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Strategies to Start a Nonprofit Ministry

This presentation, by Michael Liimatta, founder and Addiction Studies Program Director at City Vision University, explains 3 key questions, 4 failure factors, and several strategies for developing a new ministry or nonprofit startup.

In the beginning of his presentation, Liimatta notes that the book of Nehemiah gives a Biblical perspective on starting up a nonprofit ministry. "Building the Kingdom is spiritual warfare," he says. You should "expect opposition" - from both the community and even perhaps the Church. This will require prayer to be overcome.

Following that, Liimatta outlines 3 key questions for starting a ministry. First, "is this type of ministry...the best approach for meeting the needs of your particular city or area"? Second, are there enough resources, financial, staffing, and otherwise, to sustain the ministry? Third, who else is doing this work already in your area, and would it be better to collaborate rather than start something new?

Then, Liimatta lists 4 factors that cause ministries to fail: "immature or unqualified leadership," "disunity among staff," "poor image in the community," and "lack of financial resources and accountability." In the next section of the presentation he discussed each of these ministry development challenges, describing how to overcome ministry roadblocks.

First, Liimatta notes that nonprofit ministry leadership must be godly, teachable, and know how to delegate. Second, he describes how nonprofit board members should hold the organization accountable. Third, he describes how to use nonprofit volunteers effectively: getting to know volunteers personally, and asking ministry volunteers to donate. Fourth, he notes that the community image of the ministry is first built through the organizational board and others in nonprofit leadership. He also notes that it is key to write a good nonprofit mission statement that articulates the key ministry goals. Fifth, he mentions establishing financial and legal accountability, such as registering as a nonprofit and getting QuickBooks nonprofit edition through TechSoup. Sixth and finally, he discusses where the money comes from to fund your nonprofit mission, noting that it is most likely to come from people who know your ministry well. He lists who the "low hanging fruit" are who fit into this model of seeking donations.