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The world of ministry is constantly changing and evolving, especially when it comes to funding. With the emergence of digital technologies and ever-evolving trends, staying up to date with the latest strategies is essential to ensure you are able to meet your ministry goals. An Integrated Funding Strategy is a great framework to address these challenges.

There are several ways to get started implementing an Integrated Funding Strategy for your church or faith-based nonprofit. 

Clarify your Why and Your Wins

Your starting place is to ensure your leadership in support of your current mission (what God is calling you to do) and vision (a detailed picture of your preferred future). Be sure your mission is clear and easy to remember. A single sentence is usually enough. Your vision needs to be compelling and measurable – so you can track progress. If not included in your vision, churches also need a discipleship pathway to outline the major engagement areas such as (worship, spiritual formation, serving, and giving) to clarify expectations persons exploring membership. Each area of engagement requires a theological basis that explains its purpose, practices, and expectations. For giving, this is often called a Theology of Generosity.

Develop an Accurate Picture of Your Current Reality

Using surveys, focus groups, and interviews, test your member’s and stakeholder’s understanding of your mission and vision including how well you are accomplishing them. Be sure your methods allow you to identify and segment the responses of different groups such as ministry leaders, financial leaders, age, and engagement in your discipleship pathways. Ask how informed they feel about topics you believe are important and their preferred communication channel. You can go deeper in your discovery with questions like what percent of your donor income they give to charity and to you or asking your ministry and financial leaders how appreciated they feel. In addition to the surveys, you will need to measure participation in worship (in-person, online, and on-demand), spiritual formation, serving, and giving. Assess your financial health by charting giving trends, movement along your giving pathway from new donors to financial leaders, the percentage of your giving that automatically recurring, concentrations in giving, and the number of days of financial reserves you have on hand. Finally, calculate the square footage and assess the quality of your ministry space and the percentage of utilization of each area. 

Create Your Integrated Funding Strategy

With the clarity and alignment around your mission, vision, discipleship pathway including your theology of generosity and a clear picture of your current reality, you are ready to create a year-round Integrated Funding Strategy. If you don’t have a ministry spending plan with measurable outcomes, develop it first. There are dozens of strategies that fall in one of the five core funding disciplines (keep it spiritual, tell your stories of impact, etc.). A key to success is to identify four to twelve new strategies to implement in the coming year and calendar their implementation dates. In addition, identify who will be responsible for each strategy, the resources, and approvals they will need, and your process to measure success on an ongoing basis.  There are many helpful resources located in Horizons' free online resource library,

Develop Systems to Measure Effectiveness

This may require some modest investments in software to efficiently track results and to create dashboards and other visualizations so that leaders are equipped make well-informed decisions to maximize ministry impact.

Getting Started

By taking a strategic approach toward implementing the Integrated Funding Strategy for your church or faith-based nonprofit, you can create a more secure financial base for your organization that allows for continued growth and sustains its mission over time—no matter what the future throws your way!

Horizons has a team of experienced ministry strategists, trained coaches, and certified fundraisers ready to help. Through our coaching, learning, and generosity experiences, we can ensure you maximize your impact, fully fund your ministry plan, grow disciples, and create a culture of generosity that will change your present and shift your future.

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