In Lay Terms

Random Ramblings From a Church Nerd

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How To Change the World

So, I've mentioned on here that I've started a non-profit. It's The Naming Project. Camp starts on Sunday...with kids! Camp Out comes out on DVD on August 5 (BUY IT!). Yes, the life of a non-profit founder is so glamorous, like I'm throwing cocktail fund raisers every other weekend for the wealthy. Let me tell you, it's NOTHING LIKE THAT.

So far, this work has been "on the side" for the three of us who founded The Naming Project. We've handled responsibility as we have had time, or as the need got greater. The camp runs pretty smoothly now. We have good rapport with kids. However, there's this other side of non-profit work that no one ever thinks about. I certainly didn't think about it. Accounting. Tax reporting. Filing as a non-profit. Actually asking people for money.

I have become the "business" person for TNP. I'm the one who does the accounting and tries to deal with the IRS. Luckily, we are a very small organization that doesn't deal with enough money to need to do a lot of IRS reporting. I didn't do a lot of accounting before this, and I'm learning as I go. Richard is coaching me. And the MBA classes are helping me to get a vision for what TNP could really do. But it's still hard. I still have other (paying) jobs that demand my time and energy.

Also, there is raising the funds. I've written a few grants...most of them have been rejected. I'm not good at asking for money. I think that if someone believes in the mission of the organization, then they will support the organization. I've since learned that people need to learn about the organization in order to support it. Again, we don't need a ton of money to operate at our current levels. However, we have dreams to expand and grow. In order to do that, we will need to get more money (substantially more money). It would be great if we raised enough money to pay one of us to do the work of TNP. But we aren't at that point yet.

Many good things have happened with The Naming Project. We've done some great ministry. But then there is the "business of ministry" that is a little harder to grasp.

I'm not complaining, just processing (that's what blogs are for, right?). Any thoughts on the "business of ministry"?


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