Having a ministry can be emotionally, physically and financially draining. Balancing your desire to serve with your financial ability to serve may be among the biggest challenges.
In this article, we will share a few ways you can begin to set your ministry up to become financially sustainable.
1. Clarify who you serve, how you serve them and why you serve them
While this might seem like an elementary step, it’s foundational to understanding what your ministry is all about.
It’s even more important if you’re seeking to become self-sustaining because you’ll likely ask people to support your ministry through donations or monthly support. People want to know what they’re supporting and where the money’s going so clarifying your who, how and why are great first steps towards creating a financially sustainable ministry.
2. Understand the amount of money it takes to sustain your ministry
Bring all your expenses together and calculate how much it takes to keep your ministry running each year. Account for seasonal changes and events that you run. Identify peaks in expenses and times when income will slow down.
When you understand how much it takes to keep running, you’ll understand how much you need each month to keep the doors open and the lights on.
After tracking what’s gone out for a few months, you can set-up a budget for your ministry. This will help you understand when you can say yes and when you need to say no in order to a make the ministry more sustainable.
3. Build a mailing list and regularly communicate with your mailing list
While this step may seem unrelated to building a financially sustainable ministry, building a mailing list will serve your ministry in the short term and in the long term.
As you speak a various events, serve people and find people who are supportive of your business, make sure to collect their email addresses. The idea is to build a list of people who are interested in hearing from you regularly.
Doing this will lead us into our next idea.
4. Communicate regularly with your mailing list
Make it a practice to communicate regularly with the people who have signed up to hear from you. Send out updates on how the ministry is serving its community. Let them know the impact of the work you’re doing. Use your emails to create a sense of belonging and support. Ensure that your wins are also the wins of the people on your mailing list.
Completing this step will help you collect donations, which we’ll talk about briefly in the next step.
5. Collect donations
As you serve the people you were called to serve, find people who believe in the mission of your ministry and give them the opportunity to support your work.
The best way to do this is to find people who have been blessed by the work your ministry does and tell compelling stories about the impact of your ministry.
Then find projects people can invest in. People like to know their money is going to something specific as opposed to thinking their money is going into the black hole of general operating expenses.
6. Offer services
Another way to generate money for your ministry is to find services your ministry can offer for a fee to help cover the costs of operating. Align the services with your skillset, the mission of the ministry and the needs of your community.
Ensure that the services you offer are in line with the legal structure of your ministry
7. Do contract work
Similar to the previous suggestion, find contract work from another organisation who needs to have a part of a larger job completed and is contracting the work out. Align the contract work you seek with your skillset, the mission of the ministry and the needs of your community.
If you’re looking for some additional ideas on how to make your ministry financially sustainable, download our guide that expounds on some of the ideas stated above and adds several additional steps you can take to develop a financially sustainable ministry.
15 Ways to Make Your Ministry Financially Sustainable
In this guide you’ll learn ways to understand your ministry’s resources, identify opportunities to work collaboratively to make your ministry more sustainable and understand the service and assets your ministry can offer to your community.