We relate to nonprofit entrepreneurs as whole persons
We relate to nonprofit entrepreneurs as whole persons, refusing to treat them merely as delegates of our missional aims. We recognize that launching and growing ventures is an act of great risk and difficulty, and we seek ways to affirm healthy ambition in the leaders we support. We pray for them regularly and invent ways to bless and support them in their personal, spiritual, and professional growth. We communicate clearly and directly, offering open lines to dialogue.
1. We honor leaders by asking questions about their personal life and how we can support their mental and emotional health. We encourage and enable them to seek personal care through spiritual direction, counseling, sabbatical, and time away with friends and family.
2. We solicit and listen for entrepreneurs’ ambition and longings for their mission, exhorting them in the ways God has called them to respond. We personally encourage and publicly acknowledge the risk and challenge of their position on the front lines of the mission.
3. Aware of power dynamics between funder and nonprofit leader, we communicate clearly and respect leaders by avoiding lengthy response times to application and report submissions and other inquiries. We keep appointments and arrive on time to meetings.
4. We provide both positive and negative feedback directly, never behind their back, and we do not avoid difficult conversations. We seek and speak the truth in love as it relates to our funding partnership and our understanding of their work and our involvement. We invite leaders to share disappointing results and respond with attentive listening and offers of support to remove barriers.
5. With proper notice, we visit leaders in their space and community. When possible and appropriate, we offer our time to participate in programming, volunteering to help in the areas of most need—not only of our greatest giftedness. We clearly communicate how we hope to engage with the venture, removing the need for guesswork.
6. We share our own motivations and convictions for the work of giving, being as open with our own story as we expect from the leaders we fund. We are clear about our strengths and clearer about our limitations, demonstrating our desire and willingness to build an honest and mutual partnership.
7. We sharpen our imagination for building redemptive nonprofits by becoming familiar with the principles and practices in The Redemptive Nonprofit playbook from Praxis, and where appropriate, we encourage the entrepreneurs we back to do the same.