One of the difficult things about non-profit ministry leadership is the fact that we are in two separate businesses.
In for-profit, marketplace sector businesses, their product or service is also their revenue stream. In most non-profit related ministries, the service or product isn’t designed to provide revenue (or all the revenue needed) so they essentially have two business going:
- The business of providing a SERVICE
- The business of generating REVENUE
It’s easy to lose focus when you have two different major components happening. In smaller organizations, the burden of each these typically falls on one person or a small team of people. I have found that for a while, I will be too focused on one side or the other, then have to shift for a while to get things on track.
The fact is, that without money, the mission will falter. We need to keep the door open and the lights on. However, there is another fact in the mix: God’s economy is unlike any other and provision comes through the faithfulness of the church (1 Cor 16).
Here are a couple thoughts I have about the business of generating revenue for non-profits:
- First of all, I’m so grateful, and will forever be grateful to those who financially support Harvest Ministry.You mean the world to us!
- Someone must be in charge of raising money for the ministry – the person burdened with the vision/calling will most often be the best suited for this role.
- For those of you who serve in non-profit ministries, change your thinking with this one small tweak: You don’t have to do this, you get to do it! You could always quit and go get another job, that would be simple. But for now, you are called to serve in this ministry – enjoy it.
- Often, something new on the service or product side of the non-profit ministry will be a catalyst for raising money. Leverage those moments to inspire, encourage, invite and thank your support team.
- Generating revenue for a non-profit ministry is not “begging people for money” it’s better described as “giving people an opportunity to give.” People feel good about giving toward something that is making an eternal difference.
- Tell the stories… people respond to people and stories about their lives. Don’t get stuck talking about numbers and budgets.
- If you’re being drained raising money, you’re not doing it right. (Henri Nowen, read more here)
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