Think about the YMCA, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity. What do they all have in common? (Besides, of course, the fact that each organization has made significant contributions to society.)
Each of them was founded as a faith-based organization. In other words, these organizations can trace their origins to a particular religious institution; and their missions are closely tied to a deep seeded desire to benefit others based upon these faith traditions. In addition to the organizations mentioned, many hospitals, and a large percentage of our nation’s colleges and universities were founded as extensions of a particular faith tradition. Their founders saw the work of the institutions as an extension of their religious beliefs. They viewed caring for the sick or providing education to young people, as faith in action.
Our Project Access program connects these local faith-based groups with experienced trainers and coaches to strengthen their overall effectiveness. The program hopes to strengthen these organizations by focusing on five core areas:
Information is provided to participants through individualized coaching, seminars/workshops, and peer to peer networking sessions. Training is conducted over a period of nine months.
We recognize that each faith-based group is unique and has varying levels of growth potential and we don’t assume that each participating program will become a large nonprofit organization with multiple programs and a large staff. That’s not realistic. The program simply affords each of these organizations the opportunity to increase their effectiveness at serving their constituents.
Joyful Noise Music School is an example of a program that has benefited from the training provided through Project Access. Joyful Noise, located in the Cudell neighborhood on Cleveland’s West Side, provides youth ages 3-13 an opportunity to learn how to create music, through free music lessons. Through the donation of time and used instruments from local musicians, Joyful Noise has become a wonderful vehicle for families who could not otherwise afford to provide this experience to their youth.
Check out Joyful Noise at the end of this video (around the 3:45 mark):