Building Capacity for Sustainable Social Programs
Building Capacity for Sustainable Social Ministry Programs is a three-module training curriculum sponsored by ELCA Community Development Services. The purpose for this program is to prepare ELCA congregations and social ministry organizations that are located in distressed communities to manage faith-based, vibrant and healthy social ministry programs that are complimentary to their Word and Sacrament ministry.
Laying a good and solid foundation is critical for sustaining ministries. The Building Capacity for Sustainable Ministry Programs curriculum is meant to aid congregations and social ministry organizations in identifying key elements that will enable them to lay such a foundation.
- Engage participants (clergy and lay leaders) in three Training Modules, each two and a half days in length. The curriculum will be designed to address key elements of building sustainable ministries in both Word and Sacrament and social ministries programs.
- Link participants (leader and/or ministries) with resources for enhancing capacity for sustainable ministries and creating a network of functioning supports.
- Offer ongoing consultation to support Building Capacity for Sustainable Social Ministry Programs.
- Upon completion, participants will join in a process to identify and pursue grant opportunities to fund their social ministries.
Module 1: Analysis
- Asset mapping, including congregation-based SWOT analysis
- Stewardship/congregational support for ministry
- Introduction to conflict resolution
Module 2: Infrastructure
- Growing your congregation, evangelism and engaging new members
- Strategic planning, development
- Why create a non-profit 501(c)(3)?
- Human resources and managing staff, recruitment, hiring and supervising
Module 3: Organizing
- Congregation-based organizing
- Community organizing
A congregation’s assets are not limited to its sanctuary or meeting space. When mapping, think outside the box. What is available on your street? In your neighborhood? Community? City? County? State? Universe? There are no limits in brainstorming.
As covered in Module 2, most funding sources require your organization to have 501(c)(3) status. In order for the IRS to recognize an organization as being qualified for nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, it must satisfy the IRS's general definition of being organized for charitable purposes. Charity is broadly defined to include religious, educational, scientific or literary purposes, testing for public safety, or prevention of cruelty to animals and children.
Visit http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits for more information.
- Once committed, attend all three modules
- Carry out all assigned steps in a reasonable amount of time
- When ready, work with Building Capacities Team to secure funding for initiatives
Building Capacities Team:
- Support for congregations and synods throughout process
- Work with congregations to secure funding
How it Works
The Building Capacities team works with interested synods to develop appropriate trainings for regional cohort groups. One pastor and two to three lay leaders from each congregation come together with others from their region for a two and a half day conference for each module.
For more information, contact:
Director for Community Development Services
ELCA Church in Society
8765 West Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631
Ph: 800.638.3522 ext. 2683