When you hear “Mission Statement” most automatically think of a corporation or big business and not a non-profit. While it is true that corporations do have mission statements, non-profit organizations need one as well.
What is a Mission Statement?
A mission statement is simply a public proclamation that clarifies your organization’s core purpose. It clearly states the reason your organization exists and why others should support it. In just a few sentences, it should sum up the essence of your organization.
Why does my Non-Profit Need a Mission Statement?
Ideally, the mission statement should serve as a foundation for your organization’s functional strategy. Its moral compass, if you will. It should be the driving force behind all you do, the decisions you make and ultimately, the impact in which you have on your cause.
In addition to defining your purpose, the mission statement it can be incorporated into your marketing strategy and used in all public relations communication. Sharing the statement with the general public can not only yield you new donors, but also supporters, volunteers and even potential board members.
Prior to setting out on the task of writing a mission statement for your organization, keep these things in mind.
Be specific. Keep your writing clear and concise. Put away the thesaurus and forget the superfluous words, no one wants to read a bunch of fluff. Avoid writing generalities. Instead, share the impact your efforts have had. Ensure that you have clearly identified WHY your organization is different from others.
Voice. Write your mission statement from the voice of a perspective supporter and not yourself. You want readers to identify with the statement so they will feel compelled to join you and your cause.
Focus on the WHY. Your mission statement should be memorable. One that will leave readers with a clear understanding of exactly why your organization exists and with a desire to get involved.
3 Mission Statement Must Haves.
Purpose. Readers should know specifically what the purpose of your organization is. Are you raising funds so you can offer financial assistance to others or to provide grants? Perhaps your purpose is to educate consumers on a specific topic. Whatever it is, ensure that the reader knows exactly what your intent is.
Value. Share with your readers the values your organization holds. Whether you are committed to using quality products or local providers, state the clearly.
Why. People will want to know why your organization exists and the mission statement is a good place to share that. Sharing your passion will resonate with your readers and likely increase their desire to support your organization.
Your mission statement is a springboard to all communications — internal and external. Once you have developed your mission statement, post it where staff, donors and board members can see it. Add it to your website, in your emails and printed newsletters. Repeat it daily – and encourage all others to as well.
Does your non-profit organization have a Mission Statement?