A nonprofit should have a clearly defined, well-written mission statement that guides the overall aims and activities of the organization. The mission statement should be linked to the values of the organization and its vision for the future.
Mission statements are typically one sentence that concisely and accurately describes the purpose and activities of a nonprofit in a way that makes sense to anyone that reads it – staff, constituents, governing bodies, and the public. While organizations may be inclined to include more content, it is important to focus on the overall essence of your work rather than all the components.
Once you’ve established the mission statement, it should be reviewed by the board periodically to consider organizational, economic, and community changes. This review should determine whether the mission is still relevant, and whether or not it should be adapted to address evolving needs.
Considerations when writing or revising your nonprofit’s mission statement
- Are you conveying the purpose of your organization?
- Is the value of your organization clearly communicated?
- Have you invited your constituency to participate in the process?
- Is the wording easy to understand, straightforward and succinct?
- Can the statement be easily incorporated into fundraising or marketing campaigns?