For this month’s nonprofit spotlight we are highlighting the work of an organization that helps nonprofits and churches fulfill their mission through a service. I spoke with Phil Friesen, Founder of Citadel Ministries, Inc. and got some insight on their future goals as well as what inspired them to get started!
Follow along below to learn more about Citadel Ministries Inc. and how their experience can help your organization!
Who inspired you to start your nonprofit?
I had worked helping various ministries and churches with their administrative and leadership issues for many years. Having a broad background in private and public entities for the last 35 years, I was able to bring expertise to many situations in which ministries found themselves. Through a long series of God-inspired events, I ended up at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summitt simulcast here in Fresno. The first speaker, Pastor Bill Hybels, spoke the words God wanted me to hear. There and then, I decided to be obedient and founded Citadel Ministries.
What are the joys of running a nonprofit?
My “clients” are nonprofits and churches. To see them be able to overcome issues that have kept them from being more effective is a tremendous joy! To be able to alleviate their organizations burdens and provide positive structural changes and make them stronger, benefits them and the community they serve. I am not gifted or knowledgeable enough to provide service to every person in need, but I can help virtually every organization serve them better. It is Citadel’s way of making a difference, even if from behind the scenes.
Where do you see your nonprofit in 5 years?
These first three years have seen a huge increase in our impact. Last year we provided service to over 30 organizations. We anticipate growing by about 50 percent this year. Citadel is adding departments on a regular basis. We started with an administration department, added an IT department, and are hoping to add marketing this year and a couple of additional service areas next year. We are currently working on a couple of major initiatives that will make an even greater impact in our community! While I am not free to discuss them today, you will certainly be among the first to know!
What is the hardest part about running a nonprofit?
Relying on fundraising is a daily lesson in faith and the provision of God. It not only makes running my organization harder, but affects how we deal with the nonprofits we service. The need is great. There are over 3000 nonprofits in Fresno County alone and most are underfunded and unable to do all they could because of financing. Additionally, while most leaders have a heart for what they are trying to do, they are often untrained. Citadel is working to provide support and training to make ministries more effective and “donor-ready” so people can be assured their investment in these organizations will be used wisely and accomplish much.
Do you also have a fulltime job in addition to running your nonprofit? If so, how do you balance your time between the two?
A friend of mine uses the term “from success to significance”. I dedicated my efforts full-time to Citadel and building God’s Kingdom here in the Central Valley of California, and beyond. In addition to my full-time responsibilities at Citadel, I sit on the board of several nonprofits and serve as an advisor to other boards or Executive Directors.