Ministry Fundamentals


  • Have you been called to start a non-profit?
  • Are you ready to pour your passion into building a heartfelt vision, but remain a bit shaky as to what the first steps should be?
  • Maybe you’ve already created a non-profit, but are now left feeling overwhelmed by the mounting pressure and your growing to-do list?
  • Or maybe your existing non-profit was launched with great intentions, but has been struggling to capture its full potential because the fundamental foundation of success was never developed?

“Over time, as a Director, you can get worn down and hit some bumps in the road. After taking Ministry Fundamentals, I now feel stronger. I have a great foundation to build on. My mentor has inspired me.”

– Karen Aroh, Maya Collection


If any of the above scenarios resonate with you, Ministry Fundamentals may be the answer.


Non-profits are typically born deep within the heart and soul of those with a vision to impact change. However, all too often, these well-intentioned efforts struggle to take flight, and/or never reach their true potential because the organization lacks the practical experience and knowledge to implement the needed operational structure and processes.

Ministry Fundamentals, a project of the Institute for Shelter Care, was created to give non-profit Founders and Executive Directors the skills and confidence they need to implement the fundamental building blocks of a strong organization. The program is designed to develop structure around important topics such as recruiting a diverse board of directors, establishing and maintaining an annual budget, creating a functional fundraising action plan, mitigating risk, hiring staff, and managing a team.


Each organization will be matched with a mentor that will walk beside them throughout the program. The mentors will have experience in non-profit work or board experience that will be another invaluable learning tool to the organization. The mentor will serve as a sounding board and source of encouragement as participants begin to apply their newly acquired skills to the non-profit.

Guided Independent Study

Participants of Ministry Fundamentals will gain deep knowledge and understanding on the following topics as well as many more that are vital to all fruitful non-profits. Most learning paths include digital, customizable templates allowing participants to build and apply this material directly to the action plan for their organization.

  • Evaluate Your Calling
  • Your Role as Executive Director
  • Understanding Personalities and Motivations
  • Volunteer Development
  • Religious Character
  • Spiritual Disciplines
  • Strategic Planning
  • Risk Management
  • HR Basics
  • Staffing
  • Safety and Security
  • Legal Protections
  • Contingency Planning
  • Goals and Metrics
  • Church Engagement
  • Communication Strategies
  • Cross-Cultural Relationships


Each month, participants will join an instructor-led round table discussion to gain a deeper understanding of the essential foundation needed for running a successful non-profit. Topics discussed will include:

  • Clearly defining the Mission, Vision, and Values of the organization.
  • Recruiting, training, and engaging dynamic board members.
  • Creating a budget that is financially sound and will convey confidence to current and potential donors.
  • Cultivating financial support and defining a fundraising strategy.
  • Developing the essential legal documents needed for faith-based organizations.


  • The time commitment for the program is 4-8 hours a month of independent on-line learning, webinars, self-guided study, homework and/or virtual meetings. Most participants can complete the program in 12 months.
  • The financial investment to participate in the program is $325 per month for a 12-month commitment. This amount covers the entire curriculum, including resources.

The Institute for Shelter Care welcomes individuals with business acumen to join this ministry. If you are interested in being a mentor or instructor, contact Paula Harper.

If you are interested in additional information about the Ministry Fundamentals program, please email Paula Harper at or call 502-548-3527.