When did you last see your organization’s mission statement get updated? If it’s not a stellar goal statement, then it could be time to update it. If you’re a start-up you have the chance to think about the best way to create a excellent mission statement for your organization.

We’ll take a look at what a nonprofit’s mission statement looks like, the best way to create one, how to improve an existing mission statement and a few nonprofit mission statement examples. Let’s get after it!

What is a non-profit mission Statement?

A nonprofit’s mission statement must be concise, clear and convincing description of:

Imagine your nonprofit’s mission statement as the primary public relations tool that explains the vitality of your organization in a concise and easy-to-understand sentence.

The mission of your organization should form the foundation for your elevator speech, branding as well as your story telling and much more. It will be published on your website and surely will be an integral element the grant application that you might present. A well-written mission statement for your nonprofit is vital to the success of your fundraising and the visibility of your organization.

Effective mission statements for nonprofits can be used for many different purposes. They:

There is no correct or incorrect way to write a great mission statement for a nonprofit However, it should be clear, inspiring and compelling, as well as suitable for a T-shirt.

mission statement writing for your non profit
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Do not confuse a mission declaration with a tagline, or vision statements. A mission statement is not.

However, your organization must seriously consider making the vision statement that is in line with your mission statements. A vision statement basically outlines the goals your organization is working towards.

A tagline on the contrary is a catchy expression. Consider Nike’s “Just Do It.” This is a tagline that everybody knows. Taglines are a great way to impress on your target audience. Two excellent examples of effective nonprofit taglinesare Give a hoop. Do not pollute (USDA Forest Service) or AIDS has ended here (San San Francisco AIDS Foundation.)

How Do I Write an Organizational Mission Statement? (5 Steps)

The process of writing a mission statement for your nonprofit isn’t an easy task however it is vital to the organization’s mission and its success. Below are five steps to follow when you start writing the mission statement of your organization:

1. Concentrate on Who, How and Why

When you begin thinking about how to draft your mission statement, narrow your thoughts to these points:

You may notice this is somewhat like the four W’s and an H technique good journalists use: Who/What/When/Why/How. This technique lets you develop a compelling story which you can use to create a compelling non-profit mission statement.

The attention you pay to this initial step will allow you to begin to write a compelling mission statement that allows people to know what you are doing and also infuses the entire business with a sense of purpose, and aids in preventing any mission creep.

What is mission creep? Mission creep isn’t very unusual. It’s when a nonprofit changes its mission and expands its objectives beyond its purpose. It’s clear that there is a huge distinction between the two types of mission creep, strategic realignment, or adjustments. Mission creep typically occurs as a result of a poor decision or as a result of an organization-wide crisis.

2. Find Out More

A few nonprofits would like to establish a task forcethat is comprised of board members, volunteers, staff members, and perhaps a few contributors. If you’re skilled at leading group discussions, this could be an ideal occasion to hold a no-nonsense brainstorming session for all of the participants in the same room.

Engage your board members throughout the procedure. Keep in mind that the board is responsible for the mission of your organization and has the final authority on acceptance, so be sure to get them involved right from the start. Invite interested staff members maybe a few major donors, and reliable advisers.

We’re not suggesting the detested “editing through committee” method, but instead listening to people whom you trust and who understand your organization’s opinions and suggestions. This is a valuable method, as it helps you leave your head and gain valuable information from the opinions of others.

When you’ve narrowed your goal statement to a few or three options, you can get your board’s approval to design survey instruments to conduct some A/B tests with your close insiders. Making a list of the results will give you more direction, and also generate responses from outside.

3. Edit Incessantly

The most ineffective mission statements are undefined and are filled using more than twenty words.

When you’re looking for strong nonprofit mission declarations, less is more and clarity is the key. Are you able to cut it down into 10 to 15 sentences? Is your use of formal or complicated words? Brief, succinct mission statements are typically the most effective.

In the process of editing eliminate unnecessary words and make action verbs more effective. Check that your mission statement reflects the core values of your company. Here are some great examples of what to include to describe core values:

Did you know that many non-profit mission statements contain the same verbs that are used in every mission statement? Verbs like improve, wish generate, give and invest. Here’s a list of lesser-used verbs you can employ alternatively:

Common VerbA Common Verb
ImprovementsBetters
HopeAspire
GenerateAttain
GiveDonate
InvestSupport
CareConcern

4. Don’t Rush

Make sure you take the time you require. Do not just take whatever you put on the paper or your computer. Reflect. Consider it. Also, you can sleep on it.

When you think you’re getting close to something positive, check with your stakeholders or task force members for their thoughts.

5. Leverage Professional Writers

Most likely, you have at minimum one other person who has grant writing or any other writing skills. You may also have a consultant or contract who has this kind of expertise. Think about bringing them in in order to refine and strengthen your near-final mission statement.

How to Enhance the Mission Statement of a Nonprofit Organization?

Maybe your nonprofit already has a purpose statement but you’re concerned that it’s unclear, overly lengthy, or appealing to the heart. Here are some ideas to help you refine the mission of your organization:

Eliminate Buzzwords, Jargon, or the fluff

In the world of non-profits we’re drowning in jargon and buzzwords. Take a look at the following examples:

If you find any unintentional jargons in your mission statement for your nonprofit, you can swap it with a different and more descriptive term.

Replace Passive Voice by Using Active Voice

Making use of an active voice when you write your mission statements will assist in making it more persuasive sounding.

If your mission statement is similar to the following: “At XYZ, low-income families are assisted by the organization in achieving financial independence” Take a look at the more active version: “XYZ helps families achieve financial independence.”

Active voice helps make the sentence smaller, more powerful and less rambling.

Utilize the Flesch Reading Ease Tool

Making use of this Flesch Reading Ease tool can assist you in making sure that you have a mission and vision statement that is simple to comprehend and understand.

If you’re using Microsoft Word, navigate to Editor and then Insights. If the Insights pop-up is displayed there’s an Flesch calculation. The higher it’s more favorable, and you’ll be able to find the grade level it relates to. Keep your mission statement in the 8th grade or less.

Free advice: The tool will be able to tell you if the mission statement is written in an active voice.

Engage Stakeholders

Similar to when you create an original mission statement Reworking an existing non-profit mission statement must involve input from board members, other supporters, as well as some staff members.

The process of sending out surveys is an effective way to get involved in only a small amount of two-way communication, and is certainly less time-consuming than running focus groups. Select your respondents carefully — you must be certain to not include anyone who could hinder or hinder the process.

Question who the mission Statement Address?

Unfortunately, focusing on the company rather than the individuals who are served is a frequent problem. This is particularly the case in the event that the mission statement was written by the marketing department with no input from other members of the team.

Take some time to think about the direction of your mission statement, and make sure it’s facing outwards.

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