Nonprofit Insurance Program

How to Create a Nonprofit Mission

By Alexa Connelly
October 14, 2013


The mission is the declaration of an organization’s core purpose.  A good mission statement answers the question, “Why do we exist?” Some say it should be one sentence; others have some that are paragraphs long.  No methods exist for identifying the words that will best vocalize your organization, but it needs to be:

  • Articulated in a way that is convincing and easy to grasp
  • Motivate those who are connected to the organization
  • Use proactive verbs to describe what you do.

In creating your nonprofit mission, it can be done by one person or after brainstorming with key people in the organization.  In developing your mission you will also be developing the purpose of your organization, the business your organization will pursue and the beliefs that your organization’s members value and will be putting into practice. When searching for the mission of your organization, begin by asking yourself these questions.

  • What is our business and what are we trying to accomplish on behalf of our customers?
  • What is our company’s reason for existing?
  • What are the opportunities or needs that we exist to address?
  • What are we doing to address these needs?
  • What values or beliefs guide our work?

Once you have a draft, allow the board, staff and other stakeholders to comment. It’s also advisable to seek an outside opinion to see if the nonprofit mission is understandable. It is important that all members understand the mission of your organization, to be able to communicate and lobby on the organization’s behalf. So an effective mission needs to have a clear descriptive of where the organization is going in the future and what uniquely distances it from other entities and compels a case for the need it is filling.

Now that you have a final mission, what’s important about your nonprofit mission is that it’s the organizations one guiding set of ideas are articulated, understood and supported by the organization’s stakeholders:

  • Board
  • Staff
  • Donors
  • Volunteers
  • Collaborators
  • Clients


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