Faith groups agree with and accept mainstream evidence. However, in some cases, faith groups find that the available evidence does not fully capture the role and contributions of faith groups to community well-being. Many faith-based groups find that faith offers a unique perspective on evidence. This may be for several reasons:

1. Other stakeholders don’t always understand how faith groups operate and their contributions to community well-being. Their models of data collection don’t always capture all of what faith groups may be interested in collecting.

2. Faith groups often see the outcomes of their work as different from what other stakeholders achieve. Faith groups often see holistic well-being and human growth in areas such as faith, hope, and trust to be the ultimate outcomes of their work. However, other stakeholders are unlikely to measure these areas. Faith groups increasingly see the need for additional people-centered tools that measure outcomes such as hope, faith, and love. Click for more information on Faith-Inspired Measurement & Metrics.

3. Faith groups have a unique and valuable perspective on how their work affects change in their communities (also known as Theory of Change). Evidence collection depends on the evidence collector’s perspective on how change is brought about in a community. Faith groups see faith and the divine playing a role in community change.

Next Section: How can faith groups get started or get better at collecting and using evidence?