Why We Give.net


A blog for nonprofit leaders featuring fresh voices, perspectives, strategies, and news about the relational work of fundraising that inspires abundant, sustainable, and meaningful philanthropy.

  • Otto Reinisch

A Special Message for Nonprofit Leaders in a Time of Uncertainty

A plummeting stock market. Paralyzing fear. Uncertainty. While this describes today’s world, it also describes life in 1987...and 2001…and 2008. The question for faith-based nonprofit leaders – now, as it was then – is not IF your organization will survive, but HOW. Will your faith-based leadership make a difference in the days ahead? Or, not? It’s up to you. I want to encourage you with three lessons I learned over the past 30+ years as I helped faith-based organizations not just survive, but thrive, in similar times. 1. Faith is only as good as the object of your faith As I was pushed off the platform 300 feet above the gorge below, my faith in the zip-line cable that suspended me turned out to be merited. I made it safely to the other side. If, however, the cable failed, what good was my faith after all? What is the object of your faith? Is it your abilities, your skill, your experiences? If so, that’s not faith. That’s self-reliance. From a Christian perspective, the object of our faith is the person of Jesus Christ. We come to Him – not as confident leaders asking him to bless our plans – but empty-handed and dependent, seeking His wisdom, His guidance, and His will. As a nonprofit leader guiding different organizations through “many dangers, toils, and snares”, I learned He is a worthy object of our faith. Trust Him. 2. Humbly depend on the good in others Faith-based leaders know they have been raised up to lead, especially in the most difficult times. So it was for Moses. For Ruth. Daniel. Deborah. And, for many others. Just as you are called, God will call others to join you in the fight. In 2008-09, facing the prospect of reduced funding after an historic stock market collapse, we appealed to a few donors for special gifts to help maintain support for our grantees at a time when they needed it most. Despite facing their own financial uncertainty, these donors responded…over and above what we asked. Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers) famously said, ““When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Are you a nonprofit leader today facing today’s fear and uncertainty? You can’t lead alone. Make room for others to help. Depend on them. God will provide. 3. Lead abundantly An early response to the coronavirus pandemic was hoarding toilet paper and empty store shelves. Yet, in the midst of this fear and frenzy, good people ran errands for elderly friends, they set up libraries on their front lawn for homebound children, and they offered many other acts of kindness. As you look toward the challenging days ahead, how will you lead? Will it be from fear only to hoard, conserve, and protect your organization's resources? Or, will you lead confidently, give generously, and live abundantly, knowing the object of your faith is worthy and the goodness of others will help sustain you? Thank you for your good work. Be strong. Keep the faith. I leave you with this blessing: “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." – Deuteronomy 31:8

12 views0 comments