What is the advantage of joining Faith Action Network?
Faith Communities that participate in the FAN network join their voices with people of faith from across the state. Together, our faith communities represent a powerful, moral voice for social change. Participation in the network also provides faith communities with access to FAN’s wide range of advocacy resources, from education curriculum and legislative updates to advocacy training and leadership development. Participation in the network also allows faith communities to better communicate and collaborate with other FAN communities.
How does FAN determine what issues to work on?
We depend heavily on our faith communities to help determine our advocacy issues. We encourage faith communities to discern issues by communicating with their local communities and reflecting on their religious traditions. FAN hosts annual summits where faith communities from across the state share the issues that they have discerned. In cooperation with our governing board and program committee, FAN then develops a strategic agenda, usually focusing on one top-tier issue and 3-4 additional issues. FAN has previously worked on issues related to hunger, homelessness, economic justice, the environment, sustainable agriculture, education, health care, criminal justice reform, and human rights.
Does becoming part of Faith Action Network require that we support every position FAN takes on individual issues?
No. Becoming part of the network simply means that a faith community affirms our shared calling to advocate for a more just and sustainable world. How you and your faith community carry out a ministry of advocacy in your local context is up to you. When FAN takes a position on a particular issue, it is not something we insist you agree with but rather it is a recommendation that we hope individuals within your faith community will consider and engage with.
Does participating in the Network require a financial commitment?
A part of being in FAN’s statewide Network of Advocating Faith Communities is a regular financial contribution, at levels that make sense for your organizational budget. Here are some ways you can help insure our great work together continues: Make FAN a line item in your faith community’s annual budget or special mission allocations; Collect a special offering for FAN, or host a fundraiser that benefits FAN’s advocacy; Let us know of endowments or other funding sources in your community to which we can apply for funds; Add to your organizational impact by attending our annual FAN dinner fundraiser in the fall, and introduce others to FAN by sponsoring a table for your faith community. Your contribution makes a difference!
Is FAN a lobbying organization?
FAN does speak directly to government officials as one method of doing advocacy. This is only one of many ways that we carry out our work. The network is intended to empower and support faith communities and individuals to seek social change through a variety of means, including education, direct action, and religious witness.
Will joining Faith Action Network affect our tax status?
Becoming part of the network will not affect your tax status. 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from certain political activity like, for example, endorsing candidates for political office. FAN does not take positions on candidates, only on issues. On the other hand, 501(c)(3) organizations are permitted to engage in public education, hosting of candidates’ forums when all candidates are invited, encouragement of voter participation, and endorsement of initiatives, among other activities. For more information, please contact the FAN office.