February 4, 2016
A mission statement is an important piece of communication for nonprofit organizations because it is used to communicate an organization’s aims and values to a wide audience: their board, employees, funding sources and other stakeholders. By considering some notable nonprofit’s mission statements that follow, they all have one thing in common: They focus and clearly define each organization’s strategy.
“The world’s largest petition platform, empowering people everywhere to create the change they want to see.” -Change.org
“We defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, and championing environmentally responsible solutions.” –Greenpeace
“To enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by helping people reach their full potential through education, skills training and the power of work.” –Goodwill
“To promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” -U.S. Department of Education
Focused and clearly defined mission statements can also provide a strong description of where the nonprofit is headed, set the organization apart from other organizations and make a convincing case for the need it fills in their community. Below are some other tips to keep in mind when creating or revising a mission statement.
• Make a list:
Ask for input from the community being served. Gather board members and stakeholders and brainstorm a list of things they would like the organization to accomplish.
• Answer questions:
Who – Who will the organization serve?
What – What service will the organization provide?
Where – Where will the service be provided?
Why – Why was the organization established and what unmet needs will it solve? Some nonprofits describe this as a vision statement.
• BUT keep it short, sweet and to the point:
A good mission statement is free of jargon, uses action words, and quantifies a specific goal in 15 words or less.
Other Mission Statement Tips
– Establish a review process – A mission statement is necessary in order to maintain a 501c3 status. Organizations should review their mission statement every 3 years to ensure it aligns with their charitable purpose.
– Use mission statements on organizational stationary, websites and communication.
The time, attention, and money (if a professional writer is hired) it takes to write a mission statement is well worth the investment. It will be a labor of love but the result will be the backbone that guides organizations to success.
Below is a breakdown of our own mission statement:
Throughout our membership in the Unemployment Savings Program, First Nonprofit understood our demands, community dynamics, and the importance of seamless services; that allowed us to serve our constituents better.
Because INCS advocates for the operating conditions that allow charter public schools to provide high quality public education, partnering with First Nonprofit was an easy decision. First Nonprofit’s unemployment programs provide our member schools two operating elements crucial to their ability to provide high quality public education: savings and budget certainty. Capable, committed teachers are the key to student success. By participating in the unemployment insurance savings plan, charter public schools gain peace of mind and are able to invest more money in their teachers.
It has been our sincere pleasure to maintain a strong, vibrant business partnership with First Nonprofit. We greatly admire their strong industry knowledge, technical expertise, constant professionalism, knowledgeable and dedicated staff. They are always extremely responsive, personable and provide us with the necessary guidance and recommendations on a numerous variety of employment scenarios.
NYCON members who use First Nonprofit’s programs enjoy enduring savings and improved efficiency. Our association knows that success, because from the beginning, we achieved the same great benefits. Great savings, seamless technology, and responsive service. NYCON highly recommends First Nonprofit’s remarkable unemployment solutions.
Visually Impaired Preschool Services has been a client of First Non-Profit since it was first offered as a benefit of VisionServe Alliance. We completed a thorough evaluation of cash savings to our agency before taking advantage of this wonderful benefit and it has been a very wise decision. Our experience with the processes from accounting to claims have been professional, expeditious and easy.
Luckily for us, our interactions regarding any issues with staffing has been very minimal! I can say that all other interactions with regards to billing, 941 reporting, etc. have been extremely pleasant, accommodating and easy to work with. Kim Ghanayem is always prompt, professional and friendly. Thank you so much!
First Nonprofit has been easy to work with and makes the administrative process easier and smoother. We enjoy working with you.
The Ensight Skills Center has enjoyed working with First Nonprofit for several years. We are enrolled in their Unemployment Savings Program and although we have not required a lot of intervention, there have been a few times. I know others have dealt with the same problem of unemployment fraud over the last year and in our case, a call to First Nonprofit (they actually answer their phones) cleared up the issue. They also sent us a letter to send to all our employees telling them what they needed to do to prevent this in the future and protect themselves. What a relief! Over the years if I have questions or concerns, they are happy to listen, advise and help if they can. Another BIG advantage of using First Nonprofit is that all the money that is paid into the Unemployment Savings Program lives on my balance sheet as an asset. The money continues to be Ensight’s not the governments. First Nonprofit has certainly given me peace of mind.