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Nonprofit BoardsNonprofit Leadership

Mission Statement: It’s a deciding factor

By September 21, 2023No Comments

Most nonprofits and ministries understand that their mission is important. Yet, they forget that it should have a vital role in the decisions being made. How can decision-making be integrated with the organizational mission?

Before starting, I want you to know that it is okay to decide not to make a decision as a result of going through the questions below. By using these questions, you can share with your board of directors the process being used to make decisions. The board will be comforted to know that you looked at all sides of an issue before bringing a recommendation to them. Using the questions below will also help you identify missing information (don’t you hate it when you work through a decision only to discover that you have forgotten to include some important factor?).

  • Is this choice consistent with our mission and the strategies we presently use to fulfill our mission? (It is quite possible that if the choice doesn’t align with current strategies, you are looking at innovative opportunities —this may be a good thing).
  • Is this something that we can do well? (Remember that as a faith-based organization, you are answering to a “higher power” thus your work needs to be done well).
  • Do we have the resources to implement the choice – staff, physical facilities, finances, etc.?
  • How will this choice impact what we are presently doing?
  • Have we obtained input from our staff and volunteers? What are their thoughts?

As part of the decision-making process, you should spend some time analyzing the financial return on investment.  This includes reviewing how much cash is needed on hand to get started, how long it will take for the cash to begin to flow, and how will this decision affect your relationship with current partners, donors, and constituents. Finally, you may want to ask the question, “Can we do this?”

Only after working through these questions can you proceed…or not. Know that just because you decide not to proceed right now, does not mean NEVER proceed. Perhaps now is not the right time—looking at your responses to the questions above will provide you with the information you need to prepare for the time when you are ready to proceed.

If your process shows that you are ready to proceed, take the time to develop a plan of action. This plan of action shows the board of directors as well as funders that you have considered all aspects of the decision, and you are not taking the decision lightly.

Going through a decision-making process is part of being a good steward. Luke 14:28 tells us, “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?”

What decisions is your organization currently facing?

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