How to Write a Mission Statement for a Nonprofit

A mission statement is important for every organization, whether it is a nonprofit organization or not. Before delving into how to write a mission statement for a nonprofit organization, let us give you an overview. A nonprofit mission statement communicates the purpose of the organization and enhances its credibility while attracting volunteers and fundraisers. It also makes people have a positive impression of the foundation by giving them an insight into the ideology of the foundation.

Every nonprofit organization needs to focus on this aspect to get maximum benefits. It helps the organization to fulfill its nonprofit mission. Hence, one should choose words wisely while writing a statement for a nonprofit mission. You can also go through nonprofit mission statement examples to get a better idea. Here, we will discuss some essential points you should keep in mind while writing a statement for a nonprofit foundation. However, before that, let’s know more about a nonprofit mission statement.

What is a nonprofit mission statement?

Before writing a mission statement for a nonprofit, it is important to understand what it is. A nonprofit mission statement is meant to describe the nonprofit organization’s purpose and objectives. The organization conveys its thoughts and goals to people through it. It also serves the fundamental purpose of an organization. It communicates what the organization wants to achieve and its long-term goals. So, there are a few things your nonprofit mission statement must possess. For example, who you intend to serve and what you want to achieve. It must reflect how the organization wishes to help people and fulfill its goals. Teamwork is the root of success for any nonprofit mission, so you should also remember this point.

nonprofit mission statement

A mission statement is different from the vision statement of your organization. A nonprofit mission statement defines the overall purpose of the organization, whereas the vision statement highlights where the organization aspires to be in the years to come. So, a strong mission statement is condensed and is about the aim of the organization.

Reasons Mission Statements are Important for Nonprofits

  1. It helps to motivate your workers, board, supporters, and volunteers –  A strong and clear mission statement emphasizes what the organization is willing to achieve.  Your mission can be successful only by the joint efforts of all your staff, supporters, board, and volunteers. So, influencing your staff and motivating them is very important. It instigates them to fulfill their goals and responsibilities.
  2. Your decisions are linked with your nonprofit mission – Decision-making is a very influential part. A nonprofit organization needs supporters and volunteers. A nonprofit mission statement can encourage people to volunteer for your mission. By communicating the purpose of the organization clearly, you create the conditions within which the target audience can decide to be associated with the organization or not. People usually evaluate your nonprofit mission through your nonprofit mission statement. Also, it can determine the future of your organization to some extent.
  3. It communicates your intention to the public – When you are operating as a nonprofit organization, then conveying a powerful message is paramount. You can do that by writing an effective mission statement. Sum up your goal and idea in two lines. It plays a key role in attracting people by telling them about your intention. It will help people to understand the essence of your goal. Also, clarifying strategy to the public is essential. It will tell people why and how your nonprofit mission is unique from others. It also plays a key role in helping you get better funding.
  4. Opens up many opportunities – People will know the problems the organization wants to address by reading its mission statement. It opens the door to multiple possibilities. You can get associated with other organizations and groups that identify with your mission. It can also keep your whole team in one place and maintain their unity through it. This way, you can brighten your funding opportunities.
  5. You can clarify your purpose by determining your goals through it – It builds a foundation strategy for your nonprofit mission. You can clarify what you want to do through your nonprofit mission statement. It can also help you to determine your goals and make clear priorities. So, it is a very basic and important thing for every nonprofit organization to have a mission statement.

What to avoid when writing a nonprofit mission statement?

  • Don’t write a long mission statement – Don’t make it too long, otherwise, it will lose its appeal. Making your nonprofit mission statement concise is another significant thing. Your statement should be short and simple yet well-written.
  • Keep your objectives clear and comprehensible – The next critical point that you need to consider is to make your objectives clear and understandable. Using complex sentence structure can hamper the impact of your mission statement. So be crisp and to the point.
  • Don’t forget to review it after writing – Reviewing your nonprofit mission statement will give you confidence. If you think you need to change something, you can do it at this stage. You will get the vibe and reflection of your statement by reviewing it. You can also show it to your employees and workers or board members to get their opinion about it. If the review is positive, then realize that your statement is good and accurate for your nonprofit mission.

Tips On How To Write A Mission Statement For A Nonprofit Organization

how to write a mission statement for a nonprofit

A non-profit statement is very important for your current goals. So, you need to write your nonprofit statement carefully. There are a few things that you should remember while writing a nonprofit mission statement. All these things are very basic yet indispensable. Make sure to follow these rules and tips while writing your nonprofit statement.

  • Always make a clear statement–Your nonprofit mission statement should be very clear. An ambiguous statement can distract people and make them confused. So, don’t aim at showing your vocabulary skills in a nonprofit mission statement. Use strong yet understandable words and avoid confusing or misleading words or phrases. Crafting your statement properly and clearing your point is essential. Your statement should consist of 20 words maximum. Try to keep it from 5 to 15, because that is better.
  • Put all important information in one statement – Information is the main thing of a nonprofit statement. It is above all other things for a nonprofit mission statement. It will guide the public and volunteers about your mission. Also, inform your team and board members about what you want to do. A catchy statement is good, but an informative statement is preferable.
  • Keep your nonprofit statement open – It is natural that people will have different opinions about your mission and vision statements. However, keeping the ideology of the organization is transparent and crucial. Still, sometimes, coming to a point and agreeing at the end is critical. Otherwise, things can be messed up. 
  • Always keep it open for participation – You should welcome all kinds of participation through your nonprofit mission statement. Don’t forget to gather opinions from your workers, volunteers, supporters, and board members. It will make them feel involved and encourage them to work harder.  So, focus on mentioning people associated with your organization like volunteers, teams, and groups.
  • Balancing between things is important –There are some things you should balance while writing a statement. The first thing is information, and the second thing is its readability and appeal. Highlight the key aspects that will help build the image of your organization. Putting information into your statement is crucial, but attractiveness is also significant. Don’t use very strong and formal words. Instead, keep it simple and informative to keep the balance.

Examples of good nonprofit mission statements

From the above discussion, you now know that the mission statement of any organization plays an essential role in highlighting its key points and its existence. To sum up, the mission statement must be short, crisp, and easy to understand. Go through the below examples of mission statements for nonprofits before writing one for your organization. It will help you come up with an impactful mission statement for your nonprofit organization.

  • American Red Cross: The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.​
  • Habitat for Humanity: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
  • National Right to Life: Protect and defend the most fundamental right of humankind, the right to life of every innocent human being from the beginning of life to natural death.


A professional, crisp, and clear mission statement for a nonprofit organization can go a long way in making an organization successful. A proper statement for a nonprofit foundation is important to convey the message. It will help people to understand your goals and plans. It can give them the confidence to help you with manpower or finances. The tips and guidelines discussed in this article must have helped you understand the mission statement’s need and writing process. So, go ahead and write the best statement for your nonprofit.

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