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Learn the Multi-generational Perspectives on Fundraising

These days we are challenged to think multi-generational!  Here you will find three different perspectives written by contributors from three different generations. We examine the impact that Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers have had on fundraising, and how to best target them in your direct response communications.

The Millennial Mystery

Let’s begin with the youngest perspective in our multi-generational perspective on fundraising.

Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) are blossoming into the largest generation by population and are expected to surpass Baby Boomers (born between 1943 and 1964) this year. Yes, the Boomers.

Yet despite Millennials embracing technology, social activism, and wanting to make a tangible difference in the world, one thing hasn’t changed between generations—the life cycle of donors and their capacity to give.

Generally speaking, Millennials are not in the financial position to support your organization in the way that Baby Boomers or Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1980) currently do, so you need to find different ways to engage this audience.

Remembering that this current generation has grown up on a steady diet of social media, it’s advisable to begin by focusing on building relationships in the digital space. Reach Millennials where they are, speak their language, and give them opportunities to contribute outside of a financial commitment. These are passionate advocates and great volunteers and will even give small gifts as they are able. Your end game is to get them engaged and keep them engaged especially as they, and their giving potential, matures.

X Marks the Spot

Next up to help us shape our multi-generational perspective on fundraising is Generation X.

While Generation X has largely been overshadowed by the philanthropic prowess of Boomers and the giving potential held by Millennials, this is a generation of donors that is predicted to exceed the charitable giving of Boomers within the next 10 years.

With Generation X donors poised to become your most profitable donors, your communication strategies must evolve too. The bottom line is that if you’re still using the same direct response approach you were a few decades ago, then you may not be equipped to reach them.

Gen Xers are a generation of skeptics, holding a unique ability to respond to direct mail as well as in digital mediums. A multi-channel communication plan is the key to getting them to respond.

Include Generation X donors in both your direct mail and digital streams and follow up your appeals with a prompt report. Remember, this is a generation that is both savvy and skeptical, so they want to know their money is being prudently used and see their gifts making an impact.

Generation Xers have the capacity and the desire to move your mission forward so tailor your communications with that hope in mind.

Boomers are Still Booming

And rounding out our multi-generational perspective is the boomers!

Having concerns about reaching a younger demographic is nothing new. Only today, the groups are different. The fundraising conversations heard within every non-profit during the 1980’s was:

“What are we going to do when our older donors retire or can no longer give?”

As organizations worked to find a way to supplement the income gleaned from the Silent Generation (born between 1927 and 1946), the biggest challenge they faced was an upcoming generation (the Boomers) that seemed disinterested in supporting nonprofits (sound familiar?).

Yet despite the worry, it was the wise and experienced voices that were heard saying, “The next generation will be great donors when they get old enough!” And they were right.

History shows that when a demographic reaches their late 40s/early 50s they want to make a lasting difference in the world and will give generously to see that happen. To attract these profitable donors, you need to be ready, agile, and have a trusted fundraising counsel providing you with guidance and direction. Are you ready to think multi-generational in your approach to fundraising?

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Wiley Stinnett is the Executive Creative Director and Senior Vice President, Strategy and Insights at Douglas Shaw & Associates. Wiley’s 34 years of highly successful direct response fundraising experience provides clients with a wealth of proven strategic insights and ideas based on real-world experience   with dozens of ministries. Wiley continues to utilize direct mail, web, digital, radio, television, and events in maximizing the income and growth of all Douglas Shaw & Associates clients.

Adam Petraglia is an Associate Consultant at Douglas Shaw & Associates. His strong heart for service, project management skills, and focus on walking alongside his clients has continued to help deliver outstanding results for those he serves.

Jonathan Steck is the Creative Director for Douglas Shaw & Associates. He is an innovative fundraising professional who brings over a decade of direct response copywriting, design, and creative experience to Douglas Shaw & Associates. A native of Australia, Jonathan is passionate about storytelling and using his direct response skills to help people succeed, and organizations grow.

SUMMER TERM 2019 REGISTRATION IS OPEN

Registration Deadline: June 17, 2019
Modules Begin: June 24, 2019

LEARN MORE  & ENROLL TODAY!

The post Multi-generational Fundraising By Stinnett, Petraglia & Steck appeared first on CLA.

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The Strange (and Christ-like) Response to Crisis

Think back to the last time you faced a significant, critical need or crisis with woefully inadequate resources to meet it, when you had to accomplish something great and your assets to achieve it were meager. Was it last year, last month, last week, this morning?

Every leader has faced the gut-wrenching dilemma of being asked to accomplish the extraordinary without the means to do so. The result is crisis. There are expectations, requirements, even demands on us to ‘make bricks without straw’ to quote the lament of the children of Israel under Egyptian oppression.

Perhaps our first response was to pray. Commendable. But how do we pray in such times? For me, my prayers have gone something like this,

“Dear Lord, you know the size of this great task before us and how little resources we have to accomplish it. Help us, Lord. We need a miracle. This is your work, and yet there never seems to be enough to get it done. Lord, you own the cattle on a thousand hills, I implore you in your mercy, hear our prayer, meet this need, pour out your blessings on us that we might do this work you have called us to do.”

Pretty good prayer. Sound somewhat familiar? Then what comes next? I usually wait for God to act. When the miracle happens and resources are found, then we move ahead and do the work. That’s my pattern; try not to panic, pray fervently for a miracle, and wait on the Lord.

I always considered this approach to be rather holy. That is, until I was caught up short by a most familiar story. We’ve all read it countless times but hear it again and see if you catch what so stunned me.

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”  “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

“Bring them here to me,” he said.  And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. (Matthew 14)

Did you catch it? Jesus, faced with an insurmountable need and ridiculously meager resources to meet it, does what we all do. He prays…and gives thanks to God.

Wait, what!?

He gave thanks? That’s all? No pleading, no cajoling, no playing on God’s mercy or reminding God of His promises?

Nope. All Jesus does is give thanks for what God has provided. He doesn’t focus on what he doesn’t have, what was lacking or the size of the gap between need and resource. He simply holds up the paltry provision and says, ‘thanks!’ Clearly, he knew what God provided was enough.

Amazing, isn’t it? How often do we thank God for what He provides when it seems so inadequate? How often do we stay focused on what we don’t have instead of thanking God for what He provided?

And here’s the second part of what I found so convicting. Jesus didn’t wait for the loaves and fish to suddenly explode into a mountain of food. No, without hesitation, he took the pitiable portion and put it to use. He gave it to the disciples in faith, and they began feeding people. When God’s provision is appreciated and put to immediate use, miracles happen. Jesus focused on what he had and he inspired the disciples to act in faith.

As steward leaders we are often called to step out in faith and act boldly with seemingly insufficient resources. When we do, let me ask in light of Matthew 14,

Are our prayers ones of thanks, of faith, of recognizing God’s abundance?

      “He gave thanks”

Do we invest what we have with faith, not waiting for the miracle first?

      “Then he gave them to the disciples”

Do we steward our people to invest God’s resources with faith in His provision?

      “And the disciples gave them to the people”

Are we seeing miracles in our ministry as a result?

      “They all ate and were satisfied”

It may seem strange to respond to crisis in this way, but it is the Christ-like action of a steward leader. May God grant us the faith to follow His example.

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Scott Rodin  is president of The Steward’s Journey and Kingdom Life Publishing. He also runs Rodin Consulting, Inc. He is a Senior Fellow of the Association of Biblical Higher Education and is past board chair of ChinaSource and the Evangelical Environmental Network.

If you are a Christian nonprofit leader,  you don’t need to go it alone. Today you can join the Christian Leadership Alliance community of leaders who share your purpose and are willing to share what they know to help you grow.  Become a member of the Alliance and you will grow professionally, develop valuable relationships, and receive the encouragement you need to keep on going!

Learn More & Join Today!

The post Your Response to Crisis By Scott Rodin appeared first on CLA.

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Are You a Disquieted Soul?

Do you know what is stirring in your soul?

It happened again this past Monday. A dedicated, successful, and hard-working Christian leader told me about the problems within the organization he leads. He listed a number of tell-tale markers as he expressed his frustrations. When he was done, I paused, noting the pain written all across his face. I then asked: “Is it possible that your personal issues have colored or clouded your perceptions?”

In this case, the answer is sadly a clear yes. I’ve already recommended Jerry and Denise Basel’s landmark book, The Missing Commandment: Love Yourself. Next up is Lane Cohee’s brand-new book, The Disquieted Soul.

Dr. Cohee is an Associate Professor of Management at Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Rinker School of Business. He’s also a former business leader in the aerospace and defense sector. His personal story is instructive. This is an excerpt of the forward to his book,  The Disquieted Soul.

In early 2017 I defended my doctoral dissertation. The event was a landmark in my professional journey, integrating research from the academy with years of experience as a business leader. I’d graduated in record time and enjoyed a successful first career. I possessed many of the trappings that would suggest a prosperous life.

But as with many who are blessed with some achievement, there was another side to my story. My life was chaotic. I drank too much. I was in lousy physical condition. I was a mediocre father and a poor husband. For all my success as a provider, my closest personal relationships were a mess.

Not coincidentally I was in lousy spiritual condition as well. I’d committed myself to the Christian faith nearly 35 years before but was running on fumes. Like a middle-ager living in his high school glory days, spiritual progress was a distant memory. I could still talk a good game based on years of residual knowledge, but I was marking time. I’d been going through the motions for a long while.

I once had a friend call me one of those “tortured souls.” By that he meant I was clearly prone to overanalyze, over-worry, over-perform, and over-do. I was restless, impatient, discontented, and anxious. I was driven to perfectionistic extremes and addictive tendencies. Internal turbulence, disorder, and even recklessness were regular companions. Peace, stability, and harmony were not. My friend could as easily have called me one of those “disquieted souls.” And the more I lived, the more I observed that I was not alone.

I’ve listened to many Christian stories, and mine isn’t unique. We get to mid-life and we become content and lazy. We rest on our spiritual laurels—past knowledge and past service. We learn to enjoy the creature comforts of this life way too much. We stop attending to our souls, instead keeping them anesthetized with everything this life has to offer.

But God wasn’t finished with me. Bit by bit he began putting me back on the treadmill, dealing with my coping mechanisms, spiritual sloth, and addictions.

One of Cohee’s pastors, the Rev. Jerry Klemm, senior pastor of Covenant Church in Palm Bay, Florida, tells the rest of the story. It’s the story of restoring a disquieted soul.

“When I first met Lane Cohee, he was in the middle of the journey he now so transparently shares. What a pleasure it has been to see his physical, spiritual, and relational transformation into the man he is today! He speaks with the voice of experience and hard-learned wisdom. Lane offers clear insights to all of us who repeatedly feel like we are one step away from failing at what is most important in life.”

What about your own story?

Is it possible that your personal issues have colored or clouded your perceptions? If so, Cohee’s full story offers both paths of discovery and deliverance. You can watch or read it online at www.disquietedsoul.com.

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David Sanford  is a consultant coaching men and women of influence. He enjoys working with a small handful of clients who are proven leaders within key spheres of life: academic, business, entertainment, non-profit, sports, etc. On occasion, he works with a new or returning client.

If your call has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you.

Through the Alliance you will experience professional development around the disciplines essential to operate your ministry with excellence. You will connect with a community of leaders who share your passion for advancing the Gospel and are willing to give you all the inspiration you need to keep running your race.

Today is your day! Discover the transformational experience of belonging.

Lean more about joining Christian Leadership Alliance.

The post A Disquieted Soul By David Sanford appeared first on CLA.

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In Business and Life, it’s people first every time!

When it comes to organizational effectiveness, a business that works must have a people-first attitude. My question is how do we value people and, by doing so, build a strong business that attracts and retains the right people? How do we create a workplace where people enjoy coming to every day and aren’t looking at other job opportunities? How can we treat people with kindness, dignity, and respect; to show love even when giving a rebuke or ending employment? Bottom-line: how do we put the “human” back into human resources?

PEOPLE ARE CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF A BUSINESS

Think of the infrastructure of your business like a stool with four legs: finance, operations, technology, and people. The leg with the greatest variability, most prone to being weakened from the inside out, and at the greatest risk of hampering or collapsing the stool is your people. Finance, operations, and technology all have their challenges, but it is the people who make the judgments and decisions that determine the finances, it is people who perform or design the operational processes, and it is people who design and program the technology.

PEOPLE ARE UNIQUE AND AREN’T EASY TO CONTROL

Processes and systems are put in place to simplify, control and guide business outcomes, but when it comes to people, managers too often resort to ineffective practices, such as micromanagement, to control individual behavior to achieve organizational results. Such practices rarely work and do not attract and retain the best employees. Human variables are complex and exceed what a process, system, or leader can control.

Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall in their recent book, “Nine Lies About Work” say it well, “…the true power of human nature is that each human’s nature is unique, and …expressing this through our work is an act, ultimately, of love.” They said that they wrote the book “…for any leader frustrated by the attempts of his or her organization to exert control and impose uniformity. Buckingham and Goodall wrote the book for “a leader who embraces a world in which the weird uniqueness of each individual is seen not as a flaw to be ground down but as a mess worth engaging with, the raw material for all healthy, ethical, thriving organizations….”

TAKE CARE OF YOUR PEOPLE

Take care of your people and you will have the greatest opportunity to impact the effectiveness of the organization. It reminds me of the P-PC principle from Stephen Covey‘s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” based on the story of the goose and the golden egg. The golden egg = production (“P”) – the outcome the business owner desires; the goose represents production capability (“PC”) – how the work gets done, it’s the people! When a leader takes care of the goose then golden eggs will continue to be produced.

The issues are complex but consider taking an intentional step this year that values your people in a new way, it could be as simple as providing a word of appreciation or developing your managers to value the people.

CONCLUSION

As you take steps to focus on your people you will strengthen your business, attract and retain the best employees, and nurture the desired culture. What is one thing you can do this next year that will positively impact your work culture and business outcomes?

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Rusty Faulks is Founding Principal of Windwood Partners, an HR Consultancy based in Nashville. Windwood Partners is all about people. They provide workforce solutions that make business sense for small to mid-sized businesses and non-profit organizations.

If your call has has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you.

Through the Alliance you will experience professional development around the disciplines essential to operate your ministry with excellence. You will connect with a community of leaders who share your passion for advancing the Gospel and are willing to give you all the inspiration you need to keep running your race.

Today is your day! Discover the transformational experience of belonging.

Lean more about joining Christian Leadership Alliance.

The post Cultivating a People First Attitude By W. Rusty Faulks appeared first on CLA.

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Did you know stewards ask questions?

In a world where we are bombarded with a never-ending torrent of information, all of which seems to be grabbing at our attention, we would be wise to slow down and ask ourselves some core questions in an effort to focus and filter what we allow to shape us as God’s stewards.  We can learn some great lessons from Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36-46); on the night of his betrayal, his purposes were ultimately defined by and subjected to the Father.

Scripture tells us that our Lord agonized to the point of death over taking up the cup of wrath, even requesting the Father take the cup away if possible.  Jesus asked three times that the burden of taking on the sins of the world would be removed, but each time he ended the request by submitting his will to the will of the Father.  Of the many lessons we could learn from this passage, the most comforting for me is the fact that Jesus submitted to the plan of the Father.  When we don’t know what to do and we seem to have wandered out into the wilderness on our own, we can get back on our knees and submit to the Father.

I enjoy praying early in the mornings while I walk through our neighborhood.  In the past month or so as I walk and pray, I have intentionally asked myself,

Who do I really work for?  What are my rights and privileges?

What are my duties and obligations?

How do I assess my impact on others?

Who has benefited from my stewardship?

Who should benefit from my stewardship?

These questions have given me a sense of reality as I navigate the complexities of relationships and responsibilities I encounter on a daily basis.

I present each of these questions before God with my hands open facing toward the sky, as I ask God to align my answers with his purposes.  I am a living, thinking being created in the image of God, one who has fears, doubts about my capabilities, and feelings that are affected by what others think of me.  Praying through these questions helps align my worth back to where it belongs, as a steward of the most high God.  I am grateful for those times of prayer where the torrent of information vying for my attention is silenced, and I can submit my will to the will of the Father.

What questions could you pray though that would help you submit your will to God?

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Howard Rich is the CFO of Global Disciples.  Howard is a life-long advocate of generous living and desires to see Christians lead from a heart of stewardship and generosity.

If your call has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you!

Lean More About Christian Leadership Alliance Membership.

The post Stewards Ask Questions By Howard Rich appeared first on CLA.

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How to Build Board Unity at Your Ministry

As an executive director of a Christian ministry, you have the opportunity to work with a board of directors. In my experience, board members come from all sorts of different backgrounds: business owners, business executives, stay-at-home-moms, teachers, lawyers and the list goes on. Engaging with such diversity can be challenging.

So, how do we do this well?

The Board’s Role

First, let’s remember what the role of our non-profit board is:

  • To protect the mission of the ministry.
  • To live by the governing values of the ministry.
  • To hire and monitor the performance of the executive director.
  • To ensure the organization has the necessary resources to fulfill its mission; along with monitoring and developing policies as necessary.
  • To help the ministry accomplish an agreed upon vision.

As a leader, you set the tone from the outset. This means striking a balance between doing your work while productively collaborating with your board in the best interest of the ministry.

When we don’t strive to build a healthy partnership with our directors, it tends to lead to micro-management by the board. It also allows for a strong temptation to undermine and act without permission or approval by the executive leadership. This becomes an exhausting cycle. Productivity and morale both suffer while the internal fight becomes the focus and the goals of the vision take a back seat.

5 Qualities of a Thriving Board

To avoid this cycle, or to stop an ongoing one—focus on what matters most—people. My encouragement to you as a director: build relationships with your board chair and other key leaders of the board, just like you would with a major donor. Create an atmosphere where your vision can thrive and you can achieve ministry goals. An atmosphere where:

(1) Mission Is Everything

Make sure the organization has a clear view of the ministry’s mission and the members of the board and staff will work together to protect that mission now and in the future.

(2) Everyone Is Committed to Giving Time

All members should attend scheduled meetings and the time spent at these meetings should monitor progress. Make sure all necessary materials get to directors in advance of meetings. Use meetings to build a shared vision with your board, define the direction of the ministry, and to give your team benchmarks to achieve and track success.

(3) Everyone Is Committed to Giving Their Talents

Get to know your board members and their talents. In your diverse directors, God has given you amazing resources that can help your ministry accomplish its vision. Spend time with each one, encouraging them to use their talent.

(4) Everyone is Committed to Giving Their Treasure

Remember, everything starts with leadership. So, this too, starts with you. Are you giving to the ministry you represent? Next, board members must know they cannot serve without giving of their treasure to the ministry. It does not matter if the gift is $5 or $5 million—everyone must give. If the board is not leading in this area it will reflect in the staff and even the fundraising department. Talk openly with every director about the heart issue of giving, the power of generosity, and the multiplication you will experience after you start from within.

(5) Everyone Is United in Accomplishing a Vision

Vision creates unity in a ministry. 70% of every board meeting should be about the progress of that vision. At each meeting, they should ask, “How can we help move the vision forward?” There is great power in unity. Consistently meet with your directors and highly value those relationships. As your relationships strengthen, you’ll find that the diversity of the board is second to the shared vision that brings you unity, and that diversity will become an asset.

Leadership Challenge—Board Unity

Directors, this is a leadership challenge. That’s good news, because you are a strong leader.

So, spend time cultivating trusting relationships. And focus on building a shared vision. By doing this you are putting the ground work into growing a board that can consider change and innovation for the sake of the ministry and the vision. And ultimately for the glory and honor of God.

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Randy Bronkema is a Senior Consultant with Dickerson, Bakker & Associates. He helps leaders of Christian organizations rise to the next level through focused vision and fundraising—ultimately, desiring bringing our culture closer to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

If your call has has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you.

Through the Alliance you will experience professional development around the disciplines essential to operate your ministry with excellence. You will connect with a community of leaders who share your passion for advancing the Gospel and are willing to give you all the inspiration you need to keep running your race.

Today is your day! Discover the transformational experience of belonging.

Lean more about joining Christian Leadership Alliance.

The post How to Build Board Unity By Randy Bronkema appeared first on CLA.

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Keep Pace with Your Employee’s Compensation!

Christian Leadership Alliance and Compensation Resources, Inc. are pleased to open participation in the 2019 Compensation Survey Report for Christian Organizations.  This annual survey is designed to capture compensation and related data for a variety of leadership and staff positions within Christian organizations.

We invite all Christian nonprofit organizations to take part in this survey. That includes para church, church and educational institutions. Your participation is encouraged. We are stronger when we work together and compensation is an important way we honor God in what we do.

The deadline to complete the survey is June 5, 2019.

Please click ONLINE to complete the survey.  If you prefer to submit your responses in hard copy form, click here to download the questionnaire.

What’s Covered
  • Pay practices by organizational revenue, employee size, entity type, region, salary and bonus data, and benefits information for various benchmarks
  • Statistical measurements such as an average, median, and percentile data
  • Benefits and retirement packages (including paid time off)
  • Estimated salary increase for 2020
  • Policies regarding perquisites (cell phones, training allowances,  sabbaticals, automobile allowances, and more
  • Turnover statistics
  • Job classifications: leadership, administrative, church, finance, health, human resources, information systems, maintenance, marketing, public relations, media,  membership services and more
Your Data

Individual information will be kept under the strictest of confidence. All the data will be pooled; hence, individual responses cannot be traced back to any organization in particular. Your feedback matters so please respond candidly!

New reduced pricing for 2019!

Participants in the survey:

  • Complimentary to Platinum/Founders Council and Gold Members
  • $120 for Individual/Silver Members
  • $269 for Non-Members

Non-participants in the survey:

  • $299 for Silver, Gold/Platinum/Founders Council Members
  • $199 for Individual Members
  • $349 for Non-Members
Deadline/Release Date

The deadline to complete the survey is June 5, 2019.  Release date is mid-October, 2019.

Questions

Contact Sean Gimpel
Compensation Resources, Inc.
310 Route 17 North
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458-2308
(201) 934-0505, srg@compensationresources.com, or
Kelly Dale, Membership Coordinator, CLA
(949) 487-0900, ext. 116, kelly.dale@christianleadershipalliance.org

LAST CALL

Your voice matters. The more that participate in this survey, the better the data. We encourage to invest time into this tool so that it can be an effective guide for all! Click on the image below and begin taking this online survey!

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If your call has has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you.

Through the Alliance you will experience professional development. You will connect with a community of leaders who share your passion for advancing the Gospel and are willing to give you all the inspiration you need to keep running your race.

Today is your day! Discover the transformational experience of belonging.

Lean more about joining Christian Leadership Alliance.

The post Take the Compensation Survey 2019! appeared first on CLA.

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The Sower: A Book Review

Are you tired of raising money and wish you could be a sower, who focuses on people who love God and give generously out of their love relationship?

In the book, The Sower: Redefining the Ministry of Raising Kingdom Resources , Rodin and Hoag provide a thoroughly biblical foundation and reorientation for our approach to fundraising. They show us that God wants us to stop focusing on raising money and to start disciple people to become godly stewards.

Additionally, this book is filled with wise, practical advice for how to make this shift. The distinction between God’s role and our responsibilities will set you free and allow you to discover what could become the most meaningful season of our work.

THE SHIFT

We’ve made this “shift” at One Challenge. The Stewardship Ministries department has written and adopted a “Philosophy of Ministry” (POM) document that articulates, in specific details, how we interact with our donors, exhorting them to be rich toward God (Luke 12:21).

THE RESULTS

We have witnessed an increase in income across the board/individuals have increased in their generosity/the number of foundation-donations have gone up annually and the start of multiple grants per year has begun. We pray regularly for our donors. This model replaces manipulative techniques and closing strategies with a dependence on prayer and relationship-building as the essential tools for success.

####

Rich Haynie is currently the Senior Director of Stewardship Ministries at One Challenge International.  He served 24 years in the United States Air Force and has been helping Christian non-profits find resources for their Kingdom work for 35 years.

If your call has has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you.

Through the Alliance you will experience professional development. You will connect with a community of leaders who share your passion for advancing the Gospel and are willing to give you all the inspiration you need to keep running your race.

Today is your day! Discover the transformational experience of belonging.

Lean more about joining Christian Leadership Alliance.

The post The Sower By Rich Haynie appeared first on CLA.

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3 Easy Ways to Be Infected with Joy

Smiles are rare these days but if there were a time you might expect to see them, it would be during the vacation season. Yet families trudge through with frowns almost as if they were at work and school.

Back at home, the stern expression of time pressure captures the face of nearly everyone at the department store, the bank, the post office and, yes, even the church.

And then there’s the oddball. She’s the lady that stands in a long line at the airport, surrounded by complainers as if they didn’t exist. She smiles sweetly at the employee who breaks the news that her flight was cancelled. He’s the man that works the same mundane job year after year and whistles a happy tune even when no one is listening.

What’s wrong with these people? Don’t they know the world is falling apart? Do they miss the breaking news every hour and on the half? There is one possibility.  They may be infected with “Joy,” a rare condition found in a small segment of Christians.

Unlike most mental and spiritual conditions, joy is useful to help manage all the negative situations of life and its secret in is the production of a mysterious strength. You too can be infected. Here are three easy ways to help guarantee your own personal infusion of joy.

Say It Out Loud

Words spoken out loud have a powerful impact. They travel from your lips to your ears and into your emotions. Positive affirmations are a common tool of the highly successful and are used daily to create confidence and drive.

But what if you spoke, out loud, the words of God over your life?

It may be true that you got behind on your mortgage, you received a questionable medical report, your dog ran away and you got news that your mother in law is moving in “Temporarily.” Life is taking a turn for the worse.

But when the sounds of praise and provision ring out continuously then what’s “True” will be overcome by ‘The Truth.”

” And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Scriptures that address a specific issue, spoken in faith, out loud and consistently, will not only tap into the emotions but into the very resource that is God Himself. Such a power infused faith could heal a disease, tap into new resources, bring a dog back home and, unfortunately, keep your mother in law around indefinitely.

Give Something Away

You’ve probably heard my little saying, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”  Or maybe Jesus said that in Acts 20:35.

The point is, there is an area in the brain that generates a sense of pleasure when you give. Scientifically, this area is known as the “Gizmo.” It seems, at least this time, that God’s word was ahead of medical science.

Have you ever noticed how excited people get when they give gifts? “Open it!”  It’s difficult to match their enthusiasm even when you receive the lighted electric reindeer sweater you had recurring dreams about. Giving is just fun.

You may not be able to give a million dollars to save the dolphins in the jungles of Africa but you can give a word of encouragement. You can give an unusually large tip to a needy waitress or bring a treat to a hard working co-worker. You have to start somewhere.

Giving creates a sense of joy. Employ it wherever you can.

Get With It

A looming problem can be a thief of joy but it’s amazing how much optimism is released at the first action to overcome it.

Solutions often require co-operation. Getting out of debt, for example, might require sacrifice, training and that socially unacceptable term, “Budgeting.” Weight loss and six pack abs don’t come from your devotional time unless you pray long prayers while doing sit ups.

There is a time, in utter dependence, to quietly wait in faith. And there is a time to be aggressive, even angry about the muck and mire with which the enemy attempts to burden you.

It takes faith to step out and attack a problem greater than yourself but that’s often where you find God waiting to move.

You too can be infected with joy but, unlike a distressing virus, joy refuses to invade without your permission. It has to be contracted on purpose and, in that, you have much control.

####

Matt Fore is a humorist, speaker and comedy magician who serves as the main stage performer for corporate as well as Christian conferences and Churches around the country as he has for the past twenty five years. To learn more visit Matt’s website!

If your call has has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you.

Through the Alliance you will experience professional development. You will connect with a community of leaders who share your passion for advancing the Gospel and are willing to give you all the inspiration you need to keep running your race.

Today is your day! Discover the transformational experience of belonging.

Lean more about joining Christian Leadership Alliance.

The post Infected with Joy By Matt Fore appeared first on CLA.

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Ministry Resilience –  3 Ways to Bounce Back

In life and ministry,  resilience is essential because it is  inevitable to go through tough times that seem impossible. Pushing through a challenge with unrelenting determination. Simply not giving up when you want to call it quits. Doing things that you don’t feel like doing in order to achieve your goal.

What personally comes to mind when you think about resilience? What’s your frame of reference?

POW Resilience

Resilience was a matter of life and death for the Vietnam POWs. For our families back home, resilience was the only way they could have a life.

There were numerous reasons we POWs were able to resist, endure torture, and bounce back. First of all, we were a competitive and optimistic group. But much of what enabled us to hang in there for 5, 6, 7, or 8 years related to our sense of duty. Duty, the indispensable attribute taught in virtually every leadership training program, is built on a foundation of faithfulness, character, responsibility, and commitment. We were resilient because we were faithfully committed to each other and to our country.

My parents, Molene and Leon, and my brother, Robert, and his wife, Pat, took it as their duty and act of resilience to support me and other POW/MIAs. They made speeches, wrote letters, gave interviews, and worked unceasingly, doing everything possible to engage our community and outlying region in our cause.

The Fuel of Resilience at Work

Resilience empowered by duty and belief is vital to all organizational success.

It takes many different forms in response to various needs. In the face of an economic slump or competitive challenge, a ministry leader may have to struggle tenaciously for support, and even survival. An organizational layoff may force the remaining staff to persevere under a heavier workload. A manager with an unprofessional boss may have to shield other staff from irrational decisions and hostile behaviors, while still remaining loyal.

One COO with whom I worked had to navigate through a professional minefield. She wanted to remain completely loyal to her boss, but she found herself regularly challenging him about questionable decisions that were undermining the foundation of the organization and draining energy from the leadership team. Eventually, however, the President’s poor judgment crossed the line in several areas, resulting in his removal.

Because this COO had exhibited such a strong sense of duty and loyalty throughout this period, the organization continued to perform at a high level during a very stressful time. As is often the case, the resilience of this one person was crucial to the resilience of the organization.

3 Insights About Resilience

What are the critical points of resilience that are needed during challenging times to emerge with victory?

  1. Life is a battle, and we all get knocked down. The challenge is to stay in the battle and fight to get back on your feet. It’s hard to defeat someone who won’t quit.
  1. You must believe in yourself. There are cycles and seasons, and we all go through ups and downs. You must believe that you can work through the challenges that come your way.
  1. You can’t fight this battle alone. POWs learned that isolation is a powerful weapon of the enemy. Have people around you who will encourage you—speaking truth into your life about who you are and how valuable you are.
Preparing for Resilience

One key is to plan before resilience is needed! Here’s a list to review and consider which of these areas need work for you or your leadership team –

– Roots                                     – Forgiveness

– Values                                    – Deepest Desires

– Faith                                      – Vision for the Future

– Role Models                           – Past Experiences

– Determination                        – Others

– Courage                                 – Gratitude

My free infographic goes deeper on each item in this list. (link to infographic –  https://www.leadingwithhonor.com/infographic-12-point-resilience-checklist/ ) If you gain personal insight on any of these items, you’ll be more resilient when facing the next challenge.

You Must Bounce Back

Authentic leaders know that life is difficult. They expect to get knocked down, and they have the proper attitude and outlook to persevere. You have a choice about how you will respond to difficulties. Confront the brutal realities of your situation, but never give up hope. Develop your plan, connect with your support team, and bounce back.

####

Lee Ellis is the president of Leadership Freedom® LLC, a leadership and team development consulting and coaching company. Lee Ellis consults with Fortune 500 senior executives in the areas of hiring, team building, human performance, and succession planning. His media appearances include interviews on CNN, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, ABC World News, and Fox News Channel. A retired Air Force Colonel, his latest award-winning book about his Vietnam POW experience is entitled Leading with Honor: Lessons for the Hanoi Hilton 

Learn more at www.engagewithhonor.com.

If your call has has led you to Christian nonprofit service, then Christian Leadership Alliance is the community for you.

Through the Alliance you will experience professional development. You will connect with a community of leaders who share your passion for advancing the Gospel and are willing to give you all the inspiration you need to keep running your race.

Today is your day! Discover the transformational experience of belonging.

Lean more about joining Christian Leadership Alliance.

The post Ministry Resilience By Lee Ellis appeared first on CLA.

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