What nonprofits can learn from ministry leadership

Nonprofits can learn a great deal from the way ministries are run, and donor management software can help.

NPOs are like ministries in more ways than one. When it comes to leadership, there are several important things a nonprofit director can learn from a religious leader to make their groups more successful.

Steve Murrell outlined in Ministry Today Magazine what he believes to be relevant topics ministers should consider in order to consistently reach and inspire congregations.

One of these ideas is interacting with people in person instead of studying Bible chapters in quiet solitude. Without the human element, words and phrases can grow stale. To bring them to life and find new meaning it is essential to visit with people face to face. Maureen Curley relayed a similar sentiment to the Bridgespan Group in relation to leading a nonprofit. She suggested getting involved with a variety of clubs or discussion groups with the genuine intent to learn from others' real experiences directing an organization. Speaking with peers, experienced workers and new talent can give a well-rounded education in alternative methods of leadership. 

Murrell encouraged religious leaders to clearly identify their messages. Without a strong purpose behind a sermon, any decorative jokes or anecdotes will leave the congregation unfulfilled. Similarly, a good nonprofit should be able to identify and relay a clear goal to its donors and continue to update them when new objectives emerge.

Growing as a leader
Change is a critical element when it comes to success in a preacher's sermons. Murrell's journey as a preacher evolved quite a bit over time, moving from method to method as he grew personally and professionally. Richard Tagle explained to the Bridgespan Group that in terms of nonprofit leadership, flexibility to meander between departments and groups helps leaders find their groove. Different titles, responsibilities and organization locations can be healthy for someone trying to become the best leader possible.

One final thing both ministries and nonprofits can benefit from is the implementation of a donor management software program. Fundraising software gives staff the tools they need to effectively complete tasks requested by directors and preachers so that operations can run smoothly. A leader may have the confidence and charisma to head up a large group, but without the organization and monetary management provided by a software system, those personal skills will not get the group very far.