Compass Points for Mission Accomplishment

I’ve been thinking about mission statements lately because they set the intention for a nonprofit organization. They are the simplest but most powerful tool you have in communicating your case to supporters. Your mission statement clarifies the reason for the organization’s existence and provides the foundation for all of its activities.

When talking with organizations about developing their mission, I sometimes hear that they are working toward a specific goal and they want to “be working themselves out of a job.” It comes from a feeling that we should be working to solve a problem once and for all. With our mission statement, we feel the urge to want to say “mission accomplished.” We feel guilty about any thought or perception, particularly in this time of being wary of toxic philanthropy, that we might use our mission to justify the continued employment of our staff or enable their livelihood on the backs of those in need.