Home / Research / Reports

Doing Good Better: The Case for Faith–based Social Innovation

Doing Good Better: The Case for Faith–based Social Innovation

This report examines how faith organisations are responding to social need in innovative ways, and asks what can be learnt from them. (2017)

Interested by this? Share it on social media. Join our monthly e–newsletter to keep up to date with our latest research and events. And check out our Supporter Programme to find out how you can help our work.

In response to many of the most significant problems facing our communities, how can we achieve change?

Social innovation thinking is about how we can identify, develop, scale and sustain interventions which make a real difference in peoples’ lives. Doing Good Better: The Case for Faith–based Social Innovation argues that religious institutions and faith communities, who already have a strong track record in helping those in need should consider how social innovation can help them achieve greater impact in response to a range of social problems.

Doing Good Better looks at concrete examples of faith–based social innovation and asks what can be learnt from them. It argues that innovation depends on having the right kind of ‘engines’ – institutions which prioritise and incubate innovation, ‘fuel’ – funding which will scale and support innovation, and ‘drivers’ – social entrepreneurs that can lead innovation.

The social action of churches and other faith communities is much to the credit of religious groups, but putting these things in place will allow for an evolution in religious public action, ensuring that they can deepen their engagement with the communities which they already serve and work even more effectively in dealing with problems that blight people’s lives.

Paul Bickley is Director of Political Programme at Theos.

Image by Steven Depolo from available under this Creative Commons Licence

Paul Bickley

Paul Bickley

Paul is Head of Political Engagement at Theos. His background is in Parliament and public affairs, and he holds an MLitt from the University of St Andrews’ School of Divinity.

Watch, listen to or read more from Paul Bickley

Evangelism, Religion, Social Action, Welfare


See all


See all

In the news

See all


See all

Get regular email updates on our latest research and events.

Please confirm your subscription in the email we have sent you.

Want to keep up to date with the latest news, reports, blogs and events from Theos? Get updates direct to your inbox once or twice a month.

Thank you for signing up.