An Invitation to Construction Professionals Seeking To Serve
While the most common reason stated by mission organizations for not moving forward on envisioned facilities is a lack of financial resources, the organization is often times unequipped to navigate the nebulous process of construction planning, design, and list of pre-construction activities. In a survey conducted by the Non-Profit Finance Fund, statistics show that 76% of non-profits have an increasing demand for services, yet only 30% of staff felt they could openly discuss changing facility needs. As building projects are normally uncharted territory and contracted skills sets inaccessible with tight budgets, the process of facility development is a daunting proposition that gets quickly sidelined into a marginalized committee or left upon the executive director’s desk.
As the program manager at Third Lens Ministries, I have observed the surplus of construction projects that have been conceptualized to strengthen the capacity and impact of amazing ministries serving individuals with healing and health activities. Some concepts need to be revisited as they have been sitting on the shelf for years, while ministry methods and activities changed. Others are great designs that need to go from paper lines to numbers developing quantities and budgets that map out the steps forward to delivering the vision. Still others have taken these steps, but are timid with reservations to sign contracts and release disbursements that will quickly liquidate financial resources to bricks and mortar.
Currently, TL staff and partnering industry professionals are alongside ED Gary Powell of Salvadoran Christian Foundation, La Casa de Mi Padre. Abandoned and abused children are referred by the government’s legal system to this organization hosting diverse staff and intervention programs. Dedicated to the daily work of attending more than 30 minors in different stages of healing and restoration, Gary’s time is completely allocated to leading this mission. In 2006, the foundation purchased a piece of property outside the urban core that offers great opportunities to expand the horizons of these youth. Plans have been donated by Salvadoran architects that share the vision of La Casa, yet there are many steps to get this phased master plan under construction. 7 years later, the ministry continues to work out of rented homes in restricted properties of a city neighborhood.
This gap must be filled by confronting the challenges that get projects stuck and limit ministry capacity. Good stewardship and quality must drive the process for non-profit facility development responding to the faith and trust of donors providing this capital. TL is committed to strengthening our network of professional partners to insert skill sets in the muddy stretches and heavy lifting of project development. We invite you to join us.