What We Do
Thanks to our role as a nonsectarian national nonprofit, Partners brings a unique perspective to the vital role that sacred places play as both houses of worship and as civic assets, as well as the potential of congregations to enliven and serve their larger communities. As historic places of worship face ever greater challenges from diminishing membership and resources, Partners has responded with an ever growing family of tools to strengthen and protect these important community assets, including:
Partners has been a research leader, defining and energizing the study of the public
value of religious assets with our 1998 landmark study, Sacred Places at Risk: New
Evidence on How Endangered Older Churches and Synagogues Serve Communities, and our
2016 study, The Economic Halo Effect of Sacred Places. Thanks to these studies, which
documented dozens of ways sacred places contribute to their communities and local
economies, congregations around the country are able to advocate for increased
Training & Support
Partners offers in-person and remote training and support to congregations and others
with older religious properties. Our signature program, New Dollars/New Partners, has
helped leaders from over 1,000 sacred places build their capacity, form new community
partnerships, and raise new funds from outside their congregations. Partners also
provides individualized support services, working one-on-one with congregations
to measure their community impact, facilitate space sharing, raise funds, deepen
engagement with their local communities, and more.
Partners has provided more than $5.2 million in capital grants to sacred places over the
last decade, which have been leveraged by recipients to secure an additional $32 million.
In 2016 Partners established the National Fund for Sacred Places in collaboration with
the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Fund is a grant-making
and capacity-building program to help significant historic sacred places successfully
complete major capital projects and to bring greater attention to the role of
sacred places in America.
Learn More About the National Fund for Sacred Places