Mission statements are at the direct center of nonprofits. They are bare-bones proclamations of why your organization exists.
They are part of your branding, and just like your website, logo, and social media presence -- they should be great. Similar to the other content on your website, your nonprofit's mission statement involves strategic planning and brainstorming to truly define your core values and purpose.
In the below infographic, we compile a list of 30 super nonprofit mission statement examples, but first let's talk a little bit about why your organization should have a mission statement in the first place.
The importance of compelling mission statements:
Mission statements are of vital importance to nonprofit communications because they convey, in one or two sentences, the purpose of the organization and why it exists. The casual visitor to your website or reader of your brochure needs to immediately understand why you exist and who you serve - less about what it is that you do to accomplish that mission. Think of your nonprofit mission statement as your value proposition to potential supporters and partners - what would happen if you closed your doors tomorrow? Julia Campbell
Establish your nonprofit's direction
Your mission statement should motivate your team. It should guide them to successfully accomplish your organization's goals and objectives. Additionally, it should reflect 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.
Shape nonprofit strategy and decision-making
A straightforward mission establishes crucial boundaries which allow your nonprofit to exhibit responsibility and authority. It defines the actions that make your organization unique. It provides a foundation, a structure for thinking and a moral compass for organizational decision-making. This creates a framework that keeps your nonprofit on track with its purpose.
Welcome 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. Having a clear yet dynamic mission helps your organization stay up-to-date with changing times, and encourages team members to continue evolving alongside it.
Mission statements should answer these 3 questions:
- Why does your nonprofit exist?
- What are you going to accomplish?
- How are you making an impact?
To help you craft the perfect mission statement for your nonprofit, we've put together a list of 30 organizations that are crushing the mission statement game.
Nonprofit mission statement examples:
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"Story by story, we bring you the world."
"To stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking."
R U 4 children
"Nourish the Hungry, Inspire the Broken, Connect the World."
Dress For Success
"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."
American Heart Association
"To build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke."
"We improve the lives of people affected by cancer now."
Alex's Lemonade Stand
"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
"Foster Youth in Action (FYA) builds the skills of foster youth to organize and advocate for change."
The Trevor Project
"To end suicide among gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people."
The Humane Society
"Celebrating Animals, Preventing Cruelty."
"To improve the health and quality of life of women with diabetes, and to advocate on their behalf."
Big Brothers Big Sisters
"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."
Prevent Child Abuse America
"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."
Wings of Hope
" 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
"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."
The Girl Effect
"Leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves, their families, their communities, their countries, and the world."
Human Rights Watch
"Defends the rights of people worldwide."
College Bound Opportunities
"College Bound Opportunities mentors economically disadvantaged students to unleash their potential, graduate college, pursue meaningful professions, and inspire others to follow in their footsteps."
Keep America Beautiful
We inspire and educate people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment."
Teach for America
"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."
This post updates a previous post by Stefanie Pous originally published in July 2016 .