Faith in Action Projects that Struggled or Closed

Field of Work: Providing volunteer services for elderly and disabled people through interfaith programs.

Problem Synopsis: In 1983, more than 10 million American elderly or persons with chronic disabilities had limited ability to carry on such essential activities of daily living as feeding, dressing, and bathing. Such individuals usually require a mix of medical and supportive services to help with ordinary activities of daily living such as feeding, bathing, dressing, housekeeping and transportation.

Synopsis of the Work: Faith in Action, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, funded more than 1700 projects across the country to support interfaith volunteer caregiving. Of these, some 1,048 projects either closed or did not meet updated criteria for inclusion in the program. What happened?

Summary Answer: Faith in Action project directors were asked to take on an almost impossible task: start and maintain a coalition, serve a vulnerable population, raise funds, drum up volunteers, publicize the project in the community and recruit and maintain a board of directors—all for no more than $35,000 for the programs second and third phases.