FAITH IN PLACE

Faithful people caring for the Earth.

aka Illinois Interfaith Power & Light   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.faithinplace.org

Mission

Faith in Place empowers Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities.

Ruling year info

2004

President & Executive Director

Rev. Brian Sauder

Main address

70 E. Lake St., Suite 920

Chicago, IL 60601 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4540756

NTEE code info

Interfaith Issues (X90)

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The environmental justice movement was one result of actions taken by African American churchwomen in the early 1980s. Faith in Place remains connected to those origins. It is a core belief of our organization that environmentalism must recognize and understand the structural and systemic racism inherent in perpetuating environmental justice communities; that those who are the most disadvantaged bear a disproportionate burden of the environmental degradation of air and water, sustainable food and land use, and a changing climate. We believe that people of faith ought to provide the moral voice and direction for living our obligation of caring for our common homes and making all our communities healthier and more equitable.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Climate Change & Energy


Climate change refers to global changes caused by greenhouse gases trapping heat and warming global temperatures. These changes increase storms, droughts, flooding, wildfires, hot days, and air pollution, putting our economy and health at risk. People of faith are taking action on climate through advocacy, reducing energy use, and by building resilience to the effect of climate change.

Faith in Place works in Illinois as part of a national interfaith environmental organization, Interfaith Power & Light, that helps amplify our energy conservation and climate change education efforts for meaningful change on a larger scale.

Learn more about Faith in Place's Energy & Climate Programs at: https://www.faithinplace.org/climate-change-energy

Population(s) Served
Adults
Religious groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Across the country, many communities lack access to nourishing, affordable food and safe, green spaces where they can connect with nature. Our Sustainable Food and Land Use Program addresses this through supporting local agriculture, education around food justice, access to nature, the creation of native gardens, and our Migration & Me program.

Learn more about Faith in Place's Sustainable Food & Land Use programs at: https://www.faithinplace.org/sustainable-food

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

Flooding can happen anywhere - in the suburbs, big cities, and small towns. When water rushes quickly over pavement and fields instead of soaking gently into the ground, rivers and lakes are polluted by contaminants and sediment.

People living in Illinois, and particularly Cook County and Chicago, are all too familiar with the problem of basement flooding and sewer backups as a result of the sewer system being overwhelmed with waste water runoff during storms and spring snowmelt. By implementing our water programs, communities of faith can live out their moral obligation to maintain a clean and abundant water supply for our neighbors downstream, and prevent the disproportionate burden of flooding.

Learn more about Faith in Place's Water Preservation & Flooding Prevention Programs at: https://www.faithinplace.org/water-preservation

Population(s) Served
Adults
Ethnic and racial groups
Health
Religious groups
Economically disadvantaged people

The actions that individual people and faith communities take to care for the Earth have a great impact. However, there are policies and systems that need to be changed to protect the land, air, and water that we all share. Our Advocacy programs mobilize people of faith to affect meaningful change in Illinois communities and amplify those voices in environmental discussions.

Learn more about Faith in Place's Environmental Advocacy Programs at: https://www.faithinplace.org/environmental-advocacy

Population(s) Served
Adults
Economically disadvantaged people
Religious groups
Ethnic and racial groups

Faith in Place empowers environmental education to youth leaders (ages 14-18) from across Illinois to become environmental justice leaders through our Eco-Ambassador Program. The program brings leaders from diverse fields to connect and educate with youth. Youth also complete leadership project using their skills, from dance to architecture, to care for our shared lands.

Learn more about our youth program at: https://www.faithinplace.org/youth-empowerment

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Religious groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people
Religious groups
Ethnic and racial groups
Young adults
Children and youth

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

ecoAmerica - American Climate Leadership Awards. Top 10 National Finalist. 2020

Chicago Wilderness Force of Nature Award for Outstanding Engagement of New Audiences 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people influenced to undertake conservation action

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Climate Change & Energy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

People educated to take action for smart energy.

Gallons of water saved over due to the organization's services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Water Preservation & Flooding Prevention

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Gallons of water prevented from entering the stormwater system because of Faith in Place's Water Preservation programs

Number of carbon emissions prevented (estimated by CO2 equivalent)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Ethnic and racial groups, Religious groups, Social and economic status

Related Program

Climate Change & Energy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Metric tons of Green House Gas prevented because of Faith in Place's Energy & Climate Change programs.

Number of individuals attending briefings and presentations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Religious groups, Economically disadvantaged people, Ethnic and racial groups

Related Program

Environmental Advocacy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of Faithful Citizens Workshops hosted

Total pounds of target crop harvested

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Sustainable Food & Land Use

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Pounds of Food Harvested from 6 Congregation Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farms in 2020 and 4 CSAs in 2019, 2018, 2017

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of youth participants in our Eco-Ambassador Program

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Since 1999, Faith in Place has empowered Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities. From our multifaith mission comes our emphasis on service and collaboration with environmental justice communities, i.e., marginalized urban and rural communities, typically of low-to-moderate income and often people of color, who are disproportionately vulnerable and impacted by polluted air, land, water, and climate change. We advance our environmental justice mission through five program areas – energy & climate change; sustainable food & land use; water preservation; advocacy; and youth leadership and empowerment.

Our programs are implemented in close collaboration with our faith partners who represent diverse religious traditions. We respect faith and social diversity and endeavor to make our programming relevant to people of any religion, geography, race, ethnicity, age, and socio-economic class. Our outreach capacity and program impact are statewide, with our 22 full-time staff strategically serving Lake County, Chicago, Chicago’s north and west suburbs, Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois.

Faith in Place implements our programming in collaboration with our faith partners and Green Teams, i.e., three or more members of a house of worship who provide cooperative leadership to implement environmental programming consistent with their faith community's unique culture, local context, and theological practices. Green Teams set goals, track progress, and celebrate accomplishments as they educate and motivate their faith community to incorporate environmental consciousness into all activities. Our outreach staff work alongside all Green Teams, "coaching" Green Teams to stay active, effective, and focused on goals with realistic timeframes and scopes. The twice-monthly coaching we provide all Green Teams is a two-way street: we listen and learn about issues, perspectives, and concerns important to their communities as we mentor teams as agents of change. What we learn from our Green Team partners fundamentally shapes what we do and how we do it.

The overriding principal of Faith in Place programming and outreach is that the messenger matters, i.e., if the messenger shares a common identity with the listener, is known and trusted, then the message, especially one that is new and challenging, is better received and positioned to inspire action and amplify impact. To that end we hire, especially in our outreach staff, from the communities we serve. Our outreach staff are trusted by their local community and fluent in local culture, history, and values. Green Team members are not only motivated volunteers with an urgent passion for environmental action; they are also trusted members of their house of worship. This relationship ensures that Green Teams reflect perspectives from inside their faith community, thus lending greater credibility and acceptance to their efforts. Through the coaching process, Green Teams and Faith in Place develop deep,
long-lasting relationships of mutual trust, respect, and collaboration, which in turn lead to accomplishments significantly greater than either party alone could achieve.

Faith in Place currently partners with over 360 faith partners and 183 Green Teams at diverse houses of worship located throughout Illinois. More than 60% of our Green Team partners are in low-income communities, and a significant percentage are in communities of color, particularly African American and Latinx.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Faith in Place works with people of faith through their house of worship and Green Team, especially from environmental justice communities, i.e., margialized urban and rural communities, typically of low-to-moderate income and often people of color, who are disproportionately vulnerable and impacted by polluted air land, water, and climate change. Our staff currently work statewide in Chicago, the north and west suburbs of Chicago, Lake County, Central Illinois, and Southern Illinois.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In the summer of 2020, Faith in Place launched our Think Tank Resiliency Project. Recognizing that our world is rapidly changing - e.g., COVID-19, a long overdue national reckoning with racial injustice, the urgency of the climate crisis - our think tanks engaged expert volunteers and those with lived experiences to help brainstorm ways to adapt our existing programs and/or create new ones to better serve our communities. More than 40 volunteers participated in our 6 think tanks, resulting in proposals covering a range of topics from empowering youth environmental leaders, digital disparities, and building resiliency with local food. These proposals will be part of long-term upcoming discussions as we formulate our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Faith in Place's collaboration with our faith partners and Green Teams is a two-way street - both Green Team members and Faith in Place staff practice active listening, resulting in real partnerships of mutual trust and respect. The relationship formed is a shared, collaborative leadership informs what we do and how we do it.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

FAITH IN PLACE
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

FAITH IN PLACE

Board of directors
as of 11/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Karen Lewis

Jalees Rehman

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago

Michael Zedek

Emanuel Congregation

Avijit Ghosh

University of Illinois System

David Johnson

Abraxas Group

Sodiqa Williams

Safer Foundation

Reshorna Fitzpatrick

Stone Temple Church

Corey Coscioni

West Monroe Partners

Caroline Williams

Downtown Islamic Center

Eileen Shanley-Roberts

Bexley Seabury

Alan Cook

Sinai Temple of Champaign-Urbana

Gwendolyn Webb

Trinity United Church of Christ

Karen Lewis

Hazon

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/11/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/16/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.