Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing organizational mission and how it relates and guides the work of the organization. To recap, the mission statement should be guiding all of the decisions being made by the nonprofit, the decision making process is discussed in detail here. While you may understand that your mission is a valuable asset, you may not understand how exactly to maximize its usefulness. Below, are some ways that you can use your mission throughout the various aspects of the organization and how the mission statement guides its values.
Before we look at how to use the mission statement to use your advantage, it is important to re-visit the mission to ensure that it accurately reflects who the organization is and the work that it does. Since the board of directors is the “keeper of the mission” of the organization, take some time at a board meeting to discuss the mission statement and how it aligns with what the organization is currently doing and how it is serving. Once you are certain that your mission says what you want it to say, you are ready to begin to maximize its usefulness.
Begin with the board of directors. Include the mission statement at the top of the agenda for board meetings-this will help to ensure that board members will keep the mission front and center when making decisions. It is also helpful to have a mission-related story shared at board meetings where board members can really connect with the organizational mission. Help them to see and feel the difference the organization is making in the lives of those they serve. Then, at the end of each board meeting, have the President ask, “What decisions have we made in this meeting to support the mission?”
An organization’s mission statement can be used to recruit staff and volunteers. Share mission-related stories on the volunteer recruitment web page. Since people connect to stories, especially stories that show that lives are being changed, you are likely to get highly interested and motivated volunteers using a mission approach.
Use the mission to encourage and motivate staff and volunteers. The work of ministries and nonprofits can sometimes be overwhelming, discouraging and daunting. It often takes a long time to make a true impact in someone’s life. For this reason, periodically, use mission stories to keep everyone encouraged—share the stories via email or an intranet system. Be sure to include everyone – especially those who may not be directly involved with mission work on a day to day basis (administrative staff, support staff, etc).
Organizational mission should be front and center for all fundraising activities. Sharing mission-related stories helps you connect to the hearts of your potential donors….and hearts are where individuals make their funding decisions. Help your donors to understand what their dollars are accomplishing and how they are making a difference.
Donors make funding decisions in their hearts.
Once you are comfortable maximizing the mission statement as the valuable asset it is, you will want to use organizational values to help create the organizational culture. Have a team develop the organizational values…ask hard questions. What is important to the organizational culture? What is non-negotiable? What is expected of employees & volunteers? How do you expect clients to be treated? When these questions are answered, they will form the “how” you do your mission. Getting buy-in from everyone will help to ensure that everyone lives by the values and makes them their own….and that is so much easier than having to dictate expectations.
Struggling with how to share your mission? Contact us, we can help you review your mission and look at ways to integrate it into fundraising, recruitment and board activities.