A mission statement is the foundation of your organization. It is the glue that binds your nonprofit together.
Your mission is part of your branding, just like your nonprofit’s logo or website-- it must be terrific. Similar to the other content on your website, your nonprofit's mission statement involves strategic planning and brainstorming to really define your core values and purpose. Essentially, in 1-2 sentences you are communicating the entirety of your organization to your audience.
The importance of a compelling mission statement
- Establishes your nonprofit's direction:
Your mission statement should motivate your team. Guiding them to successfully accomplish your organization's goals and objectives. Additionally, it should reflect and connect with what your nonprofit stands for both internally (employees/stakeholders) and externally (members, donors, community) to generate ongoing support, commitment, and inspiration. To do this, avoid using industry jargon, be convincing and to the point, and make it memorable.
- Shapes nonprofit strategy and decision- making:
A straightforward mission establishes crucial boundaries which allow your nonprofit to exhibit responsibility and authority strategically. It defines the actions that make your organization unique. A mission is to a nonprofit as is a compass to an explorer. It provides a foundation, a structure for thinking and processing throughout the organization. This framework creates an effective strategy and decision-making process to keep your nonprofit on the right path for success.
- Welcomes change and evolution to your nonprofit:
Many times we are opposed to change as it can make us feel uncomfortable or out of control. However, no company ever stays the same. Mission statements should evolve with the growth and development of your organization. By creating a clear mission, team members are more likely to be open to change and how it can further accomplish your mission
Your mission statement should answer these 3 questions:
- Why does your nonprofit exist?
- What are we going to accomplish?
- How are you making an impact?
To get the juices flowing we've put together a list of 30 mission statements that really get the job done.
Mission statement Examples:
"Story by story, we bring you the world."
"To stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking."
"Nourish the Hungry, Inspire the Broken, Connect the World."
"To promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life."
"To build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."
"We improve the lives of people affected by cancer now."
"To raise money and awareness of childhood cancer causes, primarily for research into new treatments and cures, and to encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer."
"To change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders."
"To feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger."
"Foster Youth in Action (FYA) builds the skills of foster youth to organize and advocate for change."
" To end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people."
"Celebrating Animals, Preventing Cruelty."
"To improve the health and quality of life of women with diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf."
"Provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever."
"Alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities."
"To prevent the abuse and neglect of all children in the United States."
"Bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations."
"Build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."
"Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place."
" To deliver humanitarian programs to the poor and underserved so they can hope for a better future. Instead of simply providing charity, we work side by side with communities as they work toward self-sufficiency."
"Watts of Love is a global solar lighting nonprofit bringing people the power to raise themselves out of the darkness of poverty."
"We defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, and championing environmentally responsible solutions."
"Leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries, and the world."
"Defends the rights of people worldwide."
"College Bound Opportunities mentors economically disadvantaged students to unleash their potential, graduate college, pursue meaningful professions, and inspire others to follow in their footsteps."
We inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment."
"Growing the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education."
"Leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support."
"To save women’s lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering them to live proactively at a young age."
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