The Importance Of A Good Mission Statement For Nonprofits

importance mission statement nonprofits

Starting a nonprofit is likely to be one of the biggest decisions of your life. In your goal to help a cause, you certainly have many challenges ahead. Before you get started, you should probably write a mission statement, which could prove helpful in your journey. 

While writing an excellent mission statement may seem pretty challenging, it is easier than you think. 

Writing one is certainly important. It helps you share your long-term goals with different people. It also sets a foundation for your nonprofit’s culture and organization. 

With a good mission statement, you can: 

• Inspire and motivate your key constituents, such as staff, and volunteers. 

• Generate external reports. 

• Share your ideals with backers, donors, collaborators, partners, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders. 

• Keep the leaders in your organizations on track in terms of planning and decision-making. 

• Set goals and identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 

• Develop beliefs and shared values. 

The bottom line is that your mission statement brings together a diverse group of people from different backgrounds and social standings to serve a common cause. 

For example, PETA’s mission statement is, “PETA opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: in laboratories, in the food industry, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment business.” 

This statement can bring together two people who both believe in PETA’s brand, even if they are from different corners of the planet. 

Characteristics Of An Excellent Nonprofit Mission Statement 

• Clear: Your mission statement should be crystal clear. Avoid ambiguity by using clear language. Don’t use industry jargon, or you will risk isolating people unfamiliar with your line of work. 

• Concise: Your mission statement should be brief. It should share your nonprofit’s reason for existence in an impactful paragraph or two. 

• Comprehensive: Despite being concise, your mission statement should also be comprehensive. It should cover all the factors behind your objectives and your methodology. 

• Inspirational: A good mission statement inspires people. No one is expecting Mel Gibson’s speech from Braveheart, but it should motivate, if not move readers. 

• On Point: The best nonprofit mission statements stay on point. Every word in your mission statement should have a purpose. 

Writing A Nonprofit Mission Statement 

Your mission statement should explain why your nonprofit exists, the cause it serves, and how it serves its cause. You can start consulting your staff, sponsors, volunteers, and backers for ideas. Gain as much input as you need to develop your mission statement. Listen to the themes and settle on some common ones. Now, start preparing a rough draft or several drafts. Share these drafts with key players in your organization to see what reactions they inspire. Chisel away until your NPO has a polished mission statement. 

You should also consider investing in the right tools to help meet your objectives. For example, you can use some critical features in top CRM solutions to better deliver your mission to the entities you serve. 

Developing a mission statement doesn’t have to be difficult. Stay patient. It may take weeks or even months to create the final version. Remember, even the biggest charities in the world didn’t come up with their mission statements overnight!

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