Many questions come to mind (beyond the “calling” question) when considering starting new “partnerships”:

          • How are you positioned to enter this new or existing market?

          • What are you and your team’s unique talents and giftings?

          • Are you and your team’s area of expertise, your “niche”, your “wheelhouse” (or your “hedgehog” as author Jim Collins would say) truly unique?

          • Can you compete, economically and sustainably, in this market you want to enter?

          • Will adding this service/product improve your ability to minister to or serve your constituency/client base without adding substantial costs?

          • Is there another team or group out there already doing it and doing it well? If so, can we partner with?

I’m no market expert or feasibility assessment guru but you really need to ask some challenging and difficult questions BEFORE considering starting something new (new idea, new initiative or new service).  “Partnerships” can give you a jump start with an affiliation to a group or service who can enhance/complement what you already offer and I believe there is a strong Biblical basis for doing so – especially as a ministry (these scripture passages as well as the one on the first page highlight this concept):

Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

1 Corinthians 12:14-27 (NIV)

 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 In fact, it is just the opposite. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are the ones we can’t do without. 23 The parts that we think are less important we treat with special honor. The private parts aren’t shown. But they are treated with special care. 24 The parts that can be shown don’t need special care. But God has put together all the parts of the body. And he has given more honor to the parts that didn’t have any. 25 In that way, the parts of the body will not take sides. All of them will take care of one another. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honored, every part shares in its joy.27 You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.”

Over the past decade, at SIU, we’ve come across some interesting propositions from donor’s wanting to bless us with “non-cash” gifts.  This is not uncommon with ministries as many nonprofits are often approached with a “help me to help you” donation concept that sounds very good and has a high potential of conversion to a recognized donation in charitable fund giving but often comes with so much risk, complexity and cost that it would take a full team of attorneys, accountants, financial gurus, etc. to actually make the “deal” happen.

Recently, in my search for finding organizations that might be able to help our small nonprofit with additional, creative ways of giving to our Mission beyond “cash/donation checks”, I came across the National Christian Foundation (NCF).  NCF serves ministries, churches and charities by serving their givers and congregants as they act as a “conduit and catalyst” to help people do more for the organizations where they have a passion.  They do this at NO COST to the nonprofit organization in order to further God’s Kingdom building around the world.  NCF’s Branding Tag line is: simplify your giving, multiply your impact.”

NCF Historic Milestones:

        • 1982 our founding year, by Larry Burkett, Ron Blue & Terry Parker

        • 9thlargest US charity

        • $8 billion in contributions from givers

        • $6 billion granted to charity

        • $1.5 billion value from over 1,000 non-cash Asset based gifts (no one else has anywhere near the capability, expertise, or experience)

        • 40,000+ charities, churches and ministries we’ve supported”

NCF Testimonies:

“NCF provides a great solution for our family as well as our business to do our giving. We highly recommend them.” David Green , CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby

 “I chose NCF because I wanted a simpler, more effective way to give. They’re a like-minded partner with amazing expertise in what they do.” Tim Tebow, Heisman Trophy Winner and NFL Quarterback

With NCF’s strong track record and commitment to partnering with charities like SIU, while leveraging their expertise and low cost approach, it was easy for me and our team to decide to announce a new strategic partnership with them.  I’m looking forward to seeing how God will bless our constituents and our organization in the coming months with this new NCF “Partnering” relationship.

Our new SIU Giving Fund is identified at NCF as:

The “Scriptures in Use” Single Charity Giving Fund (Fund#1848825)

Instructional Video found at: https://arizona.nationalchristian.com/assets

And one final note, are you considering any “Partnerships” right now?

I would seriously recommend it as it could be exactly what you have been seeking to advance your organization into the next season of successful capacity building you have long been seeking.

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