Your Organization’s Mission & Vision Statements

vision.missionWhether your organization is brand-new or well-established the board of directors still needs to determine the mission and purpose, or vision.

For a new nonprofit, developing the mission statement is a critical first step in defining what the organization plans to do and what makes it different from other organizations in the same field. You can learn more about defining mission & vision statements on Grantspace, and discover the questions you need to be asking before writing in this Philanthropy Journal article, “Creating Effective Mission & Vision Statements… “.

If the organization has been around for decades it may be time to look closely at that statement and consider rewriting it to better reflect the organization’s current circumstances. In fact, the IRS encourages all nonprofits to create mission statements and regularly review them. Joanne Fritz asks Should You Change Your Mission Statement?

Some mission statements are so complicated that board members have difficulty explaining the purpose of their organization. Start by asking your board:

  1. Is our mission and purpose a compelling reason for people to support us financially?
  2. Does our mission statement really explain to our stakeholders what the organization is all about?
  3. Do we use the mission statement as our guide to planning, and decision making?
  4. Has the board discussed the mission statement lately? Is it still appropriate?

The Danger of Mission Statements by Dr. Samuel McHaffy and Don’t Make Your Organization’s Purpose A “Mission Impossible” by Tony Poderis make for interesting reading.

 

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