Study of Organizational Goals and Financial Management in Religious Organizations

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Tue, 01/01/1991

At a time when many institutions of American religion are struggling to find resources for their work, Indiana State University proposed to develop new tools for analysis in order to examine the mission and management practices of churches. Zietlow used some of these analytical tools of financial management to pose vital questions about institutional stewardship. Zietlow analyzed the organizational and managerial goals and philosophies, structures, and financial management techniques of approximately 900 religious donation-dependent nonprofit organizations. Organizations in the study included the national headquarters of U.S. based denominations, denominational missions, inner-city rescue missions, and independent foreign mission agencies. Surveys were done of all organizations and financial management profiles of each organization were constructed. A second phase involved the selection of twelve organizations which collectively represent a broad spectrum of degrees of management sophistication. The goal of this phase of the project was to build a theoretical model of the donative nonprofit organization. Results will be published in Nonprofit Treasurer's Manual. (SM)