The costs associated with funding programs can be a ministry’s greatest challenge. A “For-Profit” status may be the solution.
A non-profit status is still a safe way to organize a ministry. It is good to give and provide for ministry and leaders who serve. But, what if that isn’t the path for you? The IRS code gives us guidelines for operating a non-profit organization. But what if God has a different plan using His own code for your ministry operation without the 501(c)(3)? What if your business (or profession) is where your ministry will happen?
Years ago, I was writing grants for urban youth ministries, feeling the stress of seeking money for important programs and supplies. I couldn’t help but remember my corporate management days when I could have written the check myself.
I left the business world for my ministry and now my ministry has come to the business world.
Abandoning the idea of the 501(c) (3) as the best way for every ministry to be established, I now favor the “For Profit” status for ministry leaders who are gifted in the business sector.
There are advantages of a “For-Profit” status that can benefit a ministry – that is, if you have what it takes to make a profit, you are a giver, and you don’t mind making a contribution to Uncle Sam.
Here’s the problem:
- The 501 (c) ( 3) status has limitations on activities such as earning income, political involvement, selling goods, and transferring assets.
- The 501 (c) (3) status is facing political challenges that could likely lead to drastic changes in the future.
- The 501 (c) (3) status creates limitations that can influence the decisions and direction of an organization.
Here’s a Solution:
Incorporate a business as a financial source for your ministry, and a separate entity. Through your business, seek creative ways to support the ministry and earn a good living for yourself and your team. With this method, if you choose to have a non-profit as a totally different organization, your ministry has a hedge against changes in the 501 (c) (3) code, and your personal finances are not bound to the limitations and political uncertainties of the non-profit.