Starting a Nonprofit at Your Church


book
by Joy Skjegstad. The Alban Institute, 2002.

This thorough treatment of the subject provides any congregation the necessary tools to decide whether or not starting a nonprofit organization is in the best interest of the congregation and of the ministry or program in question. The 12 chapters of the book walk the reader through the logical steps in deciding and then forming a nonprofit. Beginning topics include considering the advantages and the risks, identifying the vision/mission reasons to start a nonprofit and determining readiness. As congregations prepare to move forward with a nonprofit organization, topics include issues of control vs. autonomy, structuring a board of directors, navigating legal and personnel issues, raising funds, maintaining relationships with the founding church, and evaluation. The book includes a bibliography, which is dated, as well as a 25-page appendix by DeAnn Lancashire detailing a model for engaging a congregation in the housing crisis. Parts of this appendix will be dated as well, but it does provide a helpful example. Any congregation considering ‘spinning off’ an existing ministry such as a preschool, after-school program, or health care ministry, will benefit from this book. In addition, a congregation starting a new community ministry will benefit from this book as well.

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