The Realities of Running a Non-Profit... It's HARD!
I have a tendency to utilize this space as a means to show my vulnerable side - and today's issue of the Sower is no different. I want to let you know about this road I have been on. And I want to share with you how much of a blessing it has been for me, but by the same token, it has truly been the most difficult thing I have ever tried to accomplish in my life...
From the blessing perspective, I have learned so much; not only about myself, but about how to run an organization such as this. God has shown me, through some really tough times, that by faith He will carry me and I will survive. He has walked me through conflict brought on by my inability to separate Seeds of Grace from my personal and spiritual life. And because of Seeds of Grace, a relationship with one of my family members was restored – redeemed, really – bringing Him SO much glory. He has been faithful with His promises and given us miracle after miracle in spite of my failings.
I don’t think for a moment that I am immune to making mistakes or bad choices. I certainly have made more than my share, for sure! Without seeming to make light, I absolutely see where spiritually, forces are set against faith-based organizations whose mission is to do God’s will, fulfilling His purpose and building His Kingdom. We have had our setbacks, and we have worked through some pretty difficult problems as a team – some of the setbacks causing severe conflict.
What an ugly word! No one wants to hear about or discuss the conflict within the walls of a small organization, right? Or do you? The fact is, we are all a bunch of people who are trying to do what we believe God has called us to in the best way possible. And sometimes, I think my way is best – and it turns out to be so far from best that I am blinded to the conflict that is being caused. I am ashamed to say that this has happened a few times within the board of Seeds of Grace. Because of my misinformation, misguided interpretation of God’s direction and mostly, my lack of experience as an executive director, I have directly (though never deliberately) caused dissention. This is hard, because I don’t want anyone to think that Seeds of Grace is unworthy of your trust, your faith, your attention. I don’t want there to be any impression that we are incapable of building this organization, or undeserving of your time, donation and prayers.
On the contrary, I am hoping my vulnerability will encourage some of you to reach out and help me to learn my job better. I am hoping that there will be a deeper understanding of the passion that drives me, and a desire to help me to direct that passion so that this organization benefits in ways that surprise us all in a year – 2 years – 5 years! I am hoping for the right people to be led to the door of Seeds of Grace who have the experience we need to take the momentum we are growing on and develop the strength of bandwidth to take us into the next ten years (and beyond) of garden building.
I believe that is how God envisioned Seeds of Grace! But he chose me to cast that vision to the world, and to start this organization within my community – and I need help. I can’t promise that I won’t ever make another mistake. But I can promise that I will learn from every single mistake I make!
We have an organization whose time is now and our teams are dedicated to feeding God's Sheep! The gardens in the works for our community, let alone in other countries will provide fresh fruits and vegetables for hundreds of people, adding to the hundreds of pounds of food already harvested.over the last two years. Our plans for expansion of the programs in this region and around the world will knock your socks off! And I personally invite you to come, with your skills, your drive and your knowledge and help lead us.
If you would be willing to join the board of Seeds of Grace, or come alongside us as an advisor, committee chair or in some other capacity, I would love to hear from you. Please contact me directly: Karole@DreamBigAskBold.org