Faith Based Organizations (FBOs) are foundations and institutions who’s call to serve is based on scripture, or religious obligation to help the poor and disadvantaged.
There are many organizations that advertise their religious affiliation, like Red Cross/ Red Crescent and Catholic Charities, but there are also many that you would hear about and not initially think were religiously based. In fact, in the United States, 70% or the food pantries are run by FBOs. Many have historical religious basis, but don’t necessarily preach anything in their work.
One benefit of working with a faith based organization is that you can go in to it with a feeling of community, and the idea that the workers and volunteers already have something in common. Additionally, the majority of FBOs are smaller, and focus on local impact, and as such, the volunteers are surrounded by the people that they are helping. These organization frequently work in areas that others avoid, although there are FBOs involved in almost every area of social service.
Faith Based Organizations have to jump through lots of hoops in order to be federally or publicly funded, so frequently they rely only on the support of the community.
Volunteers need not be religious to be involved in religious organizations, so don’t shy away from a certain project or charity because you are a member of a different group of beliefs.
The World Bank has a super comprehensive directory of FBOs, check it out here!