle of funders, 
researchers, and allies. Based on the findings of that study, IF’s 
six-year “Initiative to Support Faith-based Community Organizing” 
awarded $1.8 million in strategic grants to nineteen CBCO groups and to 
five organizing networks.

Interfaith Funders is a membership network of faith-based and secular 
funders working to advance the field of congregation-based community 
organizing (CBCO) to strengthen democracy and justice. Annually, IF 
member grantmakers invest $6-7 million gross in this field.

The Interfaith Funders/SIRCS research team welcomes input, involvement, 
and inquiries about the project.

Please contact Kathy Partridge at interfaithfunders at gmail.com.

Kathy Partridge
Executive Director
Interfaith Funders
2719 Denver Ave.
Longmont, CO 80503
Voice 720 494 9011
Fax 708 585 6434 Cell 303 594 6434

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