Perfecting Your Mission StatementBy John Killoran
In just one to two sentences, your mission statement should encompass your nonprofits vision, broader purpose, and funding pitch. That sounds like a lot for one statement to achieve, which is why you need to be careful when brainstorming it. The following will help:
1. Know the Components of a Mission Statement
A mission statement describes the purpose of your nonprofit and what you intend to accomplish in a way that is memorable and easy to understand. Displayed on your website, your mission statement could very well be what drives online donors to hit that donate button.
Every mission statement follows a similar formula and is a few sentences or less #147; some are as short as two words. Make sure you try to answer these questions in your statement:
Be creative with it, but keep these components in mind as they are the driving points behind every mission statement. You want to excite your donors with your mission statement. It all starts with your nonprofits vision and then goes from there.
2. Make Your Statement Concise and Actionable
Keeping your mission statement short is key to making it memorable and your nonprofit relevant. But you also have to make your statement actionable, meaning it should inspire action. This usually refers to donors being inspired to contribute, but another reason to write a good mission statement is to be eligible for grants.
While most funding comes from donations, grants from foundations are a way for your nonprofit to thrive. The grant application process is long and annoying, but theres a formula on how to navigate it. Seeking a concise yet actionable mission statement, foundations will take a look at your nonprofit and put its application on top of the pile. All you have to do is:
3. Dont Be Afraid to Welcome Feedback and Participation
If theres one place you shouldnt be selfish, it is when forming your nonprofit. Specifically, dont feel like you have to write your mission statement all by yourself. Nonprofits are built based on the support of others, so utilize your teams brain power to help write your mission statement!
This may seem obvious, but creating a culture of philanthropy and inclusivity should go hand in hand. Also, having knowledge from multiple smart people can only help. Establish a team to draft your statement and rely on them to contribute helpful feedback. Having more opinions will only help your mission statement resonate with others.
Sometimes it can also be helpful to ask for some outside help. Dont be afraid to look into nonprofit consultants if you want a more professional point of view. You can find a helpful guide here.
4. Frequently Review and Revise
A nonprofits mission statement is kind of like your public tagline for convincing others to support your cause. Its like your nonprofits way of constantly asking for donations without outright bothering people. To keep up with the times, make sure to review and revise your mission statement if needed.
You never know when this could be necessary. For example, you may need this if:
John Killoran is an inventor, entrepreneur, and founder of Snowball Fundraising, which provides a range of fundraising services and tools for nonprofits.