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The Faith and Service Technical Education Network (FASTEN) offers informational resources and networking opportunities to faith-based practitioners, private philanthropies, and public administrators who seek to collaborate effectively to renew urban communities. An initiative of Pew Charitable Trusts, FASTEN actively identifies best practices in faith-based services and multi-sector collaboration, and produces and disseminates educational materials for practitioners in the public and private sectors.


FASTEN seeks to meet the needs of faith-based organizations (FBOs) by building their capacity to address community challenges.  FASTEN equips FBOs by providing: 

  • Resources, advice and information from and pertaining to a faith-based audience; 
  • Connections to experts in the fields of practice supported by FASTEN;
  • Practical tools (e.g., how-to guides, model profiles, curricula);
  • A peer-to-peer learning community; and
  • Broadly disseminated information on best practices based on original research produced by the FASTEN partner organizations.  

Private and corporate philanthropic foundations, as well as government agencies at federal, state, and local levels, sometimes look to FBOs as partners in the provision of social services. FBOs are close to the people whom they serve, often rooted physically in the same community.  They also often enjoy a high level of trust. Yet FBOs are not a cure-all for the ills of any neighborhood or community. Private foundations, recognizing both the assets and limitations of FBOs, have questions as they explore new or expanded partnerships. Moreover, recent national attention to the role of FBOs has produced new policy initiatives for expanding government collaboration with them. Along with these “faith-based initiatives” have come new regulations and expectations about how public agencies should interact with faith communities. As a result, FBOs, public administrators, and private philanthropies have questions about how to create effective collaborations--about what works and what does not. All three target audiences are looking for guidance, proven models, and deeper understanding. By providing a highly navigable website filled with practical, relevant information and tools, as well as offering training, technical assistance, and networking, FASTEN equips FBOs, private foundations, and public administrators for more and better partnership. As a result, the services of FBOs can be expanded and enhanced. Ultimately, we aim to see better outcomes for people in need, as FBOs increase their reach and effectiveness.


FASTEN: Sharing Knowledge, Strengthening Connections, Improving Outcomes


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