Every company needs a mission statement, and for nonprofits, mission statements can feel like the end-all-be-all. That is partly the case, as nonprofits are mission-driven at their core. Mission statements are incredibly important to not only the credibility of the nonprofit. It explains the purpose for all of their efforts. How to write a mission statement for a nonprofit can be tricky, but in this blog, we will go over some important structural aspects of a successful mission statement
What is a Mission Statement?
Mission statements describe the organization’s fundamental purpose for existing. When you think about the most famous nonprofits for life-altering diagnoses, it is clear exactly their purpose. When writing a mission statement, your job is to make your nonprofit’s purpose clear to those it reaches. It not only shows who the nonprofit is at its core but shows who it serves and benefits, as well as how it serves and benefits them.
Some nonprofits have a difficult time showing the difference between their mission and vision statements. A vision statement focuses more on the nonprofit’s goals, rather than the actual plan to carry out that goal within the mission statement.
Why it Matters for Nonprofits
Within a nonprofit, a mission statement serves as a guide to keep everyone on the same page as they are all working towards one collective goal. This provides a cohesive working environment and keeps staff focused on the big picture.
Outside of the nonprofit, the mission statement acts as a line of transparency into the walls of the organization. It shows exactly what the nonprofit is working towards, and how others could help their cause.
You may be wondering what the proper length for a mission statement is. Mission statements should be quite short in length. No more than two sentences are ideal for a nonprofit to get its message across and easily show exactly what they are providing with its services. The public will want to know several things within those two sentences:
- Why is your nonprofit here
- What purpose does it serve
- Who does it serve
- How does it serve them
Once you can answer each of those questions you will be ready to start constructing your mission statement. Although it is only two sentences, the same editorial hand should go over it the same as it would a term paper.
It is important to remember that whether you are writing a mission statement by yourself on behalf of the nonprofit, or you are writing it as a team, disagreements will happen, and that’s what rough drafts are for. Everyone is working for the same goal, or mission, for the nonprofit. Exemplary nonprofit organizations did not come up with their successful mission statements overnight or take lots of dedication to the cause and passion to make it as top-notch as possible.
The final version of a nonprofit mission statement should outline a clear, simple, informative, and passionate value of why the nonprofit is in business. The finalized mission statement should be referenced often within the organization and put for the public to see as well. Mission statements are known to live on organization websites, flyers for events, business cards, grant applications, and anywhere else the nonprofit prefers to share its name.
After reading this blog you should know why a mission statement is important, how they differ from vision statements, and what they should contain. Now you can get started on writing one for an amazing nonprofit organization.
Adeline is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she majored in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and Journalism. Currently living in Charlotte, she enjoys reading, volleyball, and strolling through her favorite farmers markets with her Goldendoodle Theo.