For many nonprofits, writing a mission statement is a difficult process, one they would rather not experience. The mission statement often becomes too long for people to remember or so short that it doesn’t really provide an understanding of what the organization does. While you may see information that says that mission statements should be xxx number of words; I don’t necessarily agree. Instead, I believe that an effective mission statement is one that you can remember and tells others what your organization is about. As you work to develop your mission statement answer the following questions:
What do we exist?
Why do we do what we do?
If we did not exist, would the world be missing anything?
What needs do we meet?
What do we want our organization to be remembered for?
Don’t feel like you have to write it on your own. Obtain input from your board of directors. Share it with those outside your organization; ask them if the mission statement gives them an understanding of what the organization does or will be doing.
Once the mission statement is written, it should guide the overall aim and activities of the organization. Remembering the mission statement will help the organization to make decisions about whether or not to seek various funding opportunities or partner with other organizations. Periodically review your mission statement to ensure the organization has not strayed from its purpose; if you find your work no longer aligns with your mission statement, it may be time to re-evaluate both your work and your purpose.
Need help developing your mission statement? We can help you!