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Every business can benefit from creating a clear mission statement to articulate its objectives and guide important business decisions. But for charitable organizations, a nonprofit mission statement isn’t just a nice-to-have — it’s the cornerstone of your organization’s identity.
If creating a mission statement is still on your to-do list, follow the tips below to craft a statement that will help you communicate your mission to the world.
Put simply, a mission statement is a concise description of what your nonprofit does. Think of it as your elevator pitch.
To break it down, fundraising site Donorbox pinpoints three key components of a nonprofit mission statement: why your nonprofit exists, whom it serves, and how it serves them. Your mission statement should not just be a message for external audiences, but it should also be a motivator for your internal audience — a strong statement can inspire employees and reminds them how their individual contributions fit into your organization’s larger purpose.
For some inspiration from organizations outside the nonprofit space, check out Hubspot’s list of mission statements from brands across industries. Here are a couple memorable, impactful examples:
- “To inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food.” – Fast-casual restaurant sweetgreen
- “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire, and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” – Outdoor clothing designer Patagonia
Sitting down to write a mission statement can feel overwhelming. It’s easier to start by looking at the individual components — the why, whom, and how — and then putting those together.
Another way to start writing your statement is to work as a group. Crafting a mission statement should be a collaborative process to ensure all of your organization’s decision-makers are on board with the final product. Entrepreneur suggests asking several people in your organization to write down the purpose of your nonprofit in a single sentence. Then, compare your answers and work together to craft a single mission statement that everyone can agree on.
Once you’ve settled on a mission statement that reflects your organization’s purpose and philosophy, it’s time to start sharing it with the world. Start by spreading your new mission statement internally, encouraging employees and volunteers to reflect on how the statement relates to their individual roles.
When you’re ready to take your new mission statement to a broader audience, start adding it to your website, brochures, and other marketing materials. By making your mission statement a front-and-center component of your website’s homepage — possibly using it as your site’s tagline — your internal and external audiences will regularly be reminded of your organization’s higher purpose.
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