How Christian Nonprofit Leaders Can Pair Faith And Work
As a nonprofit professional, the organization’s mission and values are at the core of your career. And whether or not faith is a part of your nonprofit’s story, it can be incorporated into what you do. In this guide, we’ll cover three things you can do to express your faith through your work:
- Be transparent
- Integrate Christian values
- Foster a strong community of support
The values associated with charitable work and community service generally align with the values of the Christian faith. Because of this overlap, there are numerous ways you can center your work around your faith.
An obvious overlapping value between nonprofit work and your faith is honesty. Transparency plays a big role in nonprofit compliance and gaining donor trust, but it’s also a cornerstone of the Christian faith. Your values should be made evident through:
- Staff relationships: Shared beliefs can cultivate strong relationships with coworkers who are also believers. For example, you might start a staff book club and use Christian books as a valuable resource for establishing essential team ethics. Esther Press’s list of best Bible studies for women notes that these studies can facilitate collaboration and group discussions, making it a great way for you to get to know other team members’ values and perspectives.
- Nonprofit decisions: Your role as a leader requires you to make decisions on behalf of the nonprofit, which will inevitably be influenced by the core values of the organization. While you should work to remain unbiased in your decision-making, you can practice transparency by explaining your decision in light of your personal values as they relate to the nonprofit.
- External communications: Your values will become apparent as you interact with donors, volunteers, beneficiaries, and other community members. However, you can still do your part to practice transparency when communicating with others. For example, you can subtly make your beliefs known by adding a Bible verse reference to your email signature. Or, you can openly talk about your faith in conversations with people outside your organization.
Transparency about your beliefs can also be used as a tool to minister to others. Share information about giving to local churches and ministries so that everyone who encounters your nonprofit’s communications can support faith-based organizations. You can also partner with these organizations to show that your values align and to work together to achieve both missions.
Integrate Christian values
Your Christian values will impact your individual role as a nonprofit leader, but you can also pair faith and work by incorporating these beliefs into your nonprofit’s:
- Mission statement: Build your mission statement around Bible verses or Christian principles that relate to your charitable purpose. Think about what your nonprofit aims to accomplish and how its goals are rooted in Christian values.
- Programs: What actionable steps are you taking to fulfill your mission in a faith-centered way? Establish programs that support your faith-based mission. For example, a local food bank might pass out encouraging Christian books for women with every meal.
- Vision: What is your organization’s vision for its community? What do you envision as the future of a community impacted by your faith? Think about how your faith and mission could work together to transform your community and create a vision statement that sets reasonable goals accordingly.
Equipped with faith-centered guiding principles, your nonprofit will be able to achieve its goals while aligning with the beliefs that define your worldview. Be sure to promote these aspects of your nonprofit on all your communication channels, from Facebook to your website. This reinforces your efforts to remain transparent and helps to establish your nonprofit’s reputation.
Foster a strong community of support
Fellowship and community with other believers is an essential part of your personal Christian faith. The same is true for your professional nonprofit’s connections as your staff’s ability to effectively achieve your mission is directly linked to your network of supporters, such as:
- Corporations: Christian-led businesses make great sponsors for nonprofits because they typically align with charitable initiatives. Partner with for-profit businesses to garner the support of their employees and customers through both monetary and in-kind donations. For example, a Christian book publisher might donate free books to your nonprofit so that you can give them away to your beneficiaries.
- Church leaders: Partnerships between nonprofits and churches are a two-way street. While you may support local churches, they might also fundraise on behalf of your organization. This gives you the support of a Christian community. Also, your association with local churches can give your nonprofit a Christian reputation, strengthening the connection between your faith and work.
- School officials: Like churches, private schools may also fundraise on behalf of your organization when you partner with them. Plus, your ability to connect with students can help you tap into the volunteer power and advocacy of young people. Their involvement with your nonprofit will teach them valuable lessons and help them put their faith into practice.
In each of these professional spheres, you’ll expand your nonprofit’s reach to employees and constituents that you otherwise wouldn’t have come into contact with. Whether you’re gaining more support through corporate giving programs or impacting more people by providing resources to Christians in need, reaching out to like-minded organizations can help you foster a strong community of support.
Pairing your faith and your work empowers you to drive your mission forward with the support of the Christian community. You can lean on the support of this community in tangible ways, such as monetary donations or engagement with communications. You’ll also unlock the security of long-term support and deep relationships when you incorporate faith into your work.
Your faith impacts your worldview, and likewise the direction of your nonprofit. That’s why it’s important to embrace faith as a part of your nonprofit’s operations. If you’re looking for more ways to make your faith a significant part of your organization, connect with faith-based organizations to see some examples in action.