…Sustainable financial futures for nonprofit organizations of all kinds can be accomplished. In today’s landscape of dwindling giving and decreased interest, in general, long-term sustainability depends on, first, a full reliance on the Lord’s leading and, second, the implementation of financial strategies that follows Biblical principles.
One such strategy comes from industry expert, Sidney S. Williams, president and CEO of Crossing Capital Group Inc., who recently released a helpful acronym for establishing this case. Like Ambassador Advisors, he believes that churches and ministries should take advantage of the all available capital resources. We hope you find this simple and catchy concept helpful.
The acronym – F.I.S.H. – outlines four types of capital: faith capital, intellectual capital, social capital, and human capital.
“Established congregations face a climate of declining attendance, increased financial pressure, and a growing frustration with the decline in church membership,” said Williams. “The goal is to develop transformational ministries that have a real impact on the community, exercise good stewardship, and reward the commitment to doing ministry differently.”
Ambassador Advisors shares this conviction that our resources are gifts from God for us to steward, and ministries can have a true impact when they have an understanding of their finances and benefits available to them.
Faith capital – Building faith capital is based on building spiritual disciplines, such as tithing, according to Williams. Faithful members participating in regular giving can be one of the most valuable ways that an organization can involve its members in contributing in, not just to, its mission. Don’t be afraid to challenge your current supporters and their stewardship practices.
Intellectual capital – Collective skills, knowledge, and experiences are invaluable assets for any ministry or organization. This is important for any ministry that desires to appreciate the unique perspectives and personalities of those involved. Time is money. Make sure to utilize the time and talent of those who care about your organization.
Social capital – Networking is a valuable practice, especially in today’s hyper-connected world. Congregations and ministries should branch out beyond themselves and carefully select other ministry partners who share common faith and goals. Community partnership is a valuable key when it comes to effective ministry. Most donors support multiple organizations. Partnerships not only lead to potential operational and outreach efficiencies, but can also introduce you to new donors.
Human capital – Although overt spiritual outreach is often the main focus of ministries, programs that impact everyday life are highly coveted in many communities. Ministries that address problems we all face in our personal lives or in the community are tangible means to not only impact others, but to provide resources for those who may need it. Find new ways to get your organization out into the community with a deliverable for the marginalized and needy. Build an army of cheerleaders and promoters amongst those you serve.
The “nets” used to implement the F.I.S.H. strategy will vary in size and shape for each organization, but focusing your efforts on these capital resources, simultaneously and in a concerted manner, promises to yield a catch of both new supporters as well as reinvigorated current givers.
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