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5 Religious Nonprofit Organizations Making An Impact Today


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Published April 5, 2023 Reading Time: 6 minutes

Strengthening communities, helping those in need, and creating a pathway for morality are just some of the values that draw people around the world to immerse themselves in religious groups.

Nonprofit organizations already unite individuals who share certain principles and passions. However, compared to other types of nonprofit organizations, religious nonprofits and groups offer supporters a faith-based outlet to give back to their communities and express themselves through service. 

Today, we’re showcasing five religious organizations making a notable impact by gathering people around their powerful missions to do more good in the world. Whether looking to support a new cause or find inspiration for unique church fundraising ideas and experiences, you came to the right place.

What Is the Role of a Religious Organization?

Just like any other nonprofit, religious organizations exist to serve different missions. These organizations typically offer communities a place to gather, learn, and feel a connection to a religious purpose. While current events guide donors to discover new causes, religious organizations remain consistent among many loyal donors’ giving portfolios.

Classy’s Why America Gives report explored how today’s loyal donors find causes and engage with them through repeat donations and advocacy. Our survey showed the prevalence of faith-based causes in the minds of dedicated supporters, as 34% of loyal donors are likely to support religious organizations. That number was more than twice the percentage of passive donors, defined as only giving once to an organization, compared to loyal donors who gave at least three times to the same cause in the last five years.

We also saw that older generations gravitate toward faith-based donations, as Baby Boomers are the most likely to give to a religious organization. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no interest among the passionate younger generations. Nearly a quarter of Gen Zers and Millennials intended to support religious activities and causes through faith-based organizations by the end of 2022.

Religious Organizations and Tax-Exempt Status

You may be wondering, “Are churches 501(c)(3) organizations?” Churches, religious organizations, and ministries contribute to American society and therefore have a different set of tax laws by the IRS Internal Revenue Code. These organizations are typically exempt from income tax on the donations raised.1 Having certain special circumstances allow religious organizations to continue to work and provide to those in need with more impact.

Types of Religious Organizations or Places of Worship

There are many groups and organizations that support a religious lifestyle based on what individuals believe. To demonstrate the vast nature of religious beliefs and groups across the world, we’ve listed a sampling below:

  • Mosques
  • Congregations
  • Synagogues
  • Religious institutions and on-campus learning 
  • Religious nonprofits or 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Catholic churches
  • Christian churches
  • Seminaries
  • Houses of worship
  • Nondenominational ministries
  • Interdenominational organizations

The list of religious leaders and organizations goes on, and there are many ways to learn about local groups that share your interests and faith attributes. We celebrate the diversity of organizations established to provide a space for people to meet one another, build relationships, and find themselves within a larger society

For now, we want to highlight a few of the many nonprofits devoted to impacting the lives of those who need it most and successfully gathering religious communities around a cause. You’ll learn more about the work each nonprofit organization does and how each builds its communities of loyal supporters for a religious purpose.

What Are the Top Faith-Based Nonprofit Organizations Leading the Charge Today?

  1. Lutheran World Relief

Mission: Affirming God’s love for all people, we work with Lutherans and partners around the world to end poverty, injustice, and human suffering.

Impact: Lutheran World Relief tackles global poverty by helping people adapt to challenges threatening their livelihoods and well-being. Lutherans founded the organization in the United States as World War II ended and opened their arms to support those in need regardless of race, religion, or nationality.

You can also find Lutheran World Relief providing aid to families in the wake of emergencies to restore their lives and building rural economies that help break the cycle of poverty. The result is self-sufficiency, enabling communities to continue thriving after the organization’s projects conclude. 

Through inclusivity, disruption, interconnectedness, and flexibility, the impact of Lutheran World Relief is apparent in East and West Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East.

Fundraising Opportunities for Lutheran World Relief Supporters 

  • Ongoing support through monthly donations
  • Including a gift in estate planning, trusts, retirement plans, and life insurance
  • Donating stocks, mutual funds, cryptocurrency, donor-advised funds, and individual retirement accounts
  • Employer-matching gifts
  • Facebook fundraising
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising through the Growing Hope Globally program

2. Faith In Practice

Mission: Improve the physical, spiritual, and economic conditions of the poor in Guatemala through short-term surgical, medical, and dental mission trips and health-related educational programs. 

Impact: Faith in Practice’s mission centers on love and compassion, offering ministry to the poor and spiritually enriching experiences for volunteers. The Christian organization seeks to improve Guatemalan citizens’ physical, spiritual, and economic conditions who can’t afford support through integrated surgical, medical, and dental mission trips and health-related education programs.

Faith in Practice partners with local Guatemalan hospitals and organizations to gather over 1,500 US and 1,000 Guatemalan volunteers around helping others. Over 30,000 people have felt the impact of the group’s work and patience to meet them where they are with the support they need most.

Fundraising Opportunities for Faith In Practice Supporters 

  • Volunteering on mission trips
  • Peer-to-peer team fundraising opportunities
  • Monthly recurring donations
  • Donating in honor of a loved one
  • Purchasing a Casa de Fe 100-bed patient guest house for surgical patients
  • Doubling donations with employer gift matching

4. Knights of Columbus Charities

Mission: Together, we’re empowering Catholic men to live their faith at home, in their parish, at work and in their community.

Impact: Knights of Columbus Charities touch the lives of community members in so many ways, including the gift of warmth for a child, advocating for a culture of life, giving persecuted religious minorities food and medical care, and helping rebuild after natural disasters. 

Knights of Columbus Charities have been making a difference worldwide, including supporting displaced citizens in Ukraine and an Ultrasound Program that funded over 1,650 ultrasound machines for mothers to see their unborn babies. The ways this organization creates change for good seem endless. Its values shine through as it continues to partner with organizations such as Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity to increase that impact even more.

Fundraising Opportunities for Knights of Columbus Charities Supporters 

  • Providing an ongoing monthly gift to fund programs
  • Donating in honor or memory of someone special
  • Finding a council or assembly to join in your local area
  • Participating in one of nearly 150 college campus councils

5. Life Without Limbs

Mission: Cross boundaries and break down barriers to build bridges that bring people to the love and hope found in Jesus Christ.

Impact: Life Without Limbs is committed to sharing the Gospel with a billion people by 2028. After 15 years of building connections worldwide and sharing the Gospel with 733 million people, the organization has no plans to slow its momentum. You can find Life Without Limbs focused in various ministry areas, including prison ministry for inmates, live outreach events, tent ministry, and prayer & encouragement. 

Life Without Limbs even offers digital ministry to use the power of technology to expand their reach. A community of Champions for the Brokenhearted seeks to support and bring hope to specific groups each month, including the trafficked, veterans, bullied, suicidal, disabled, widowed, orphaned, abused, addicted, and many more.

Fundraising Opportunities for Life Without Limbs Supporters 

  • Becoming a member of the Circle of Champions with recurring donations and receive exclusive bonus content
  • Shopping apparel to spread awareness and fund programs
  • Supporting others through prayer
  • Creating legacy giving for the future
  • Participating in stock gifts 

5. Salvation Army

Mission: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message centers on the Bible, with its ministry motivated by the love of God. The Salvation Army makes it its mission to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination.

Impact: The Salvation Army is active in virtually every corner of the world, serving 133 countries with religious services that offer God’s healing and hope to all those in need. Its long-standing motto of “sharing is caring” describes the partnership between The Salvation Army and the community as it works to offer social service programs, casework and counseling, youth services, senior centers, and Christmas programs. The Salvation Army also provides human and sexual trafficking advocacy alongside veterans and prison services to further extend their support to the larger society.

The Salvation Army meets human needs without discrimination, resulting in approximately 25 million Americans gaining assistance yearly. The strong unity that the organization creates becomes the heart of its efforts, with over 1.8 million members. There are many ways to support the organization on national and local levels with a strong footprint in many communities nationwide.


Fundraising Opportunities for The Salvation Army Supporters 

  • Monetary donations  
  • Donating goods and vehicles
  • Leading a peer-to-peer fundraising page
  • Providing a monthly donation
  • Giving through bonds, funds, stocks, and IRA rollovers 
  • Planned giving, wills, and gift annuities
  • Volunteering


Reach More Communities Through Diversified Fundraising

The Classy fundraising platform offers nonprofits a simple platform to host various unique campaigns, from peer-to-peer fundraising to recurring giving. Dynamic donation websites allow you to collect gifts in any way a supporter chooses to make their impact. 

The variety you see from our list of standout organizations is one sampling of the many ways donors enjoy engaging with religious movements and causes they feel aligned to and want to support. That’s why we make it easy to offer flexibility and convenience that prevents any barriers to getting involved. 

Article sources 

  1. “Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations,” Internal Revenue Service, accessed March 28 2023,  

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