A mission statement template can be a helpful tool for establishing your organization's core values, beliefs, and goals. In this article, twelve examples of successful nonprofit mission statements and corresponding templates to help you create your own, introduction to understanding the importance of a nonprofit mission statement, tips for developing your own, and resources for further reading is also provided.
Who is this template for?
This template is for all nonprofit organizations.
What are the main sections covered in this template?
The main sections include: How to write a mission statement for a nonprofit, mission statement templates, and tips for writing a mission statement.
A mission statement serves as a tool to help guide decisions made within an organization and can inform potential donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders of the organization's purpose.
If your organization doesn’t have a mission statement yet, a nonprofit mission statement template can be a helpful tool for establishing your organization’s core values, beliefs, and goals
In this article, we provide twelve examples of successful nonprofit mission statements and corresponding templates to help you create your own. We also provide an introduction to understanding the importance of a nonprofit mission statement, tips for developing your own, and resources for further reading.
Let's get started!
How to Write a Mission Statement for a Nonprofit
A mission statement for a nonprofit is a critical element for any organization that is focused on making a difference in society. It should define the purpose of your organization, communicate who you serve and how, and serve as a reminder to stay true to your goals. Writing an effective nonprofit mission statement requires careful thought and consideration.
Additionally, it is important to consider how the nonprofit's values are a core pillar of any effective mission statement.
As a reminder, a nonprofit's values are the beliefs and principles that guide its practices and operations. These values must be reflected in the organization's mission statement as they are a critical component of a nonprofit's identity.
Once you have taken time to reflect on your nonprofit's purpose, values, and goals, you will be able to begin writing your mission statement. Here are some tips on how to write an effective nonprofit mission statement:
Start With Your Why
What inspired you to create this nonprofit? Why does it exist? This should be the core of your mission statement— what drives your organization's work each day.
Explain Who You Serve
Clearly state who or what type of people/groups you will help through your work, such as children in need, veterans, or the environment.
Define How You Will Make an Impact
Clearly define how you plan to achieve your mission. For example, what services do you provide, and what results do you hope to achieve?
Keep it Concise
Get straight to the point without adding unnecessary information. Try to keep your mission statement under four sentences long and use simple language that everyone can understand.
Share Why Others Should Care
Showcase the importance of your work and make sure to communicate why people should support it!
Writing a nonprofit mission statement is an important step in setting up any organization dedicated to making a difference in society. With these tips in mind, create your own nonprofit mission statement to get the word out about your unique work.
Once you've crafted an effective mission statement, your organization will have a clear purpose and direction, making it easier to attract donors and fundraise for your cause!
Free Nonprofit Mission Statement Templates You Can Use
Below are three examples of nonprofit mission statement templates that can be used by organizations like yours to help define your purpose and goals:
We [INSERT WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES NOW] for [INSERT FOR WHOM YOU'RE DOING THE WORK] by [INSERT HOW YOU DO IT] so that [WHAT DO YOU ACHIEVE].
We strive to [INSERT WHAT YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE] for [INSERT FOR WHOM YOU'RE SERVING] by [EXPLAIN HOW YOU ACCOMPLISH IT] in order to [INSERT WHAT YOUR NONPROFIT DOES].
We serve [INSERT YOUR INTENDED AUDIENCE] by providing [INSERT WHAT YOUR ORGANIZATION DOES] via [EXPLAIN WHAT STEPS YOU TAKE] in an effort to [INSERT YOUR DESIRED GOALS]
When writing a nonprofit mission statement, it's important to be clear about your organization's purpose and goals, as well as the impact you want to make in your community.
Your mission statement should also capture the values integral to your nonprofit organization's work. With these templates at your disposal, you can create a mission statement that clearly communicates your nonprofit's purpose and objectives.
Examples of Nonprofit Mission Statements
If you're feeling stuck or uninspired when writing your nonprofit mission statement, looking at some tried and true examples can help get those creative juices flowing.
We've curated a list of twelve examples of mission statements for nonprofits that showcase their commitment to making a difference:
1. The Nature Conservancy
"The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends."
This mission statement for The Nature Conservancy effectively communicates its purpose and demonstrates the importance of preserving the natural world. It is concise and easy to understand. Plus, it conveys the values of their organization and emphasizes the need for the conservation of our environment.
2. March for Our Lives
"We aim to create safe and healthy communities and livelihoods where gun violence is obsolete."
This mission statement communicates their purpose and the desired outcome of their work in a clear and concise manner. Additionally,it focuses on creating a safe and healthy environment for communities, which is something that people can identify with.
3. American Cancer Society
"The mission of the American Cancer Society is to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, research, and patient support, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer."
This mission statement conveys their purpose of fighting against cancer and how they plan to do it. It is comprehensive and clearly demonstrates the type of impact they hope to make. It is also easily understandable, which makes the mission statement easier to remember.
4. Doctors Without Borders
"We provide independent, impartial medical humanitarian assistance to the people who need it most. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) cares for people affected by conflict, disease outbreaks, natural and human-made disasters, and exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries."
This is another excellent example of a mission statement for a nonprofit organization because it clearly defines the services provided, as well as the values that guide the work of Doctors Without Borders. It also communicates its commitment to providing impartial medical humanitarian assistance to those in need in simple, understandable terms.
5. Human Rights Watch
"Human Rights Watch defends the rights of people worldwide."
The Human Rights Watch is a fantastic nonprofit mission statement example, and is considered one of the strongest in the nonprofit industry. This is because it conveys the purpose of their work and the impact they are hoping to make in a highly concise manner that is easy to understand. Plus, it stresses their commitment to defending the rights of people worldwide.
6. New York Public Library
"To inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities."
New York Public Library's is another superb nonprofit mission statement example that conveys its purpose and the impact that they hope to make in a concise manner. The mission statement also showcases their commitment to inspiring learning and advancing knowledge in order to strengthen communities.
7. Global Giving
"To transform aid and philanthropy to accelerate community-led change."
Global Giving's mission statement effectively communicates the purpose of its work and the impact they are trying to make. It also conveys their core belief that change is best achieved through community-led initiatives. It is a solid example of a mission statement because it is concise and easy for all readers to comprehend.
"AARP's mission is to empower people to choose how they live as they age."
AARP is a strong example of a mission statement because it communicates the organization's purpose and goals in a clear and direct way. It also communicates their core values of choice and autonomy for individuals as they age. It is a succinct mission statement that captures what AARP stands for.
9. Monterey Bay Aquarium
"To inspire conservation of the ocean. And we couldn't do it without you."
The Monterey Bay Aquarium takes a unique approach to its mission statement. Not only does it effectively communicate their purpose and the impact they hope to make, but it also emphasizes the importance of actively engaging with their supporters in order to achieve these goals. It is an excellent example of an effective mission statement that conveys both the organization's values and its commitment to its supporters.
"Oceana's mission is to protect and restore the world's oceans. Our vision is for the oceans to be as rich, healthy, and abundant as they once were."
This mission statement is effective because it expresses the organization's purpose and the desired outcome of its work. It also emphasizes Oceana's commitment to restoring the oceans back to their pristine condition. It uses simple and powerful language to effectively communicate the values and goals of the organization.
11. The Black Male Voter Project
"The Black Male Voter Project is building a movement that encourages black men to regularly and actively engage in the voting and electoral process."
This mission statement thoughtfully communicates its purpose and the impact they are trying to make in a clear, concise way. It also conveys the importance of black men engaging with the electoral process and emphasizes the value of civic engagement. It is an example of an effective mission statement that effectively communicates both the values and goals of The Black Male Voter Project.
“To unleash a mass movement for health justice.”
GirlTrek's mission statement is strong because it communicates the organization's purpose and the impact they are hoping to make in a direct way. It also showcases their commitment to underserved communities and emphasizes their core principle of civil rights history and principles. It is an example of an effective mission statement that effectively conveys the values and goals of GirlTrek.
Creating a mission statement for any nonprofit organization can be a challenging task, but by following templates and leveraging examples from successful nonprofits, the process can be made much more straightforward.
By utilizing a mission statement template and considering these twelve examples, you can begin creating a clear and concise mission statement to guide your nonprofit organization's work.
Tips for Writing Your Nonprofit's Mission Statement
When writing a mission statement for your nonprofit organization, use the following tips to ensure that it accurately reflects your goals and values:
Focus on one core mission
Your mission statement should focus on a single goal or purpose that your nonprofit is working toward. This will help ensure it's concise and consistent with your organization's overall objectives.
Keep it short and simple
The ideal length for a mission statement is no more than 20 words, as this allows you to clearly articulate your purpose without getting too wordy.
Use language people can understand
Avoid using jargon or technical terms in your mission statement, as these may not be understood by everyone who reads them. Instead, use language that resonates with the audience you want to reach and communicate why they should care about your mission and vision.
Use strong verbs
Strong verbs help to convey a sense of action and urgency, which will make your mission statement more powerful. Choose words like "empower," "inspire," and "create" to illustrate the impact that your nonprofit is making in the world.
Incorporate specific goals
Your mission statement should include details about the specific goals you want to achieve with your nonprofit organization. This will give a clear indication of what your are working toward and how you intend to make an impact in your community.
Make sure it's relevant
Your mission statement should reflect your nonprofit's current goals and objectives rather than something it hopes to achieve in the future. This will ensure that your mission statement is always up-to-date and accurately reflects your organization's purpose.
Once you have written your mission statement, it's a good idea to get input from other stakeholders within your organization. This will help ensure that everyone is in agreement with the mission statement and you can receive valuable insight into how to make it even more powerful and impactful.
Regularly review your nonprofit's mission statement to ensure that it's still relevant and accurately reflects your goals. It should be updated whenever there are changes within the organization or significant developments in the field. This way, you can ensure that your mission statement is always current and reflective of your nonprofit's purpose.
Wrapping Up: Download the Nonprofit Mission Statement Templates
The templates included in this article provide a practical and easy-to-use framework for crafting a powerful mission statement that accurately reflects your organization's values and objectives.
By keeping your mission statement short and simple, using language that resonates with your audience, and incorporating specific goals, you can craft a powerful mission statement that will help inspire support for your cause. With these tips, you'll be on your way to furthering your organization’s mission and goals.
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