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:
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.
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. We are impressed with the accuracy of their employment decisions, integrity of their employees and efficiency of their claim handling. We greatly respect and value the consistent, impressive cost savings from the utilization of their outstanding services.
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.
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.