The study findings suggest several directions for future research into the role of FCLs and the implementation of Charitable Choice. These include:
- A further examination of the systemic changes that states have made to their procurement systems in order to expand partnerships with FBOs and protect service recipients religious freedom rights. Two of the FCLs in this study cited these changes as important in their states implementation of Charitable Choice and efforts to educate stakeholders about both opportunities and responsibilities. Future work could investigate more broadly where this has occurred across the states, what types of specific changes to the contracting or grant-making process or documents have been made, and what the apparent effect has been.
- A broader exploration, across all state FCLs, to examine the activities they have undertaken to educate key stakeholders about Charitable Choice regulations. A study of the activities of all 36 FCLs, looking at what they do and do not do to educate FBOs and state and local agency staff about Charitable Choice regulations, would help identify the hurdles and opportunities they face in more detail, and suggest potential ways to address them.
- Further study of the FCLs capacity-building efforts. Such an exploration could help policymakers and practitioners to understand better the most effective capacity-building approaches for FBCOs seeking to partner with government. It could also assess, to the extent possible, the effect of these efforts on the number and nature of state and local partnerships with FBCOs.
- A systematic assessment of FBOs understanding of the opportunities and requirements of Charitable Choice. A survey or other somewhat systematic examination of FBOs knowledge about Charitable Choice would provide valuable information about whether there remains a significant need for more or better education. Gauging more precisely the extent and areas of uncertainty among FBOs receiving federal funds would also help federal and state policymakers and officials, as well as FCLs and others, identify where greater clarity and guidance is needed.