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It’s the mission that matters. What stands behind an NPO mission statement?

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It’s difficult to imagine an NPO without a mission, as it serves as a strong foundation for everything the NPO strives for and stands for.

Without a mission, an NPO may struggle to have focus or direction, leading to disorganization and confusion.

The mission statement of an NPO is important internally and also externally, as it helps both members and supporters understand what the organization values and how it plans on achieving its goals. For those looking to join or support an organization, having a clear understanding of its mission helps them decide whether they want to be involved in the first place.

A mission statement thus serves as a guide for activities related to the NPO, allowing everyone involved to stay true to their core values.

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NPO mission as a declaration

A brief description of an NPO, its values, goals, and dreams… sounds kind of difficult, doesn’t it? Actually, a mission statement for an NPO is just as difficult to complete as it sounds. But it helps your organization reach its objectives, so it’s definitely worth spending some time on. Just declaring what you are doing and going to do, together with the results of your activities, creates your reputation & defines your future.

What an NPO mission should be like?

An inspiring, useful, clear, and precise combination of your vision and end results you want to see.

A good mission explains the purposes why your NPO exists and what exactly it does, as well as why (for whom) it is important.

How do you create a good mission statement?

Before getting down to exactly writing that sentence or two you will use as a mission statement to be mentioned on each platform and informational/educative material your organization creates, it’s absolutely essential to complete a strategic plan for your non-profit.

Only by knowing for whom and why you are writing this statement, you can make people understand the importance of your activities. It’s not difficult to summarize the list of your services and programs, direct people to the place where they can find additional information if you manage to capture their attention and help them focus and stay motivated enough to complete your call-to-action, for example.

Key steps

Creating a great mission statement for a nonprofit organization involves several key steps:

  1. Identify the organization’s purpose: Clearly define the organization’s purpose and the specific problem or need it aims to address.
  2. Involve stakeholders: Gather input and feedback from key stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries, to ensure that the mission statement reflects their perspectives and needs.
  3. Keep it simple and clear: Use plain language that is easy to understand and communicate. Avoid jargon or technical terms that may be confusing to outsiders.
  4. Make it inspiring: A great mission statement should be inspiring and motivating to all stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, donors, and beneficiaries.
  5. Be specific and measurable: A good mission statement should be specific, and measurable and include a clear call to action.
  6. Reflect the organization’s values: The mission statement should reflect the organization’s values and principles and should be aligned with the overall goals of the organization.
  7. Test it: Test the mission statement with different people and see if it resonates with them, if not, make adjustments to ensure that it is clear, inspiring, and actionable.



The Non-Profit Mission Statement Framework

A good framework for a mission statement for a nonprofit or charity typically includes the following elements:

  1. Purpose: Clearly state the specific problem or need that the organization aims to address.
  2. Vision: Include a statement about the organization’s long-term aspirations and the impact it hopes to achieve in the community.
  3. Values: Identify the core values and principles that guide the organization’s actions and decision-making.
  4. Action: Include a call to action that inspires stakeholders to support and get involved with the organization.
  5. Audience: Identify who the mission statement is meant to serve, the beneficiaries of the organization’s work.
  6. Measurable: The mission statement should be measurable, it should be clear how the organization will know if it has achieved its mission.

A good example of a mission statement framework is: “To [purpose], we [vision] by [values], for [audience], through [action], in a way that is [measurable].”

Examples of mission statement frameworks:

  • “To empower [audience] to [purpose] by providing [action] and fostering [values], creating a [measurable] impact in our community.”
  • “To improve [audience]’s [purpose] by [action] through [values], we strive to create a [measurable] change in [vision].”

It’s important to note that a mission statement should be concise, clear and inspiring, it should also be a reflection of the organization’s values and goals.


TOP 3 best put-up mission statements

1. Charity: Water organization

They have found the perfect balance between explaining the goal and the method in 10 words
“Bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries”.

2. AARP organization

They express their mission as a perspective for their audience – helping them prepare a solid ground for the good life when they age.
“To enhance the quality of life for all as we age”.

3. The Humane Society

This 22-word long statement stands out as it has a strong emotion in it that connects the organization with its supporters:
“We fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals and, with your help, we’ll achieve the vision behind our name”.

What’s next?

You might have already found the path to complete your mission as well as you might have only considered registering and running an NPO that can help make this world a better place. No matter at which stage you are, this article aims to inspire you to share your mission in order to find and guide your supporters toward your beautiful goal.

Do you feel you need 25 words? Go for it! Cut the mission to a couple of words, if you need it. It’s your audience that matters. Think about what words it needs to hear from you to join you on your way toward your mission!

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