Why Is Your Mission Statement Important?
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to state your mission. Yes, you read that right. It’s often tempting to jump straight into the streets of your community and start helping people. That heart of service is why you’re in the nonprofit world in the first place.
But before you can effectively do good in the world, land the funding or entice the volunteers, you must know who you are. The cart is the mission, and the horse is the mission statement. And as they say, never put the cart before the horse.
Below are five things your mission statement should provide, both internally and externally, before you take on the world.
5 Things Your Mission Should Provide
This is your “why.” It will serve as your launching pad, your compass. Once you know your role, you will know what projects to say “yes” to and what projects to say “no” to. You can discern which partners are a good fit for you. A clear purpose will stretch you out of your comfort zone but not stretch you too thin.
Chances are yours is not the only organization working on a particular issue. What makes you unique? What do you bring to the table that no one else does? Your mission statement should answer these questions. If it does, this becomes a powerful communications tool that can help you garner financial and volunteer support. You are an irreplaceable solution to a problem that must be solved.
A well-written mission statement will leave no question as to what your organization thinks is important. This clarity will help those inside your nonprofit work toward the same things for the same reasons. It will also help those outside your nonprofit know exactly what they’re getting when they encounter you.
Action-oriented. Your nonprofit exists to make a difference, to make a change. Your mission statement should reflect a call to action and an expected result. It should be memorable and moving.
When the individuals that comprise a nonprofit understand the why, what makes them unique, the guiding values, and the action items, a true team environment is created. And we all know that teamwork makes the dream work.
Now You Have A Voice
Once you craft your mission statement, you are freer than ever before to unleash your nonprofit’s full potential. You now have a voice that will stand out from the rest, and a road map to stay on course. So, saddle up and ride on!