This is the second blog in our series of interviews with presenters at the upcoming 2011 Financial Forum for Ministries. This time I spoke with Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). His session is titled, “What Is Happening on Capital Hill Impacting Churches and Nonprofits?”
MBG: How will your presentation help attendees better serve their ministries?
Dan: With the latest information on church and nonprofit information from Capitol Hill, they will be well-armed to keep their organization abreast of issues that will be or may be coming down the pike.
What are three important takeaways attendees will learn during your presentation?
Dan: They’ll learn the current status on three important issues. First is threats and options related to the charitable contribution deduction. Second is the progress of the “Super Committee” with respect to deficit reduction and the possible impact for churches and nonprofits. And third is the work of the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations as they address a litany of tax policy issues given them by Senator Charles Grassley.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing ministries today?
Dan: I see four major challenges. First is effectively telling their story. Too many ministries lead with facts and figures instead or leading with good stories about their ministry and supporting those stories with the facts and figures. Next is innovating with courage. Innovation is not just for for-profit organizations—it’s for nonprofits as well. An economic downturn is an ideal time for ministries to review all programs and processes and determine how to streamline, focus, and save dollars. A third challenge is to communicate appreciation. Ministries should have a mindset of continually expressing appreciation to staff and donors. Many staff members are feeling uncertain about their positions. Donors may be wondering about the viability of ministries they have been supporting. Express appreciation! A final challenge is to sweat the small stuff. Yes, the big issues are always important, but in this environment, it’s time to sweat the small stuff—being sure that the organization is running with precision from top to bottom.
What is the biggest challenge facing your ministry today?