Churches and nonprofits seem to have a constant pressure to always be on the leading edge of creativity. You feel like you have to have the most eye catching social media post, the most compelling way of telling a story people have heard a hundred times, or maybe a teaching series that no one has ever done.


How do you keep your teams inspired? How do you set a culture of creativity for those you lead, ultimately resulting in great ideas and creatively empowered teams?


Here are 4 tips on ways to keep the creative juices flowing in your organization:


  1. Borrow ideas

It’s ok to borrow other people’s ideas (unless they’re patented or trademarked, of course)! It can feel “taboo” or as if you’re “copying” someone, but as long as it still aligns with your goals and makes sense for your organization, give it a shot!


Churches: if you see a really creative lobby experience a church you admire did, try it for yourself! Put your own spin on it or add to the concept.


Nonprofits: if you see a brand engage their followers with a unique engagement campaign on social media that you want to try out, do it! 


Steve Jobs famously said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” Start connecting things you observe to things you do.


  1. Change up your team

Don’t always pull from the same group of “creatives” to help you brainstorm ideas. While it’s great to have your go-to people, every once in a while try mixing it up.


For example, if your nonprofit is putting together a public event to raise brand awareness, pull in more than just your communications department or your most creative staff member. Ask someone from finance, a few volunteers, or some friends to help. They may offer you a perspective you would not get with your usual creative team.


  1. Set the vibe

Environment is everything. Studies have shown that getting out of your normal workspace, even if just for an hour, will enhance your creativity.


If you have an important brainstorming meeting for an upcoming Christmas-inspired teaching series or Christmas donor event, take your brainstorm team somewhere outsife the four walls of your office. Maybe even take them somewhere where it’s decorated for Christmas to get people in the mood. Don’t have time to take your team on a quick outing? Set the mood in your conference room. Play Christmas music when they’re arriving, have cookies and Christmas decorations in the room.


You may think it won’t make a difference, but it shows your team that you are expecting great things from the meeting and your intentionality with setting the tone will pay off with their creativity.


  1. Try something “out there”

We don’t encourage you to try something too risky very often, but maybe once a year your organization should try to push the boundaries a bit. Sometimes things untested or unproven are scary to undertake (especially when you’re working with donated dollars), but every once and a while, that “wild, what-if” idea just may be the very thing that kicks you into a new gear.


Creativity is a muscle and it must be exercised on a consistent basis to continue generating ideas to move your cause forward. Try any of the above four tips, and we guarantee you'll get a spark in inspiration that you may not have otherwise. Now get to work! :)

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