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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Faith in Place

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Interfaith Coalitions, Religion

Mission: Since 1999, we have helped more than 900 Illinois congregations--Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Baha'i and Zoroastrian--adopt better environmental practices.

Target demographics: Faith community of Illinois

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6000

Geographic areas served: All of Illinois

Programs: Energy & climate change - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to help them reduce their carbon footprint. Specific programs offered: energy audits & smart energy coffee workshops. - energy audits: faith in place staff work with skilled volunteers and trusted local organizations to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions at house of worship and homes. This process starts with an energy audit, a key first step for laying out a comprehensive roadmap for energy conservation. -smart energy coffee workshops: faith in place staff bring materials to a house of worship during fellowship time, so that individuals can better understand incentives, rebates, hourly pricing, and alternative suppliers. Faiths in place experts explain how to take advantage of these programs to save money and maximize energy efficiency.

sustainable food & land use - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to help sustain our food and land. Programs offered: butterfly gardens, community gardens, congregational- supported agriculture, habitat restoration,just eating curriculum, monarchs, migration, birds and me, winter farmers markets. -butterfly gardens - faith in place provides assistance and support in the sourcing and installation of plants for numerous butterfly gardens on the properties of our faith partners throughout the state. -community gardens - faith in place staff give guidance and promote the efforts of people of faith to grow food in small neighborhood gardens. Such gardens provide locally grown produce and, at the same time, build a sense of community. One of our gardens is shared by a christian and a muslim faith partner in urbana. The tomatoes and the relationships that grow there are treasured by both faith communities. -congregational-supported agriculture (csa) - a "csa" is a congregationally supported farm in which members purchase "shares" in the project, work the garden and know the farmer. Faith in place's partner csas commit to donate at least 10% of the harvest to a local food pantry. Faith in place has been instrumental in establishing two csas: one at st matthew's lutheran church in urbana; a second at the vernon park church of god (baptist) in lynnwood. Connected by faith in place, these racially and culturally diverse congregations regularly share information and expertise. Together they donate tons of food to local food banks, foster community engagement, and train people with new skills. -habitat restoration - faith in place provides opportunities for the youth and adult members of our faith partners to engage in stewardship activities that both protect and restore our native landscape. -just eating curriculum - this curriculum explores the intersection of food and faith, and how to nurture healthy bodies, healthy communities, and a healthy environment. -monarchs, migration, birds and me - faith in place has created a story- circle based activity that encourages families to share their own migration stories. These stories connect to the migration of all animals, who also need nourishment, resting places, and care upon their arrival in illinois. -winter farmers markets - each winter, from november through march, faith in place partners with faith communities to host a series of indoor farmers markets. The farmers markets provide an additional source of income for local vendors during the off-season, promote sustainable farming methods and economic justice for regional farm families, encourage healthy, wholesome eating, and support the building of relationships between producers and consumers.

water preservation - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to preserve water. Programs offered include:our grandchildren's water curriculum & water audits. -our grandchildren's water curriculum - a scientifically sound resource, appropriate for a 6-week adult education class. This curriculum explores water - the central role this precious resource plays in the religions of the world and the obligation people of faith have to conserve and protect it. -water audits - faith in place staff work with skilled volunteers and trusted local organizations to help reduce water usage and recycle rainwater at houses of worship and homes. This process starts with a water audit, a crucial first step when laying out a comprehensive roadmap for water preservation.

advocacy - faith in place works with faith partners across illinois to advocate for policies which will protect our earth. Programs offered include: -faithful citizen workshops - faith in place conducts two-hour workshops where people of faith can learn about and discuss pending policies. Faith in place also identifies and reviews ways people of faith can participate in the advocacy process consistent with the tenets of their faith. -environmental advocacy day - every spring, faith in place works closely with coalition members and sends a delegation of faithful citizens to advocate for polices which will protect our earth.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Faith in Place does an excellent job empowering faith communities to be leaders in caring for the earth and promoting environmental justice. Through individualized coaching, they assist communities in forming "Green Teams" that promote environmental education and action within their community. They also sponsor a Green Team summit once a year where Green Team members can come together to learn, network, and get inspired. Our connection with Faith in Place has made a huge difference in our community!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Faith in Place is simply excellent: focused, inclusive, and making an impact.

They help folks to engage environmental issues close to their heart and soul -- in their local faith community. The support extends to many different communities and faith traditions, and a particular strength of Faith in Place is to demonstrate the power that comes when these strands are woven together. People learn from each other, support one another, and advocate for policy change together.

There is much to learn from this example of the power of a network.

Kredy K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Faith in Place offers a ‘cultural diverse environment inviting communities and individuals to educate through Migration and Me activities and advocate for justice at all levels.

-My study has led me to Faith in Place, to people who allowed me to breath in, and strengthen my cultural connection with the land of my origins ( Argentina ), but also to build connections to people, in good times, in cold and frozen winter, and in the midst of pavement and high blocks of a city.

I have sensed a vibrant group of people who care for other’s well-being, providing a more sustainable and healthier environment for the future generation

FAITH IN PLACE is a Great Place to learn and to develop a hearth for life.

FAITH IN PLACE HAS A GREAT TEAM, people engaged in making a difference in the lives of those whom you serve.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having worked with Faith in Place as the leader of a Green Team at a house of worship, as a volunteer and now as a Board member I continue to be impressed with the breadth of outreach of this organization. There is always some type of programming happening with a house or multiple houses of worship to engage people in caring for the earth. Raising awareness and advocacy for environmental stewardship and environmental justice is clearly important in all they do. Not only does one have the opportunity to learn about care of the earth but also to learn from a diverse group of individuals about different religious perspectives.

Suey Yee L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hi, i m suey yee from malaysian. I got a chance to take part green team summit 2019. It is a great experience for me as the knowledge that I gained that day can be apply in my hometown!

James C.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Faith in Place for about 8 years, and have been very impressed with their dedication to inclusiveness and environmentalism. All of the staff - from the executive director to the program activists - they work hard every day to include people from all religions, ethnic groups, and communities across Illinois in organize and implement positive ways to reduce pollution and further sustainable practices. Although my role in assisting to identify energy efficiency and cost-saving opportunities in buildings operated by various religious groups has given me a limited vantage point to see all of the things that Faith in Place does, I am nevertheless amazed at the good works that they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered and attended to some sessions in the Green Team Summit 2019. The volunteers and event hosts were very kind and committed to do good job. It was a great experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experience with Faith In Place (FIP) was through my church. Each month, my church distributes a portion of the Sunday "loose change" offerings to a different nonprofit organization. Of course, there are more worthy organizations than there are months, so my church has a vetting process for selecting just twelve organizations. This year, I was a part of the committee who did the selecting, and FIP scored highly on so many indicators that I had to check them out. From that introduction, I attended their 2019 annual "Green Summit" conference and have also volunteered in their offices. When you are "inside," you really get a feel for how an organization works. They continue to impress me as lean, efficient, hard-working and truly committed to their goal of uniting "diverse people of all faiths in sharing the commitment to care for the Earth." In short, this organization has a much needed grip on mobilizing houses of worship in the fight against climate change and for climate justice. Plus, they've been doing it for awhile - since 1999 - and have their act together. On a 5-star scale, I give them a 10!

Kathleen Marie G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Faith in Place has transformed lives and communities. Its founder, the Rev. Clare Butterfield, believed deeply in the ability of people to achieve sustainability while promoting social harmony. Rev. Butterfield forged community connections, started conversations about sustainable stewardship of the earth's precious resources, and showed people how simple actions really made a difference. She brought a moral, Christian perspective to what many consider to be secular issues, and Faith in Place is continuing her legacy forward.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Faith in Place sponsors the One Earth Film Festival and gives out green products at these events. Faith in Place also sponsors bus trips to the state capital to lobby for green legislation. But when I suggest that eating animals promotes cruelty to God's creatures that are raised mostly in factories, they change the topic, or respond "no, not me."

Addiz Sarria R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Faith in Place is a great organization. They have organized so many events in a way that makes it easy for people to attend. I always learn so much at the Summit. I wish the workshops could be taped so that I could see ALL of them!! Thank you for everything that you do. Very inspiring, I have so much information to take back to St. Simon's. It is wonderful to meet with like minded people and share so many different experiences. Sweet blessings to you!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the Faith In Place organization because I wanted to merge my work activities with the passion and spirit God has given to me. I found that Faith in Place truly cares about the communities being served and strives to sustain and improve their social service capacity. They are an example of how organization should operate and I am proud to be associated with them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Faith in Place is a faith-based organization that works to protect and improve our environment. We are a unique organization in that we seek members of all faiths who recognize that our Creator has blessed us with the beauty and bounty of this world and who want to fulfill their role as good stewards of this grand creation. Faith in Place offers opportunities to those who seek to be such stewards to become involved in urban gardening, improving the energy efficiency of their places of worship, becoming effective advocates to protect the environment, teaching a faith based course on water and/or working with city youth on winterizing residences. I find the opportunity to be engaged in these efforts with people of different and diverse faiths a real blessing.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved in Faith in Place because of the basic reasonableness of the leadership and staff I met at a workshop. Aggressively inclusive, practical and smart, fun, hopeful, yet serious about the huge amount of work that needs to be done if we are going to care successfully for our world -- this is an organization that is always a pleasure to be part of. Impeccable integrity is also a pretty great trait. Though the depth of knowledge and care is impressive, my experience is that Faith in Place organizers are really good at meeting people where we are and inviting us to join together in whatever attempts we can make on environmental issues. This is community-building at its best. While some worthy nonprofits suck energy out of us Faith in Place is the opposite - providing sustenance and cheer in the midst of many difficult challenges. For this I am grateful, and heartily recommend them.