President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based Partnerships Issues Recommendations

In its report released this month (March 2010), the Council gave recommendations to the President on areas of need targeted by the White House and also on reform of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Noting the disagreement among Council members on the issues of federally-funded programs provided by churches and religious organizations, and the oversight of those funds by government agencies, the following recommendations (among many others) were given:

1) Prohibit the use of direct government aid for inherently (or explicitly) religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, and proselytization.
2) Require grant applicants to disclose whether they offer any explicitly religious activities and how they keep those separate from government-funded programs; and
3) Reduce barriers to obtaining 501(c)(3) recognition the Council could not agree on recommending that churches be required to setup a separate corporation to administer federally-funded programs; however, they did agree that if a church chose to do so, the process for obtaining 501(c)(3) status should be streamlined. For a full copy of the report see http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/03/11/a-new-era-partnerships-advisor...